Session FT 1.06
Water and transport
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan (MLIT)
Mekong River Commission (MRC)
International Navigation Association (PIANC)
Ministry of Construction and Transportation, Republic of Korea (MOCT)
Unites States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Recently, with growing concern to improve the transportation sector, that is both a major consumer of fossil fuels and a major emitter of greenhouse gases, there is high expectation for the use of the energy-efficient and environmental friendly Inland Water Transport (IWT), which also includes coastal water transport. The promotion of IWT, however, is not an easy task as it faces various constraints. It is necessary to improve technology and knowledge, based on worldwide experiences in IWT to resolve the following key issues hindering the utilization and promotion of IWT:
- IWT remains widely under-utilized in reviving urban functions at waterfronts – including recreation, disaster mitigation, and economic activities;
- Insufficient interfaces between surface transport and IWT limit effective logistics;
- Exchanging information on IWT among concerned organizations remains insufficient, while available data is still limited;
- Prior investment in water resources may not be properly understood, which may lead to a lack of reinvestment in IWT related facilities;
- Poor awareness among public and policy makers on the advantages and potential use of IWT means that insufficient financial and human resources are allocated to the development of the IWT sector, especially in developing countries.
- Establishment of a joint, trusting partnership between IWT related stakeholders, both public and private, is invaluable for the recovery of navigation systems after disasters;
- It is necessary to raise the public awareness on the contribution of IWT to develop a sustainable and environmental friendly navigation system;
- To develop cross border navigation, it is necessary to establish a regional legal framework that define common standards, procedures, and rules for navigation;
- Exchange of information is essential for the promotion of IWT by sharing best practices, knowledge, and experience in IWT;
- All stakeholders are to participate in the decision processes of the projects from the early stages in implementing a construction of IWT projects; and
- Major rehabilitation and modernization of IWT infrastructures in conjunction with life-cycle management are essential to satisfy the growing needs of freight transportation.
- IWT is a low cost and fuel-efficient mode of transport, especially for the transportation of bulk materials that are not time-sensitive;
- IWT has proved to be indispensable at times of disasters when land transportation cannot be utilized;
- IWT has the potential to revive urban functions, and contribute to creating opportunities for economic development; and
- IWT needs to be promoted through enhancing awareness of the public and policy-makers on the multi-functional advantages of IWT.
Orientations for Action
- To promote environment friendly networks of logistics by fully utilizing IWT with improved interfaces with other modes of transport, and by supporting new relationships between providers and maintainers of water resources and the users of these facilities;
- To expedite development assistance and capacity building to promote IWT in developing countries, and to strengthen information networks between the promoters of IWT worldwide through updating of the IWT Network, international meetings and documentation; and
- To strengthen emergency management utilizing IWT in light of intensifying natural disasters and emergencies, and to revive urban functions through activation of the historically important urban waterfront.
Local Actions presented
Regional Economic Integration through Improved Mekong Navigation
Sin Chhay, Mekong River Commission
The most striking weakness of navigation on the Lower Mekong Basin is the lack of a regional legal framework that defines common standards, procedures, and rules for navigation. MRC Navigation Programme (NAP) Component 2 on Legal Framework for Cross-border Navigation will establish an appropriate legal framework ensuring effective freedom of regional and cross border navigation on the Mekong and ensure its implementation and sustainability.
MRC NAP will install aids to navigation to mark navigation channels, formulate common navigation rules and regulations, prepare strategies to both prevent and combat pollution, and support contingency planning.
Originality and Innovative Ideas: The programme applies a holistic and integrated approach to navigation development. Environment, social, economic, and technical aspects are well balanced to accommodate the strong call for development while ensuring that development is sustainable.
Kyungin Canal Project
Jae-Heung Yoon, Korea Water Resources Corporation
The Gulpocheon project for flood control, in which the flood would be drained directly into the West Sea instead of the Han River by constructing a drainage canal, was started by the central government in 1993. To maximize the efficiency of the drainage canal, the Kyungin Canal was planned to be constructed by enlarging the Gulpocheon enough for the transportation by ships, and building two terminal facilities and several bridges. However, there were a lot of difficulties in implementing the project because of environmental impact and feasibility issued by residents and NGO's.
The project will significantly reduce traffic loads of roads and railways between Seoul and Incheon, which is one of the most heavily used corridors in Korea.
Originality and Innovative Ideas: The project is planned to be implemented stage-wise from flood control to transportation.
Inland Waterway Transport in Japan
Minoru Kuriki, MLIT
In Japan, various attempts are being made to promote the use of IWT to create a safe and sustainable society by promoting modal shift of freight transport from trucks to IWT, establishing reverse logistics networks by IWT and recycle ports, developing disaster management networks with IWT and regional disaster prevention base camps, promoting IWT-centered tourism and urban revitalization, supporting research and development of IWT vessels, and strengthening international cooperation for IWT development through JICA development studies and updating information on the IWT Network.
The IWT Network, in particular, was proposed at the 3rd World Water Forum as a knowledge base to share best practices, knowledge, and experience in IWT. To put this proposal into practice, the proposal was discussed by 12 countries most of which are UNESCAP member countries, at the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Networking of Inland Water Transport and Dredging Institutions. Japan played an important role in opening the "IWT Network" website (http://www.iwtnetwork.jp/).
The mechanism of information sharing through the web has led to the dissemination of information on IWT to people who perform searches for related words and happen to visit this site to support a deepening of the recognition, the development, and the awareness of IWT.
Originality and Innovative Ideas: As a portal site for the information on the world’s IWT, the construction of sites to provide basic information in each country can be supported.
Inland Navigation in the United States
Robert A. Pietrowsky, USACE
The waterways played a historic role in settlement of the interior of the U.S. Today, IWT provides critical freight capacity in the United States, largely for the movement of bulk commodities and primary manufactured goods. The system includes nearly 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways and canals, supported by locks at 196 sites throughout the system. Much of this infrastructure is aging and in need of major rehabilitation, modernization, or replacement to add needed capacity. Without planning for life-cycle maintenance and improvement of inland waterway infrastructure, the reliability of the system will erode over time, and shippers will become increasingly reluctant to make investments in equipment and facilities that depend on water transportation. At the same time, freight transportation requirements in the U.S. is projected to increase by 70 percent between 2000 and 2020. As highways and railroads become increasingly congested, waterways will offer critical additional capacity.
Life-cycle investment for rehabilitation and modernization is critical to meeting U.S. freight transportation needs by 2020 and will be essential for waterway shippers and carriers to have confidence in the system. The waterways offer opportunities for new freight movements, such as container-on-barge, and the introduction of innovative vessels and handling technologies.
Originality and Innovative Ideas: New designs for inland waterway infrastructure, improved construction techniques, electronic charting and traffic control, and enhanced environmental mitigation and restoration, require continued research and implementation.