The success of the First International Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Devel-oping Countries (COPEDEC), held in Colombo Sri Lanka in March 1983, resulted in the sub-sequent holding of this special conference series once every four years in a developing country.

Successful conferences were held in:

  • Beijing, China (September 1987)
  • Mombasa, Kenya (September 1991)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (September 1995)
  • Cape Town, South Africa (April 1999)
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka (September 2003),
  • Dubai, UAE (February 2008)
  • Chennai, India (February 2012)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (October 2016)
  • Manilla, Phillippines (October 2023)

During the COPEDEC VI conference in Colombo, September 2003, a merger agreement between PIANC, the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure and COPEDEC was signed and consequent to this agreement, a new International Organizing Committee (IOC) was formed.

The active mission of the PIANC-COPEDEC Conferences is:

1.To provide an international forum where coastal and port engineers from developing coun-tries can exchange know-how and experience amongst themselves and with their col-leagues from industrialized countries;

2.To enable the developing countries to have a sustainable human resource pool of coastal and port development professionals.

The overall theme for COPEDEC is “Enhancing Waterborne Transport and Sustainable Coastal Development”

As with previous conferences, the emphasis on technical subjects remains. Papers will focus on practical applications, planning, management and environmental aspects of coastal, port and inland waterway engineering in developing and industrialized countries, including documentation of case studies.