Panama is implementing the Blue Economy

by H.E. Mrs. Yasiel Burillo - 4 April, 2022, 12:00 1571 Views 0 Comment

The World Bank has defined, the blue economy as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for the purpose of economic growth, improve quality of life, and development new jobs while preserving the health of the ecosystems”.

In this sense, with a modern infrastructure and privileged location, Panama has become the maritime hub in the region, with a world-class port infrastructure, covering the two sides, Pacific and Atlantic, optimizing a global maritime route through which 5% of all the world´s goods circulate, and the largest international ship´s registry of the globe with almost the 17% of the worlds fleet.

Panama Ship Registry leading changes in environmental sustainability

For our country and its Registry, environmental protection is of great importance, which is why it seeks to support, through various forums, the establishment of measures and good practices in the international maritime industry.

For these actions and more, Panama is recognised through the distinction we received today, by the International Maritime Organization (IOM) in our recent re-election in Category “A”. This is the highest level of the Council of this Organization that governs the world maritime transport where only 10 countries participate. Thus, reaffirming our position as a world maritime power.

For several years, the Ship Registry has offered incentives to newly built ships, which protect the marine environment. More recently, the Registry has created additional incentives for ships using clean fuels, the ECO-SHIP. The registration of ships can opt for this incentive Eco-Ships is growing which benefits shipowners and their fleets.


Recently, at the last COP26, Panama, was a signatory of the Declaration of Zero Emissions in the Maritime Industry for 2050, understanding the importance of protecting the environment and ecosystems.

The Government of Panama made commitments on the following issues:

  • Declaration on the management and conservation of the Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor for the conservation and management of the Ecosystems included in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (Migravías Cocos, Galapagos, Malpelo, Coiba).
  • Agreement to reduce methane gas emissions by 30% by 2030, signed by Panama along with 80 other countries.
  • Commitment to end deforestation by 2030, where the country is a signatory, as well as 100 other countries.
  • President Laurentino Cortizo was a Witness of Honor at the signing ceremony of the Carbon Negative Countries Declaration. Being Panama one of the three countries signing it.
  • Panama signed the Glasgow Declaration for a fair water footprint

Panama supports environmental protection at IMO

For the Panamanian Maritime Administration, respect for international standards and care for the environment are very important issues and are part of the process of constant improvement of our Ship´s Registry.

The Permanent Mission of Panama to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) participated in the seventy-seventh meeting on the Protection of the Marine Environment (MEPC 77), last November, with the discussion of issues relating to ballast water, prevention of air pollution, energy efficiency of ships and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. In addition, two new results were approved:

  1. The development of a training manual for new Port State Control personnel.
  2. The development of guidance in relation to the IMO Member State Audit Plan (IMSAS) to assist Member States in implementing Code III.

Likewise, our country supports the creation of the Research and Development Fund to be managed by the International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) and supervised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), intended to accelerate the development of new technologies in maritime transport, which are very necessary for the decarbonization of the sector.

For Panama and our Ship´s Registry, issues related to environmental protection are of great importance and will support, through different forums and the measures that must be implemented for the benefit of the international maritime industry.

Finally, we want to openly invite all the global maritime community, to join us in the worldwide conference “Our Ocean” 2023, that will take place in Panama, with the main objective of work to achieve progress in the protection of the environment and in the management of climate change.

H.E. Mrs. Yasiel Burillo
Author is the Ambassador of Panama to India and Consul General of Panama, Mumbai

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