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The latest news about the activities of the Navigating a Changing Climate Initiative.

Thursday, 07 May 2020 15:57

New PIANC report on resilience of waterborne transport systems published

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Resilience refers to the capacity to anticipate and plan for disruptions, resist loss in operations and/or absorb their impacts, rapidly recover afterwards, and adapt to changing conditions and constraints. The properties of resilient systems are not new, but in the last decade increases in the disruptions and constraints affecting the Maritime and Inland Waterborne Transport System (MIWTS) have prompted further investigation into how to incorporate them into research, management, and operations.


The global spread of a novel coronavirus in 2019 (COVID-19) highlights the critical importance of making sure that the MIWTS is prepared to provide the functions of moving goods and people throughout unimaginable interruptions and crises spanning from the environment, to infrastructure systems, labor relations, human errors, and public health. Ports and harbors must plan and adapt to both long-term disturbances, such as climate change, and short-term disturbances such as natural disasters and increasingly frequent and intense storms and flooding on inland waterways. If not adequately addressed, these disturbances can cause major national and international disruptions. However, proper planning and mitigation to minimize disruptions and speed recovery from these and other potential hazards and constraints will serve to increase the resilience of the MIWTS.

This new report presents the results of Task Group 193’s review of pertinent documentation, PIANC and third-party reports and publications, unpublished reports and tools, and the practical experience and expertise of the Task Group 193 members. The objective of the report is to provide an understanding of resilience of the MIWTS, summarize knowledge to-date, and highlight future needs through the definition of key terms and a series of case studies, and finally, identify best practices and resilience-related decision-support tools.

The report also describes the relationship between resilience and other systems management concepts including sustainability, risk, and vulnerability.

The report can be accessed at https://www.pianc.org/publications/envicom/tg193. PIANC members can download the report free-of-charge.  Otherwise there is a charge.  However, note that for only € 95,00 (€ 35,00 for students ) you can become an individual member of PIANC. Individual members receive a login and password to access the members-only pages, from where all the published (English) PIANC reports can be downloaded FOR FREE. Find out more at https://www.pianc.org/join-pianc