International Maritime Pavilion



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International Maritime Pavilion
Pavillon Maritime International

Yeosu, South Korea and Milano, Italy

An international Maritime Pavilion at the World Expo

1.     Introduction
1.1  History
2.    Blue growth
2.1  Port cities and maritime regions
2.2  Responsibility and impact on marine eco-systems and ocean life
2.3   Importance of marine science and technologies
2.4  Global heritage to preserve
3.    Conclusion

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1. Introduction

In 2012, during 4 months, the Korean City of Yeosu will became a centre of the world, gathering representatives from most nations and international organisations for the world exhibition.

Based on the tradition of the event, the world show will developed around a central theme, and, for this 2012 edition, the theme was the “Ocean”: "Diversity Resources and Sustainable Activities" under the motto the “Living Ocean and Coast” declined into three subthemes:

  • Preservation and Sustainable Development of the Ocean and Coast
  • New Resources Technology
  • Creative Marine Activities

The event provided an international framework for exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices on the multiple facets of that hot and typically global topic: a growing exploitation of the ocean and its impacts.

The ocean is taking a growing role in global economy and has become a true international stake. Maritime transportation ensures about 90% of global exchanges, more than 50% of the world population is living at less than 50 km from the shoreline, but the big and growing interest for the ocean is also due to its resources – oil, gas, minerals, bio-resources, offshore wind – and to its role in the meteorological, climatic and biological balance of our planet.

Thus, for the 21st century, the Ocean is like a new Eldorado, pulling the development of maritime activities and the demand for technologies, material, services and expertise, for ocean exploration and exploitation as well. However, this attractiveness has a cost: While being still an unknown world, we do know that this world – the Ocean – is threatened by human activities, offshore and onshore.

In this context, the 95th edition of the world expo, in Yeosu, South Korea, provided the opportunity to gather the “Ocean World” in a common place, unfortunately not in a common space like an “International Maritime Pavilion” addressing all marine actors from science, industry, policy, economy and administration.

The initiative of materializing the oceans during the World Expos is the logical next step by addressing all marine actors from science, industry, policy, economy and administration.

Thus, besides the traditional pavilions that all illustrate their own national or regional assets, this international space would represent the world wide maritime community inducing interest and discussions on our future maritime world.

On the long run the intention is to establish a veritable "International Maritime Pavilion" on all the following world exhibitions independent of the specific motto: A maritime component inside the event. Milano/Italy in 2015 could be another step forward.

This brochure illustrates the core ideas of that initiative.

The document has been produced by a network of partners from over the sea world and from various organisations. Its goal is to feed discussions with all potential partners, sponsors interested by the action. Your ideas and contributions are welcome.

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1.1 History

The idea of a joint participation of port cities, maritime regions and their local partners was first discussed with international and intergovernmental organisations for the world expo that took place in Shanghai in 2010. It was a result of their cooperation in various marine and maritime sectors. The idea of an international space to organise a coordinated participation of the “Blue World”, received an enthusiastic support from many various actors. In spite of the positive resonance it was however too late for realization in 2010. The 2012 edition of the world expo provides an even better framework to realise it, due to the motto of the event and to the material and ideas gathers since two years.

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2. An international action for ”Blue Growth”:
    What is to be highlighted?

2.1 A growing global & regional economy,
      The weight and role of port cities and maritime regions

With globalisation phenomena, the “Blue Planet” is becoming a major driver of the economy: Ports and port cities are the corner stones of that global activity. If they are per nature major transportation and economic hubs, driving local and regional development from all marine and maritime related activities, they are also the connection point between two worlds on Earth: Land and Sea, between human activities onshore and offshore.

For port cities and maritime regions, the questions raised by “sustainable development” concepts address concrete and complex issues. They constitute a set of challenges for public authorities, who have to deal with urban, social, economic, cultural, environmental facets of the development prism to define suited policies, in a more and more competitive and global world.

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2.2 A special responsibility and impact on marine eco-systems and
      ocean life

The plenitude of competing demands in coastal regions can’t be met without genuine urban, port, coastal and maritime spatial planning, based on knowledge information systems and policy making tools. It is both a constraint and an opportunity to integrate into consideration the whole city with its maritime and terrestrial faces, into an overall planning process that takes all “city and sea users”.

Being the doors to the sea, it is thus a duty for port cities and maritime territories to deliver some key messages about sustainable development policies in coastal regions and their impacts at global scale. Maritime activities have measurable impacts on marine environment, eco-systems, and as result, on oceanic and climatic phenomena.

The questions raised by the “global change” have reached the conscious of individuals, just as wavelets over the beaches. But the question remains mysterious for most and nobody knows exactly the real impact, neither the true origin nor the evolution of the problem. What science knows is that the oceans take an important part in the climatic balance of our world, and that the balance is already threatened by the environmental degradation of coastal, marine and deep-sea eco-systems.

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2.3 Importance of marine science and technologies

Ocean’s and the underwater world are still quite unknown and magic at the same time. Marine research in all scientific and technological disciplines enables discovering their richness, and provides innovation in many fields concerned by “global change”:

  • The development of new energy sources
  • The exploration and exploitation of deep sea resources
  • Aquaculture and biotechnology
  • The reduction of atmospheric and water pollution with integrated coastal zones management
  • Safer transport and cleaner ships
  • Ocean monitoring and understanding climatic changes

International cooperation is a prerequisite to face the global challenges of our century. All these efforts reduce human impact on the environment and support territories and their population to adapt themselves to global and local changes. Marine science and technology is one facet that will be discussed, explained and promoted during the exhibition.

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2.4 A global heritage to preserve

Port cities constitute a fundamental part of human history with centuries of adaptation, use and discovery of the seas. This cultural heritage1 is one of the many messages port cities and maritime regions wish to share, for four months and more, with all peoples of the world. It is a starting point for exchanges of experience and visions.

In front of the oceans, a collective memory does exist and should be preserved for future generation. It constitutes a world heritage with its entire diversity. Thematic expositions plus side events like conferences will be an occasion to demonstrate the puzzle of maritime culture and architecture, which can’t be separated from their offshore extensions: The ports, ships, islands, underwater and offshore theatres.

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3. Conclusion:
    A dedicated Pavilion for a stronger concern on maritime world

Following the “blue” line of sustainable development, the International Maritime Pavilion will gather the “Ocean World inside the World Expo” and will create emulation among maritime territories, link interest and concern for the maritime world through exhibitions, public conferences and professional workshops. The various aspects of problems would thus be addressed by three major goals:

  • To consider new and sustainable development paths, as a way to preserve beauty and resources of the oceans;
  • To contribute to creating a Blue Economy,
  • To design a new image of maritime territories: creative, innovative and conscious of their commitment towards their core resource: the Ocean.

Finally, one main wish is to let visitors enter into the maritime cultures, feel the beauty of oceans, and to create a collective will to preserve those pieces of art menaced by human activities.

Like Shanghai in 2010, Yoesu was an excellent place to promote this initiative, hopefully implemented for future Expos. Yeosu is a beautiful and creative city, which developed itself with the sea. It offers a unique duality of history and future, between business and harbour centres. The city and multitude of islands offer quite a symbolic picture of all values which port cities aim to share: Building a bridge between beauty and economy, art, culture and science for a “Blue Economy”.

Meanwhile, the UN and the maritime communities have used this opportunity to claim the importance of the ocean for mankind and sustainable development. The modern "Blue Growth" concept was actually born there.

The next edition will take place in Milano (2015) under the motto “food for the planet”. If you feel concerned by this motto and the will to underline the role of the oceans in earth life chains, please contact us.

To download the World Expo brochure as a PDF: click here

1 Twenty States have now ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage1, which therefore entered into force on 2 January 2009.

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International Maritime Pavilion --- Pavillon Maritime International --- Internationaler Maritimer Pavillon

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