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FACILITATING RETURN ON ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT - RESPONSIBLE AND PROFITABLE PORTS BUSINESS, UNINTERRUPTED! Dr Louis Celliers Safe and Sustainable Ports.

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Presentation on theme: "FACILITATING RETURN ON ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT - RESPONSIBLE AND PROFITABLE PORTS BUSINESS, UNINTERRUPTED! Dr Louis Celliers Safe and Sustainable Ports."— Presentation transcript:

1 FACILITATING RETURN ON ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT - RESPONSIBLE AND PROFITABLE PORTS BUSINESS, UNINTERRUPTED! Dr Louis Celliers Safe and Sustainable Ports CSIR – South Africa African Ports and Maritime Conference in Swakopmund, Namibia November 2011

2 © CSIR 2010Slide 2 About the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research Key areas of relevance to port management: Environmental health and compliance assessment and monitoring. Informing sustainable & safe port design and operations. Environmental planning and management frameworks. Material Sciences and Manufaturing Built EnvironmentConsulting and Analytical ServicesNatural Resources and the Environment CSIR is a parastatal comprising about 2500 staff members. Has a dual research and consulting role. Science and technology partner to TNPA for more than 50 years.

3 Port City – Urban Centre Port Area & Operations Hosting Environment Safe, sustainable and profitable ports Rapidly changing and highly dynamic climate Natural goods and services to society? How do ports optimise profits and maintain operations? Investing in Science and Environmental Assessment and Monitoring THE PORT TRIPARTITE

4 © CSIR 2010Slide 4 Economic - ports must operate uninterrupted using the opportunities within the hosting environment and avoiding or planning for threats Ethical – being a good neighbour to the port city and the hosting environment Why assess and monitor the natural environment in ports?

5 © CSIR 2010Slide 5 Legal requirements - many countries have established environmental quality objectives for port environments. International conventions - many countries are signatories to international conventions for the protection of coastal waters and oceans (e.g. London Convention). * CASE STUDY Why assess and monitor the natural environment in ports?

6 © CSIR 2010Slide 6 Environmental and human health – many African ports are very important habitats for flora and fauna, and are used by humans for recreational purposes and as a source of food (e.g. fishing). Why assess and monitor the natural environment in ports?

7 © CSIR 2010Slide 7 A port in southern Africa requires extensive maintenance and capital dredging. Original study of contaminants in sediment to determine whether dredging and dredged sediment disposal is environmentally safe was performed by an international company. Conclusion: sediment was significantly contaminated with chromium and nickel, and that further detailed studies and disposal strategies were needed. Port operating authority was about to implement an extensive coring program to determine the extent and depth of sediment contamination by chromium and nickel. This program was estimated to cost about R Case Study: Dredging Assessment Evidenced Based Conclusion: US$ saved in 30 minutes This ‘story’ has implications for all African ports. So how did science provide this saving of money? Understanding metal geochemistry.

8 © CSIR 2010Slide 8 Metals are a ubiquitous, naturally occurring component of sediment. Wherever there is sediment (or soil) there are metals. If you want to determine whether sediment is metal contaminated you need to separate the naturally occurring and anthropogenically introduced concentrations. This is achieved through the establishment of baseline metal concentration models. Case Study: Dredging Assessment So what?: dredging not required based on data from local metal concentration models!

9 © CSIR 2010Slide 9 Case Study: Dredging Assessment How did this situation arise? Compared the measured metal concentrations to sediment quality guidelines developed for Canada! Sediment quality guidelines are supposed to predict the probability of adverse impacts to sediment-associated organisms. FAILED to consider local geology and geochemistry. These sediment quality guidelines simply do not apply to the east coast of Africa (at least not of South Africa and the lower portion of Mozambique).

10 © CSIR 2010Slide 10 Key message Sound scientific understanding saved the client a large amount of money in a very short period of time, the saving was only possible as a result of informed, baseline research that was required to address this specific issue. Required the collection and analysis of a large number of sediment samples distant from human activities. It is often very difficult to convince port operating authorities that they sometimes need to perform research outside of the port environment to address and identify problems within the port boundaries. This simple example has convinced the port operating authority to develop site specific baseline metal concentrations. Case Study: Dredging Assessment Key Question: How to spend your savings?

11 STRATEGIC (the tripartite systems of the port): planning – design using opportunities and avoiding environmental threats – sustainability of profits. TACTICAL: dredging, monitoring of breakwaters, late as possible but not too late (reduce cost - improve efficiency. OPERATIONAL: S afe shipping – understanding the physical environment (currents, waves, winds, tides). Using Science: Evidence-based Decisions

12 State of Ports Africa: Environmental Management and Water Quality Objectives Conduct a rapid assessment and report upon a first African Environmental State of Ports; Design a regionally accepted generic framework for establishing Port Water Quality Management Plans; Assess capacity in LPPs to implement water quality monitoring in ports; Strengthen technical and environmental information and best practice exchange networks; and Develop and implement best practice guidelines. Abidjan & Nairobi Conventions & PPP? Inviting PMEASA collaboration

13 Thank you Louis Celliers Research Group Leader: Coastal Systems Natural Resources and the Environment CSIR


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