At the Forum of Maritime Education for a Sustainable Shipping, the International Maritime Lecturers Association (IMLA) celebrated its 40th anniversary on 8 December, 2020, with a focus on the achievements of the past decades and challenges of the future, as the Association seeks to promote exchanges and contact between world-wide maritime lecturers and support the sustainability of the shipping industry.
In June 1980, IMLA held its first major conference where the Association’s Constitution was first approved. By promoting contact and cooperation between Maritime Lecturers of all disciplines, IMLA, together with its three Special Interest Groups - INSLC, IMEC, and ICERS, has made a major contribution to the world maritime education and training over the past decades.
“As a forum for Maritime Education and Training lecturers, IMLA, in her 40 years voyage, has steered maritime academics from all over the world in promoting education, research, and capacity-building of the overall maritime industry. I commend you for exploring how maritime education and training can support a sustainable shipping industry to ensure the sustainability of our planet at today's event,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his video message to the IMLA 40 Years Forum.
In his presentation, Prof. Yongxing Jin, Honorary Chairman of IMLA, reported the work of IMLA in the past 40 years during which time IMLA has grown in size and strength to serve the needs of the maritime professionals. He expected IMLA would continue to be dynamic, forward-looking, and relevant to the needs of the shipping industry and maritime community of today and tomorrow.
Addressing the theme of the IMLA 40 Years Forum, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) reiterated “Sustainable maritime development requires a sustainability mindset at all levels of the maritime industry. All stakeholders have a role to play and maritime education and training is optimally placed to reach professionals in all parts of the integrated maritime system to affect a paradigm shift toward a global consciousness for a sustainable planet.”
Speaking as a representative of the Shanghai local government, Prof. Deyi Gao, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress, highlighted that the City of Shanghai is committed to create a better operation environment for international institutions including the IMLA Office. Prof. Lu Jing, President of the Shanghai Maritime University (SMU), said SMU would continue support the operation of IMLA Office to ensure the Association fulfill its mission for the world maritime education and training.
Echoing IMO’s World Maritime Day Theme of 2020, a panel discussion was held to address how maritime education and training could support the sustainability of shipping. Chaired by Prof. Clive Cole, Honorary Secretary of IMLA, topics discussed included maritime technology innovation, cleaner shipping, maritime education post COVID-19, women in maritime, as well as future roles of IMLA in supportive of a sustainable maritime industry. Prof. Takeshi Nakazawa, Chairman of IMLA-ICERS, Prof. Alison Noble, Chairman of IMLA-IMEC, Prof. Knud Benedict, former Chairman of IMLA-INSLC, Prof. Xin Shi, Vice President of SMU, and Prof. Michael Manuel, Head of MET of WMU and Chairman of Local Organizing Committee of IMLA 2021 Conference shared experience and contributed views at this technical session.
During the Forum, participants also heard congratulatory messages from some senior members of IMLA, including Capt. Fred Weeks, founding member of IMLA, Prof. Malek Pourzanjani, former Chairman of IMLA, Mr. Alain Brillault, Vice Chairman of IMLA, Prof. Capt. Peter Trenkner, former Chairman of IMLA-IMEC, Prof. Knud Benedict, former Chairman of IMLA-INSLC, and Prof. Vladimir Lanchukovsky, former Steering Committee member of IMLA-ICERS.
A dedicated movie IMLA 40 Years produced by the IMLA Office was presented to show the Association’s milestone events and its major accomplishments achieved in the last decades.
The Forum was organized in a combination of in-person attendance on the campus of SMU and virtual participation of some 160 world-wide maritime professionals from over 30 countries.
1. IMO Secretary-General Mr.Kitack Lim
2. Prof. Yongxing Jin, Honorary Chairman of IMLA
3. Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President
4.Prof. Deyi Gao, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress
5.Prof. Lu Jing, President of the Shanghai Maritime University (SMU)
6.Prof. Xin Shi, Vice President of SMU joined the panel discussion
8. SMU Conference Room