Sustainable Domestic Maritime Transport Roadmap in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Roadmap Workshop Kick-Starts In Majuro

Situated perilously close to the ocean, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) grapples with the daunting challenge of adapting to the impacts of climate change. Faced with the existential threat of rising sea levels, the Marshallese people are confronted with the pressing need for innovative solutions to safeguard their low-lying atoll nation. In 2018, the RMI government embarked on an ambitious journey, setting a goal to achieve net-zero emissions from domestic shipping by 2050.

Standing merely two meters above sea level at its highest point, the nation’s vulnerability to climate change is pronounced. Beyond the threat of sea-level rise, the RMI is confronted with the changing temperatures in its oceans, affecting the heart of trade and commerce, Majuro. The capital’s locals rely heavily on fishing and copra sales for their livelihoods, underscoring the critical role of maritime activities in their daily lives.

Recognising the pivotal role of the maritime sector, the RMI together with GIZ and its Low Carbon Sea Transport Project organised the Maritime Transport Roadmap Kick-Off workshop in November 2023, being this the first step to implementation and engaging a diverse range of organizations involved in shipping, from tourism and trade to local commute services. Their participation was vital, given the local dependence on ships sailing from atoll to atoll.

Technical consultants together with advisors in climate change, and GIZ facilitators, guided participants through a hybrid workshop of the Domestic Maritime Transport Roadmap over two days, raising in-depth discussions, questions, and reflections among attendees. In the aftermath, four task groups were formed, each dedicated to addressing specific aspects within the maritime sector. This hands-on approach allowed participants to grasp how the roadmap aligns with the RMI’s overarching vision of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Maritime transport is not just a means of commerce. It is what connects our atolls and islands, delivering essential services and contributing to education, health, and economic development. In the face of climate change, it becomes a symbol of resilience for our communities.

– Kessai Note, Minister of Transport

Through collaborative efforts and forward-thinking strategies, the Marshallese people are charting a course to safeguard their nation from the impacts of climate change and build a sustainable legacy for generations to come. In the face of adversity, the RMI is transforming its maritime sector into a symbol of strength, resilience, and a model for sustainable practices in the global fight against climate change.

The Low Carbon Sea Transport Project is based in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. It is funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

©UX Indonesia, Unsplash
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