Peace Boat – Ecoship Project
1.The Cruise Industry is Booming
Led by North America and Europe, the cruise industry is going through a period of expansion. However, the Asian region is emerging as one of the fastest growing and most exciting cruise markets in the world, emblematic of the region’s potential and energy. Still in its infancy, the sector is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years, both as a destination region for cruise ships and as a market source for passengers.
However, in spite of concrete progress, the environmental impact of the cruising industry, in terms of air and ocean pollution and carbon emissions remains a matter of concern which should be properly addressed for the industry to grow sustainably.
For Peace Boat, this is not only a matter of responsibility and respect for the environment. There is also a great opportunity to develop a cruise industry that can a vector for socio-economic development at the local level, a vehicle to learn about each others culture and, last but not least, a way for a deeper understanding and peace building on a people to people level.
2. Peace Boat
Peace Boat has been innovating for positive global impact since its foundation in Japan in 1983. An NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN, Peace Boat has developed a unique social business model organizing educational and advocacy voyages around the world on a large passenger ship.
The substantial impact of the ship arriving in port is used – in cooperation with partner organizations around the world – to highlight critical issues, as well as offer innovative lifelong learning educational programs for sustainability and peace. The ship is used in awareness raising campaigns, to promote the Sustainable Development Goals with the Global Goals logo painted on its hull. It is a venue for training programs as diverse as peace and conflict resolution or disaster resilience. More than 60,000 people have participated in over 90 global and regional voyages, and 100,000s more have been inspired in the over 100 countries visited every year.
In 2014, Peace Boat initiated the Ecoship project, a transformational programme to construct the planets’ most sustainable cruise ship. The Peace Boat – Ecoship is the next step in our 30-year evolution, and, apart from being the platform for global educational voyages, it will host exhibitions on green technologies and serve as a floating laboratory contributing to research on the ocean, climate and green marine technology.
3. The Peace Boat – Ecoship
The Ecoship, with its visionary whale-inspired design combines innovative energy efficiency measures; boundary defying use of renewable energies; nature-inspired design and the implementation of real ecosystems on board. Expected to sail in 2020, it will achieve, cumulatively, 20% cuts in propulsion energy, 50% cuts in electricity load, and 30% reduction on CO2 emissions (compared to a good current design). It is also committed to a target of zero discharge and close to zero waste operation and will incorporate closed-loop waste and water management systems to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution.
Furthermore, the Ecoship will be future-ready, integrating cleaner and more efficient technologies as they become available for maritime use. Its whole system design, with its striking 10-solar panelled sails, will be a game-changer in the cruise industry and offer an economically viable transitional model to the de-carbonization of the maritime sector.
4. A vehicle for Green Cruising, Education and Awareness Raising on the Sustainable Development Goals
Four annual global voyages – with about 2000 people on board and visiting 100 ports per year – will create the framework for hundreds of educational programmes, advocacy campaigns and applied research, as well as for the hosting of international conferences and world-class exhibitions on green technologies, climate action and ocean welfare. Educational programmes related to the SDGs will include topics of marine and coastal ecosystems, education on sustainable consumption, and involve hands-on action such as beach clean-ups or mangrove planting by participants in the countries and communities visited.
Sustainable tourism principles and best practices for the cruising sector will be further developed together with our partners in each port that include ports and port authorities, travel agents and tour operators as well as local authorities, local communities, NGOs and civil society in general.