Fernando Gamboa Rosas
Director General of Administration and Port Development, Coordination General of Ports and Merchant Marine
Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Sustainable Port Management and Environmental Protection
At the last X Regular Meeting of the CIP-OAS, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from July 27 to 29 in 2016, in addition to the Chair of the Technical Advisory and Vice-presidencies, there was a renovation in the coordination of the six Technical Advisory Groups –TAG-, with Mexico being responsible for conducting the TAG on Sustainable Port Management and Environmental Protection of 2016-2018 period.
Without doubt, since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development for the United Nations, the term “Sustainable Development” was adopted as an alternative to meet the needs of the present generations without compromising the possibilities of future generations, in this sense also include aspects of economic progress, material, social welfare and responsible use of natural resources.
More than a half of the world’s population lives in urban areas near river, deltas, lagoons and coastal areas, so that the use of canals, dams, waterworks, dune recovery, flood protection, breakwaters and various works of infrastructure, have been built over many centuries without understanding the real environmental impacts, in many cases, irreversible. Ports have existed since the beginning of societies and the environmental norm is a product of the XX century, so we must recognize that we have been affecting the natural heritage for a long time in an involuntary and unthinking manner.
Climate change today, deepens the possibilities of risk for humanity as a whole, without passports and previous permit will affect the whole world. Insular areas or those below sea level, which, when rising sea levels, are the first affected.
Balancing the sustainable functioning of ecosystems with current and future demands is the great challenge of our times. Environmental standards, both universal and local, are not optional, are mandatory, to understand it is a good start.