UAE: Record-Breaking Attendance at CEDA-IADC Environmental Training Course in Abu Dhabi
“Understanding the ecosystem is essential. It not only helps mitigate potential negative impacts, but also improves and enhances the wider project environment – something that each dredging project should seek to achieve”, emphasized one of the lessons of the CEDA-IADC’s course “Environmental Aspects of Dredging” course leader Gerard van Raalte.
The Training Course, jointly developed and presented by the Central Dredging Association (CEDA) and the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC), was held on 13-14 December 2011, in Abu Dhabi. Initiated and sponsored by the National Marine Dredging Company, NMDC, the course took place at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).
With 37 participants attending, this was definitely the biggest EAD course ever held. With so many participants, the organisers had to enlist some extra help: The two regular lecturers Gerard van Raalte (Boskalis/Hydronamic, the Netherlands) and Nick Bray (HR Wallingford, UK) were assisted by Mark van Koningsveld (Van Oord, the Netherlands), Michael Costaras (HR Wallingford, UK) and Lena Paipai (independent consultant, Dubai).
“Even with this special arrangement, we were unable to accommodate all registrants. It was a hard decision to say no to a number of people who very much would have liked to join us. However, we needed to limit the class size in order to safeguard the quality of the working sessions which are designed for hands-on attention in small groups”, explained René Kolman, Secretary General of IADC.
“Given the demand we will be back in the region shortly”, confirmed CEDA’s General Manager Anna Csiti. “Our aim is to disseminate knowledge about environmentally responsible design and the implementation of dredging projects as broadly as possible and we are delighted with the great interest in the subject. We are doing our best not to disappoint anyone who would like to deepen or broaden their knowledge in this area”.
Two very full days
Compacted into two very full days, the course is composed of lectures and working group sessions. Topics covered include an overview of the “players” who may become involved in dredging projects and their perspectives; main types of dredging equipment, their environmental effects and possible mitigation measures; pre-dredging site investigations, monitoring and dredged material management. During the workshops, participants work in small groups to come up with solutions for dredging projects showing close resemblance to real-life dredging situations.
Participants represented a broad range of fields and expertise. They came from dredging contractors, consultants, promoters of dredging works, shipyards and so on. Most of them live and work in Abu Dhabi, but people also came from far-away countries such as Australia, and Ireland.
“We were very pleased with the attendees. Throughout the course they were very active, eager to learn and to work, and particularly diligent during the workshops. This makes our work as lecturers much more pleasant and rewarding”, Nick Bray commented.
While the course is based on the book Environmental Aspects of Dredging that was produced as a joint effort by CEDA and IADC and published by Taylor and Francis in 2008, the course material is constantly updated to reflect the most current knowledge and thinking.
In closing Gerard van Raalte advised participants, “Make use of what you have learned in these two days so that your next project can benefit from it. Get your information from wherever possible. Use the book, the basis for this course, and involve the stakeholders early on. Very often they are the ones who know the most. After all, it is their own environment”.
Coming up in 2012
The Training Course “Environmental Aspects of Dredging” will next be presented in Delft, the Netherlands. Organised by the Postgraduate Academic Programme (PAO) of the Delft University of Technology, it will take place on 19-20 April 2012.
IADC stands for “International Association of Dredging Companies” and is the global umbrella organisation for contractors in the private dredging industry. As such IADC is dedicated to not only promoting the skills, integrity and reliability of its members, but also the dredging industry in general. IADC has over one hundred main and associated members. Together they represent the forefront of the dredging industry.
The Central Dredging Association (CEDA) is an international professional membership organisation for all those involved in dredging related activities and who live or work in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East. CEDA provides an independent forum for the exchange of knowledge in fields related to dredging, maritime construction and dredged material management. Members are drawn from many fields and include consultants, research and educational institutes, port authorities, government agencies, dredging contractors, builders of dredging vessels, and suppliers of ancillary equipment. CEDA encompasses a wide range of disciplines and activities and does not represent the interests of any particular industry sector.
Dredging Today Staff, December 22, 2011; Image: dredging