AP4D Symposium | Lives and Livelihoods: Improving Maritime Safety in the Pacific

August 30, 2023

On 30 August AP4D hosted a webinar to launch the paper ‘What does it look like for Australia to be a partner on Maritime Safety with the Pacific‘ – the culmination of four months of consultations with almost 30 experts from Australia and the Pacific. The paper outlines how Australia can partner with the Pacific to build on existing programs and strengthen maritime safety in the region by leveraging the expertise and capacity of regional organisations and other partners.

Proceedings began with some remarks from Laura Frech Cardenas, Director of Pacific Strategic Communications at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who spoke to the value of AP4D’s work in supporting the Office of the Pacific’s policymaking and engagement in the region.

Rhonda Robinson, the Pacific Community’s Director for the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division, then shared a regional perspective on the importance of maritime safety in the Pacific, both in terms of an essential societal need as well as an economic enabler.

Following a summary of the paper and the process that led to it from AP4D Program Lead Heather Wrathall, AP4D was delighted to hear responses to the paper from two policymakers.

Elisa Boughton, Manager of International Engagement at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, spoke about the importance of maritime safety as a mutual interest for Australia and its Pacific partners, and outlined ways in which AMSA partners with the region.

David Shoebridge, Senator for New South Wales and Greens spokesperson for Defence & Veterans’ Affairs, Digital Rights & IT and Justice then offered a response to the paper, with a particular focus on the need to decarbonise shipping, and calling on Australia to be more ambitious in other facets of climate action.