Port of Cartagena – UN SDGs integration in port sustainability strategy

As part of its vision to become the most sustainable Mediterranean port, the Port Authority of Cartagena (Autoridad Portuaria de Cartagena – APC) aims to pioneer in integrating the UN SDGs in its governance, strategy, and activities. Port areas integrate social, environmental, and economic considerations, and as such ports are key areas for demonstrating a holistic application of the UN SDGs. By mobilising the entire port community in identifying and carrying out targeted actions, APC is committed to apply the UN Sustainability Agenda in practice and to demonstrate sustainable development in the port context. The Port’s strategy and objectives are therefore aligned with the UN SDGs and their mission to address the big challenges of the planet.

The starting point has been the identification and prioritization of the SDGs in which the Port of Cartagena could have a greater impact though dedicated actions. Crucial part in this exercise has been the involvement of the entire port community. Through a series of dedicated meetings, workshops and public events the port reached out to consult with port employees, students and other societal and community stakeholders on what they think the port should be doing and on identifying SDG priorities and concrete actions. Decent work and economic growth (SDG8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), partnership for the goals (SDG17), gender equality (SDG5), climate action (SDG13), and life below water (SDG14), were identified as top priority SGDs where the port has a direct contribution to make. For these priority SDGs, APC establishes a series of annual objectives and undertakes respective actions.

In a recent action, working further in bringing together the entire port community, the port signed a pact with fourteen organizations to commit to the sustainable development of the port of Cartagena. These include Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Agencia Marítima Blázquez, Amarradores, Spanish Navy, Boluda Towage, Maritime Captaincy of Cartagena, Enagás, Ership, Engie Energie, Ilboc, Repsol, Navantia, Yacht Port Cartagena and Zamora Company. The pact aims to develop the port of Cartagena into an environmentally safer and more sustainable space, compatible with port development and the port activity by carrying out joint projects that improve the overall contribution of the Port Community of Cartagena to the 2030 UN SDG Agenda.

As part of APC sustainability efforts, in recent years the water quality has considerably improved, marine and terrestrial ecosystems have been recovered, and port-city integration has greatly improved through targeted initiatives and innovative infrastructure projects.