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World Marine AtoN Day Celebration and International AtoN Forum 2020

The IALA 13th General Assembly of 29th May 2018 in Incheon, Korea, considering an objective of promoting a greater awareness to mariners and the wider public of the vital role of marine aids to navigation in ensuring the safety and efficiency of navigation, decided to establish the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day to be held on July 1 each year.

In view of the difficult circumstances that we all continue to experience due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in association with Korea Institute of Aids to Navigation held the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day celebration in conjunction with the International Aids to Navigation Forum 2020 on November 16, 2020 at the Sejong Convention Center, Sejong City, Korea.

The Ministry celebrated the World Marine AtoN Day in the presence of the Minister MOON Seong-Hyeok, the Secretary-General Kitak LIM of IMO, the Secretary-General Francis ZACHARIAE of IALA, the President of Korea Institute of Aids to Navigation, the Chairman of Korea Lighthouse Cultural Heritage Committee and honored guests as well as 300 AtoN professionals from home and abroad online.

The celebration included official commendations from the Minister and the grand prize award-winning work screening of 2020 Lighthouse Tour Video Contest. The Minister said in his opening speech, “I am very honored to mark the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day, giving us an opportunity to promote greater awareness to mariners and the wider public regarding the crucial role of aids to navigation to facilitate the safe and efficient navigation of vessels and to enhance the protection of the marine environment”. He also emphasized that the enormous wave of changes ushered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic have been transforming the way we live and economic structures.

Secretary-General of IMO, Kitak LIM said in his video congratulatory remarks that cooperation between shipping, ports and aids to navigation will be vital for enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of shipping therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic recovery and prosperity.

Secretary-General of IALA, Francis ZACHARIAE emphasized in his video congratulatory remarks that having knowledge of our history allows us to understand where we are coming from, which in turn allows us to understand our present as well as to create a better future.

In commemoration of World Marine AtoN Day and 2nd anniversary of the 19th IALA Conference, the International Aids to Navigation Forum 2020 on the subject of the lighthouse heritage preservation and sustainable use, and future smart aids to navigation was held for two and a half hours after the World Marine AtoN Day celebration, joined by 300 participants from 12 countries and sister organizations as well as international guest speakers from Australia, Canada and France.

The Forum provided a unique international platform for exchange of ideas and experiences amongst researchers, practitioners and regulators in the aids to navigation field. The Forum conducted 7 oral presentations and 2 sessions of comprehensive discussions, which focus on the fields of lighthouse heritage and future aids to navigation. These presentations offered solutions to problems, utilized case studies, identified knowledge gaps, and discussed broader applications.