Unlocking the potential of inland water transport can support sustainable transport systems and boost social and economic development.
Inland waterways such as rivers, lakes and coastal routes can provide a sustainable complement to the shipping of goods by road and rail. Transport by water can bring benefits in terms of improving safety and reducing congestion on the roads, and also offers lower energy consumption and better environmental performance.
However, the use of inland waterways for shipping is still low, with only 6% of the total volume of goods transported in Europe from 2010-2015. Worldwide, there is significant potential to scale-up the use of inland water transport.
On 18-19 April 2018, UNECE and the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland will jointly hold the International Ministerial Conference “Connecting by Inland Navigation”, the first-ever high-level event for inland navigation held at the global level, which aims to bring practical value in terms of safety, environmental aspects, logistics, and benefits for the economy.
The Conference builds on growing international momentum in the promotion of inland water transport as a means to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Conference will emphasize the importance of the role of inland water transport for the sustainable functioning of national transport systems and the contribution it can make to social and economic development.
All countries having a vested interest in inland water transport, river commissions, international organizations, associations, industry and academia are invited to come together in Wroclaw. In particular, Ministers and all stakeholders are invited to join the efforts to increase the policy focus on fostering the role of inland water transport, maximizing the potential of inland waterways and addressing the challenges of sustainable development of mobility with reference to inland water transport. For this purpose, Ministers will be invited to sign the Ministerial Declaration to endorse the objectives for the next key steps to be taken and propose strategic actions.
The Conference will cover key aspects for the development of inland waterway sector, including:
- The coordinated development of inland waterways at national and regional level
- Inland water transport around the world
- Major international projects and investments in inland waterways
- Employment and education in inland navigation
- Reducing the carbon footprint of inland navigation and advancing climate action
- The legislative framework for inland water transport and UN legal instruments.
The preliminary programme, logistical information and online registration are available on the Conference website: www.connectingiww.pl