Peace Boat makes the voluntary commitment to the concrete action of the Ecoship Project, a 55,000 ton, 2000 passenger capacity nature-inspired vessel which will set sail in 2020 as a flagship for the SDGs.
The ship itself seeks to implement Target 14.3, to minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification with an estimated 30% CO2 reduction compared to a good current design, and a zero-emission target in ports. These results will be achieved through the combination of energy efficiency in propulsion and accommodation (hull optimization, re-use of waste energy, anti-drag systems, cleaner fuels and fuel adaptability), the use of renewable energies (solar, wind, kinetic) as well as through management tools such as route and speed optimization. The Ecoship Project is committed to a target of zero discharge and close to zero waste operations and will incorporate closed-loop waste and water management systems, to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution (Target 14.1). New protocols will be thus developed based on the Reduce-Recycle-Reuse principles. Usable sub-products include potable-quality water, compost, fertilisers, carton, wood, paper and plastic. Crew will be trained in the use of technology and best practices for waste and water management.
A new model for sustainable cruising
Tourism - including cruising - is the one economic sector with the highest growth rate and with the highest capacity for job creation and wealth production. Furthermore, the cruising sector is booming particularly in Asia. But, in order to deliver all its benefits, sustainable operational practices need to be adopted.
The Ecoship is a forerunner of the change to come. Not only will its environmental impact be drastically reduced but also, it will build on Peace Boat's decades long experience in sustainable tourism. Peace Boat has been visiting SIDS and other coastal communities during its global voyages, organizing a wide range of activities in partnership with several local entities. These aim to benefit the wellbeing, the local economic net and the tourist infrastructure of the visited communities, while contributing to a learning and sharing experience for our participants.
A Vehicle for Education and Awareness Raising
Ecoship's contribution to SDG14 will come not only through its technology and design, but also through its diverse activities. Four annual global voyages will create the framework for hundreds of educational programmes, advocacy campaigns and applied research, as well as for hosting international conferences and world-class exhibitions on green technologies, climate action and ocean welfare. Educational programmes related to SDG 14 will include topics of marine and coastal ecosystems (Target 14.2), education on sustainable consumption (for the reduction of plastics) and involve hands-on action such as beach clean-ups or mangrove planting by participants (Target 14.1). Study and exchange programmes with communities on the front-line of marine degradation and rising sea levels, particularly in island communities, will raise awareness of the impact of ocean degradation. The ship will be used for capacity training, including on Disaster Risk Reduction to deal with the issues of ocean degradation while addressing the causes.
Updates to voluntary commitment
The Peace Boat Ecoship becomes operational: The Peace Boat Ecoship will be delivered as the first prototype of an ecological cruise ship. It combines the highest ever amount of green technologies to achieve the highest ecological performance, and the highest potential for educational and raising awareness experience. The Ecoship will be future-ready and could be easily retrofitted with new green technologies as they become available. The Ecoship is scheduled to sail 4 times around the world per year, visiting an average 100 ports per year and carrying continuously 1500 people.
A vehicle for change for the cruising and shipping industry: The Peace Boat Ecoship works in partnership with other organizations to help the energetic transition of the maritime transport sector towards decarbonization and cleaner energies. The technologies implemented and tested on the Ecoship will be readily available for other actors in the maritime transport sector. This can include other new builds in the cruising industry, but also other maritime mobility sector - including ferries - particularly in developing countries that depend largely on ocean connectivity. Furthermore, because of its high worldwide visibility and its closeness to the general public, the Ecoship has the potential to become a demand-driven catalyst for change in consumption habits related to the use of maritime transportation, both for goods and people.
A moving exhibition space for marine technologies: The Peace Boat Ecoship will become a global and moving exhibition space for the promotion of green technologies related maritime transportation and the ocean protection. During stays in ports, visits will be organized to explain the functioning of the several systems on board, including, among others, the propulsion system and wind propulsion, waste management system, and the overall energy flow on board. Furthermore, the exhibition hall on board will be used for the presentation of green maritime technologies.
A venue and messenger for advocacy campaigns: The Peace Boat Ecoship will engage with international civil society towards building a more peaceful and sustainable world. It will be used as a venue for international training sessions and a safe space for dialogue beyond borders. As the ship sails through the world's oceans, it will be the most inspiring venue to foster dialogue for creative solutions for ocean welfare. Further, it will serve as a tool for advocacy and awareness raising in the 100 ports around the world it visits each year, in collaboration with small island states on the front line of ocean degradation.