Arup and Resilience Rising, a global non-profit consortium, hosted a closed-door Roundtable during Singapore Maritime Week on Wednesday 26 April. The Roundtable was held in partnership with the Climate Champions Team who support the United Nations (UN) Climate Change High-Level Champions for COP27 and COP28 to drive real-world momentum into the UN Climate Change negotiations.

The event brought key maritime stakeholders together to advance maritime resilience; it was the first Roundtable since the formation of Resilience4Ports, a leading effort in the global maritime sector that will facilitate the mainstreaming of resilience into port value chain decision-making and action. 

Key stakeholders in attendance represent organisations including Jurong Port, Sentosa Development Corporation, UN Foundation and the World Economic Forum.

Maritime shipping is responsible for transporting 90% of global trade and provides a crucial link between communities and the global supply networks needed to support health, wellbeing and livelihoods. In the past decade, the fragility of global supply chains has had widespread impact on the global economy, businesses and communities. While the maritime sector is making great strides towards a decarbonised future, efforts must also be focused on reducing the sector’s vulnerability to ongoing global disruption.

Arup, in partnership with Resilience Rising, developed a Port Resilience Framework for Action which is a key agenda item of the Roundtable. The framework for action describes ten goals – across three dimensions: economy and society; leadership and strategy; and infrastructure and ecosystems – that together can transform port performance.

Sebastian Lee, our Maritime Business Leader in Singapore said, “Ports face a range of disruptive forces, from extreme weather and worker shortages to technology failures and political instability. Unfortunately, these challenges are only going to get worse and more complicated with time. While we can learn from past experiences, we can't rely on them to predict the future. In the first Roundtable since announcing our partnership with Resilience Rising, we discussed our framework for action, which provides a line of sight for resilience from a policy level through to implementation at a port asset level.”

Resilience Rising entered into a three-year strategic partnership agreement with Arup in July 2022 focused on defining and delivering actions and initiatives that will accelerate and influence the scale of resilience policy, practice and learning to build a more resilient society.

The Maritime Resilience Breakthroughs launched at COP27 will also be a key agenda item led by Katharine Palmer, Shipping Lead for the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, whose role is funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

“The maritime industry faces increasing exposure to shocks and stresses, including those caused by climate change, geopolitical uncertainty, and the need for social and environmental equity. The roundtable was a timely opportunity to bring stakeholders together in Singapore, home to one of the world’s greatest and busiest ports in maritime trade, to accelerate the pace and scale of resilience efforts in the sector,” said Ms Palmer.

Seth Schultz, CEO of Resilience Rising, said, “Ports sit right on the front line of urban, business, climate and infrastructure issues. They are critical to the operation of global supply networks, and to the wellbeing and livelihoods of the communities that rely on them. As the world faces increasingly complex and interconnected crises, we need to ensure that our ports are able to withstand and recover from shocks and stresses. Building port resilience is therefore vital to delivering transformative change to maritime infrastructure that will better serve cities, businesses and people worldwide.”