The Port of Vigo launched, pioneeringly in Europe, the implementation of a Blue Growth strategy through a participatory methodology to promote competitiveness, efficiency, and sustainability in all port-related activities. One of the key focus areas of the Port of Vigo’s Blue Growth strategy is humanization. Port of Vigo aims to position itself as an inclusive port, dedicated to people and committed to the training of new professions, social cohesion of sectors and individuals associated with the sea, and social innovation initiatives, in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
To achieve this objective, the Port of Vigo has established the Welfare Committee, the first of its kind in Galicia and the Atlantic and Cantabrian coast. It consists of 18 institutions, providing a multidisciplinary approach and diverse perspectives. These “key stakeholders” in the maritime world have firsthand knowledge of the sector and its needs. Additionally, social and business collectivities, institutions, and law enforcement agencies are also represented.
The Committee is based on dialogue and active listening among its members, serving as a meeting point and forum for sharing knowledge and experiences on these matters with a single goal to “improve the quality of life for those who work and visit the Port of Vigo.” It has proven to be the most effective participation system for identifying shortcomings and collaboratively seeking solutions.
The Committee has carried out various activities to promote the inclusion of seafarers, such as collaboration with international organizations, NGOs, and healthcare centers; awareness and environmental education initiatives; integration and recreational activities; assistance and support during times of need or crisis; training programs; initiatives to enhance health and occupational safety conditions, among others. The Port of Vigo will propose the replicability of the Welfare Committee within the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Blue Ports network to create an international network.