EnviCom TG193: Resilience of the Maritime and Inland Waterborne Transport System (2020)

€ 105.00

Webinar 26 August 2021

Press release

To successfully operate, the maritime and inland waterborne transport system (MIWTS) must be resilient. Resilience is the capacity to anticipate and plan for disruptions, resist loss in operations and/or absorb the impact of disturbances, rapidly recover afterwards, and adapt to short- and long-term stressors, changing conditions and constraints. Stressors affecting the MIWTS include environmental, human-induced, energy-related, and others. Environmentally, climate change, such as patterns of precipitation, changes in relative water level, and altering freeze/thaw patterns are long-term disturbances for which maritime and inland ports and harbors must plan and adapt. Short-term disturbances such as increasingly frequent and intense storms and flooding on inland waterways can cause major national and international disruptions. Other environmental stressors include invasive species, seismic disruptions and tsunamis, and hazardous spills, amongst others. Human-related stressors include population dynamics, aging infrastructure, increasing demands and uses of waterways, and congestion at locks, ports and harbours. Reliance on limited energy resources, competing demands for use of waterways and the presence of offshore wind energy farms are examples of constraints that can hinder operations. Planning for mitigation to minimize disruptions from these and other potential stressors will serve to streamline operation of the MIWTS.

The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the state of knowledge concerning the short- and long-term stressors affecting safe and efficient operation of the MIWTS, now and into the future, and the best practices that have been learned and applied throughout both developing and advanced countries within the international community. Based on this assessment, the report concludes by summarizing future needs and recommending a path forward for PIANC activities to advance resilience of the MIWTS. The report is organized as follows. Chapter 1 presents background context for the assessment, including a review of PIANC and national-scale reports and definitions of pertinent terms. Chapter 2 summarises components of the MIWTS that are subjected to present and future risks. Chapter 3 presents case study examples in preparing for, responding to, recovering from and adapting after disturbances considering a range of stressors and contexts for the MIWTS. Chapter 4 synthesises this knowledge into best practices and lessons learned. Methods and tools that have been utilized to assess and guide actions for resiliency of the MIWTS are reviewed in Chapter 5, and Chapter 6 describes findings, identifies gaps and future needs, and recommends actions for PIANC to consider. Appendix A discusses the relationship between sustainability and resilience and how the two concepts complement one another. Supplemental sections provide acknowledgements, references, and the Task Group’s Terms of Reference. Appendix C details the abbreviations used throughout the report.

This report is intended to expand the discussion of resilience to incorporate a broader spectrum of system elements, stressors and constraints relevant to ports than have been considered to date. Aspects of navigation resilience pertinent to developing countries and extremely vulnerable maritime and inland ports are incorporated herein. Simple, inexpensive alternatives to increase resilience of ports and waterways are discussed and may be of particular interest for low-use ports and countries in transition.

  • Written by: EnviCom
  • Published: May 06, 2020