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The IMO International Maritime Law Institute

New major grant to improve safety across the maritime industry

Lloyd’s Register Foundation has awarded £1,000,000 in funding to the IMO International Maritime Law Institute to support its work in the adoption and effective implementation of maritime legislation to address emerging maritime safety challenges.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation has today announced that it has awarded a £1,000,000 grant to the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). The five-year grant aims to bolster the adoption and effective implementation of maritime legislation that addresses emerging safety challenges, particularly around digitalisation and decarbonisation.  

This investment will fund bespoke training for a global cohort of 16 maritime law experts, who will each play a critical role in building resilience and improving safety across the maritime industry, especially in the Global South. 

Tim Slingsby, Director of Skills and Education at Lloyd’s Register Foundation, commented: “The emergence of new infrastructures, systems and technologies throughout the maritime system is bringing us closer to net zero but also creates new safety challenges for those working at sea. As the blue economy rapidly scales up to meet the needs of a growing population, the need for more robust, international regulatory frameworks will become even more acute – as will the need to develop capacity and capability to develop these frameworks. Our strengthened partnership with IMLI reinforces our commitment to better ocean governance and will help to ensure that people working across the maritime system are safe from harm.” 

While the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) provides the framework through which countries around the world adopt conventions and keep the maritime industry safe and sustainable, it does lack the authority to enforce these conventions on the ground, relying on local courts and lawyers to implement their regulations and ensure compliance. Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s grant to IMLI will ensure maritime professionals have the skills required to prescribe these conventions into national law and uphold them effectively, building local legal expertise in emerging maritime economies – particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and sea level rises. 

Norman Martinez, IMLI Director, said “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Lloyd’s Register Foundation has been a great supporter of the Institute since its establishment and has always believed in the Institute’s mission for enhancement of capacity-building around the globe. The Institute and the Foundation share a common vision and this new grant bears testament of our joint efforts in ensuring that the oceans are safe and secure. IMLI operates under the framework of IMO and has distinguished itself for the quality education it offers. I am grateful to the Foundation and all its staff for understanding why the international maritime community needs IMLI now more than ever. As the oceans and the maritime industry are continuously under threats, we need to invest in human capacity to see the difference that we want. This grant, the first ever in the history of our relations, will cement further the very fruitful collaboration between our institutions and will consolidate the reputation both entities enjoy in the maritime field.” 

IMLI is recognised as the international authority on maritime law education. Lloyd’s Register Foundation and IMLI’s strategic relationship spans over three decades, overseeing the graduation of 53 fellows, including 33 women and 17 from Africa specifically, to join a formidable network of professionals delivering safety-critical work in their home nations.  

Ms. Liyuwork Amare Shiferaw, a Foundation-funded graduate from Ethiopia, describes how her time at IMLI helped realise her ambitions in the maritime industry. “Post-IMLI, I was promoted to lead the Legal Department and later the Maritime Administration Departments of the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority as a Director. Following this, I joined the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration as Legal Consultant and was recruited by the IMO to take part in its technical cooperation missions in Zambia and Zimbabwe as a legislation drafting expert.” 

Since Ms. Donnette Streete graduated from IMLI with distinction in 2018, she has played a key role in a proposal to establish a National Oceans Council in Guyana. In addition, Donnette is proud to have been appointed as Guyana’s lead negotiator for the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). “[IMLI training] gave me the skills to protect Guyana’s marine environment while helping different maritime sectors to co-exist safely. None of this would have been possible without IMLI and Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Our seas will be cleaner and safer because of their support.” 

Support IMLI and their mission to improve the adoption and implementation of maritime law by visiting their website

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