The 23rd Conference of the Mediterranean and Black Seas Hydrographic Commission (MBSHC) was hosted by Slovenia from 29 March to 1 April 2022. The Conference, held in Ljubljana, was attended by 56 delegates from 17 full members of the Commission, representatives of several associate members, representatives of hydrographic equipment manufacturers, representatives of RENCs (PRIMAR and IC-ENC), and the IHO Director Luigi Sinapi and his assistant Yves Guillam.
The Republic of Croatia, whose delegation consisted of representatives from the Hydrographic Institute, participated as a full member.
The Mediterranean and Black Seas Hydrographic Commission is one of 15 hydrographic commissions established worldwide on a regional basis, for the purposes of cooperation and coordinated action of member states on common issues of hydrographic and cartographic activities in the region. Regional commissions act in accordance with the rules of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) through their statutes, and their programmes are based on IHO work programmes. Realization of these programmes at regional level contributes towards realization of IHO objectives at world level.
During a four-day Conference work, topical issues were discussed according to the agenda, covering three IHO Work Programmes: corporate affairs, hydrographic services and standards, and inter-regional coordination and support, as well as issues of cooperation in different projects and strengthening member states’ hydrographic capacities in the MBSHC region.
The most important strategic issue was transition to the next generation of ENC according to S-101 standard. It is almost equally demanding, in organisational, technical and financial terms, as the transition from paper charts to digital ones (ENC). The issue of transition is further complicated by the fact both generations will require maintenance and availability (Dual Fuel) for several years.
At the conclusion of the Conference, Croatia took over the MBSHC chairmanship from Spain, and in the next two-year period would coordinate the implementation of decisions and actions adopted at the 23rd Conference. The previous Vice-Chair Vinka Kolić, Director of the Hydrographic Institute, has taken over as Chair of the MBSHC.