Marine environment solutions
At the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in 2019, its leaders adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris. This reaffirmed their commitment to conserve the marine environment and strengthen regional cooperation in addressing marine debris concerns.
Four of the world’s marine plastic polluters are in Southeast Asia – Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Marine pollution impacts public health and food supply, as well as industry and tourism. In Singapore, marine debris is washed onto its shores.
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Singapore was one of the first countries in Asia to ratify all of the MARPOL Convention, the main international convention to prevent pollution by ships. The Convention prohibits the discharge of garbage, including all types of plastics, into the seas. In Singapore and as part of its MARPOL obligations, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) deploys collection craft to collect garbage from ships at anchorage.
Singapore is promoting the use of LNG as the shipping industry’s fuel of the future. LNG is a cleaner and greener fuel than existing sources of energy and is the only viable solution for the shipping industry. Singapore offers a range of incentives for those shipping companies that choose to use natural gas in place of bunker fuel eg. the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative.
Singapore is actively promoting the use of LNG bunkering. The MPA is now using its two LNG bunker tankers to facilitate ship-to-ship bunkering for ocean going vessels and in time, we expect Singapore to be the key bunkering hub for the region.
In the light of these marine debris cleaning and LNG bunkering developments in Singapore, it is our ambition to play an active and supportive role in offering practical marine solutions to improve the marine environment. Nearer term solutions in enhancing the fleet of garbage collection craft and bunkering barges can be promoted to improve the waste value chains, the efficiency of resources, as well as the wider adoption of LNG as the alternative fuel.