01 FEB 2006
The ocean covers two thirds of the earth’s surface, provides food, energy and heat, is home to more living species than the land and sustains all form of life. In 1969 and 1970 Thor Heyerdahl sent the United Nations two reports on the pollution of the Atlantic Ocean. The reports were made on the basis of observations made during his expeditions with the RA I and RA II papyrus rafts, and were one of the elements that formed the background to the international community’s extensive efforts to improve the state of the ocean. In June 1999 the Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award was launched by Mr Heyerdahl and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. The purpose of the award is to:
Maritime transport appears to be the most environmentally friendly method of transport, generating only a minor proportion of the total marine pollution. But heightened environmental standards in the shipping industry will be an important contribution to an improvement of the conditions of the oceans. Shipping therefore has a special responsibility for the marine environment, and it is hoped that the award will inspire the maritime community world-wide to make an effort to improve that environment.
The award is granted every two years, and will next be given in 2007. Gard, as one of the supporters of the award, is helping to encourage companies and individuals to enter.
How to qualify for the Award?
In 2001 the award was won by The Green Award Foundation, and in 2003 by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF). The 2005 award was given to NYK Line on 19th May 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese company’s focus on environmental issues was triggered by an oil spill from one of their vessels in Tokyo Bay about eight years ago. Since that time they have worked hard to improve their performance, and the award recognised their remarkable commitment to the continuous improvement of its environmental performance.
More information about the award can be found at www.heyerdahlaward.com.