Green Governance for Sustainable Development of Ports
B.E.(C), M.E.(Env Engg.)
Gujarat Maritime Board
Climate change and ill effects on the overall human race have been in news from quite some time now. The transport sector is on the spotlight of 'green crusaders' because of its wide spread usage. Maritime sector facilitates approximately 80% of global trade by volume. Since major part of global trade is facilitated by ports, they are a source of activities that breed a huge variety of mechanized equipments, machineries and vehicles used for carrying out port operations such loading, unloading, handling, storage and transportation of cargo.
Due to this its impact on environmental aspects is the highest compared to all the spheres of transport sector around the world. Hence, the importance of undertaking serious measures for 'greening' the present ports and development of new ports on the same concept has been increasing. Because as the global trade shall expand, the demand for ports and shipping sector surge without fail. And along with it comes the pressure of developing and maintaining the environment.
India is the first country to provide for the protection and improvement of the environment in her constitution. Article 51(g) of Indian Constitution states it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forest, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creators. In the post Independence period dams were recognized as temples for modern India to assist green governance in agriculture. A similar paradigm has to apply to ports that have to be viewed as golden gates to the evolving economic and intellectual super power.
Concept of Green Ports:
Ports can act as an integral part of the coastal system wherein efficient environmental management can reduce negative impact on the ecosystem along with supporting economic and integrated development along coasts. This is the focal point of the concept of "Green ports".
Ports can act as an integral part of the coastal system wherein efficient environmental management can reduce negative impact on the ecosystem along with supporting economic and integrated development along coasts. This is the focal point of the concept of "Green ports". Green ports are ports that are maintained and operated in a sustainable way. They aim at conserving as well as enhancing the quality of the surrounding environment. This is done by creation of healthy living and working conditions in and around the port area nurturing development as compensation for new port areas. Green House gases and other wastes including contaminated bilge, ballast and port discharges are reduced significantly with the help of these preventive practices.
The focus on development of green ports has been increasing day by day which essentially centralizes on the port operations being carried out in manner that are environmentally friendly along with working on the principles of sustainable development.
Planning Process for development of Green Ports:
Planning Process for development of Green Ports:
- Assessment of Regional Coastal & Marine Waters Carrying Capacity based Port Development Process
- Initial Environmental & Ecological Assessment of the alternatives Sites
- Tranquility Tests
- Freezing the site
- Terms of Reference
- Detailed Project Report
- Finalizing EIA, DPR and getting clearances
- Continual Improvement in Port Operation
Development of Green ports is a part of policy initiatives to be taken by the governing authority of the coastline. The law makers or the facilitators of the coastline have to be on the forefront taking the lead for promoting the development of Green ports.
- Development of Ports on the basis of assessment of Coastline's carrying capacity:
This is an approach to quantify supportive capacity (i.e. long term availability of natural resources) and assimilative capacity (i.e. natural systems to absorb the pollutants/releases and physical impacts from ports) of existing ecosystems for the maintenance of acceptable quality of environmental processes. This also ensures sustainability of port development with appropriate structural changes related to ports' capacities and preventive environmental policies.
- Initial Environmental & Ecological Assessment of the alternatives Sites:
After the assessment of carrying capacity, initial environmental and ecological assessments of alternative sites identified within boundaries of Carrying Capacity assessment as stated above has to be carried out.
- Tranquility Tests:
Coastal areas should be earmarked by the potential sites after undertaking environmental and ecological assessment. The site has also to be tested whether the tranquility can be artificially achieved or the site is naturally endowed.
If the site at the coastline selected is found to be fragile, negotiations are set to suitably integrate tranquility measures.
- Freezing the site:
After analyzing the above stated parameters, a site for development of port has to be finally decided. The site should be ideally located at a stable coast, free from perturbations. The next step should be to start the procedure for acquisition of the coastal land devoid of coastal habitations.
- Terms of Reference:
The next step for any project is to get Terms of Reference of EIA approved from the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India.
- Detailed Project Report:
The next step is preparation of Detailed Project Report for the site as identified or finalized taking in to consideration various parameters. Another important step is to integrate the suggestions of MOEF in Terms of Reference.
- Finalizing EIA, DPR and getting Clearances:
Simultaneously EIA as per the Terms of Reference has to be finalized and accordingly the components of ports as per DPR have to be considered. An important point to be kept in mind is that DPR & EIA should be a parallel process. The DPR & EIA balance economy and ecology for the ecologinomics of ports. This would help to eliminate severe practical problems while development & operation of ports that are targeted for sustainable growth. Finally the Clearances under EIA Notification-2006 and CRZ Notification-2011 based would be received.
The next step should be getting approval from the Port Regulators like Gujarat Maritime Board/Port Trusts. Start the development process as per time frame and methodology approved in EIA and components of Ports described in DPR approved by Port Regulator.
The progress of Port Development activities should be monitored by involvement of an independent third party; create mass balance of resources utilized for port construction and installation process and ensure that there is no unauthorized activity undertaken outside the scope of DPR. Operate the Port as per the Standard Operating Procedures approved by Port Regulator in line with operational part of DPR & EIA.
Environmental Audits should be conducted every year and reductions of Green House Gas Emissions from cargo movements should be quantified. Such ports can apply for Certified Emission Reductions (CER). Even for few credits such ports get honoured and chartered as 'Green ports' internationally.
- Continual Improvement in Port Operation:
Based on yearly Environmental Audit conducted every year, further improvement in port operations could be made by using IT solutions, substituting bio fuel, engineered mangrove plantations minimizing maintenance dredging, etc.
Benefits accruing out of the above process by developing green ports can be quantified as under:
- The Environmental Clearance process will be easy and expedited.
- The Development of the ports is viewed as long lasting and unchallenged in future too.
- The Ports will get more traffic compared to non-green ports and that too from the OECD & Developed Countries.
- The revenues so generated from the ports may be termed as "Clean Revenues". This can be used for marketing the brand of the port across the globe.
- The Ports will get green passport holder ships and get reputation among the green ports global communities.
The action framework and Way Forward:
Gujarat Maritime Board has always been at the forefront whether it comes to making investor friendly policies, transparent processes or granting the companies complete operational flexibility. Taking one further step in the direction of environment friendly policies, the Board recognizes the benefits of fuel substitution, emission reduction and improved management of logistics to optimize energy efficiency. Stakeholder involvement and capacity building to monitor and report anomalies in the chemical environment with implications for disaster reduction are equally important thrust areas for action. The Board is aware of the emerging strategies of IMO for improved port infrastructure with energy efficient operations which can contribute to Green House Gas Emission Reductions Programme on - board as well as in ports. This is being done to derive twin benefits of avoiding ozone depletion and reduce global warming. Ro-Ro Ferry Service Project between Ghogha and Dahej promoted by the State Government can be said as first pilot project aiming to reduce more than 90 % GHG reductions.
Gujarat Maritime Board is well prepared to undertake such initiatives reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit of the State. These initiatives shall launch the Board and associated stakeholders on the road to a productive future which are aligned with India's development goals and approaches.