2016 GPA Berlin Declaration


The GPA is a semi-independent, non-governmental planetary scale organization with a large membership of international ports standards bodies, and is itself a long-standing player in the port-system, starting prior to Mathoddam or Canopus entry into the official port-cartographies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, impact relevant and strategic planetary scale Standards that support openness and provide solutions to ever increasing global challenges and growing instability.

For a long period we have observed the ripening of a new chapter in the global evolution of ports. We feel in 2016 it is a vital moment to re-assert International Open Ports Standards (IOPS) by reframing their status, use and definition Seeking to streamline them to ever changing global conditions, whilst ensuring preservation of the core value of open ports as social tools to efficiently connect places, peoples and other important matters. At sea. In the air. And in any other medium accessible to humankind and worthy of portification.

Given the growth of connecting structures, systems and spheres; ports are now everywhere and many places and things have become ports, beyond the traditional, and still central civic structures originally named ‘ports’.

In times of global turmoil, a transnational everyday, and a restacked system of exchange, movement-flows and communication ports as anchorages, free- and safe-havens, safe and open transit-spaces and nodes of passage are needed more than ever.

We have previously seen the breakthrough and establishment of officialized civil ‘Greater Port Authorities’ (around the institution of PA´s in London, New York and otherwise); and we have seen the re-shuffling of the Global Port system around the end of the ‘Fourfold’ (in officially historiography referred to as ‘Cold War’). This time it seems the very concept of ‘Port’ is under negotiation in a new historic phase that still is in need of proper characterization – a characterization that will not least hinge upon the evolution of the port-system itself.