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Source: IMF – News in Russian

November 15, 2023

  • PortWatch is an online platform designed to monitor and simulate disruptions to maritime trade due to climate extremes and other shocks.
  • The platform helps policymakers and the public assess the impact of actual and future trade shocks in affected countries as well as international spillover effects.
  • PortWatch is a collaborative innovation between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the University of Oxford. The open platform is available to the public as a beta version at .

Washington, DC: The IMF in collaboration with University of Oxford researchers launched a new online portal “PortWatch”, a platform to monitor and simulate trade disruptions due to climate extremes and other shocks. Using satellite-based vessel data and big data analytics, the platform will help policymakers, analysts, and other public stakeholders assess the impact of disruptions to maritime trade. Users can simulate the potential indirect spillover effects of port disruptions to other countries in the maritime network and global supply chains.

Key features of the platform include timely indicators on actual and expected trade disruptions in affected countries; simulation of international spillover effects from actual and hypothetical disasters; and climate scenario analysis facilitating the identification of vulnerabilities within the maritime trade network.

“PortWatch aims to provide actionable, data-driven insights about how shocks such as extreme weather events and disasters impact trade and supply chains. The platform’s innovative data sources and visualization tools are designed to help facilitate international dialogue and inform policy decisions,”said Bert Kroese, IMF Chief Statistician, Data Officer, and Director of the Statistics Department.

“Shocks to trade and supply chains can propagate rapidly around the world, leading to economic disruptions and real impacts for people. Using PortWatch we can track shipping disruption at ports and in critical shipping lanes around the world, providing up-to-date information for decision makers,” said Jim Hall, University of Oxford Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks.

PortWatch was selected as one of the winners of the 2022 IMF Climate Innovation Challenge, which fosters innovation and collaboration to tackle economic and financial issues related to climate change. It is a collaborative project between the IMF and the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. Cutting-edge climate risk analytics from Oxford University researchers were embedded within the platform.

The platform was developed in collaboration with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), the United Nations Global Platform (UNGP), the World Bank (WB), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has benefitted from seed funding by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

About the IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, and promote high employment and sustainable economic growth around the world by offering policy advice, lending, and building capacity to its members. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 190 countries that make up its near-global membership.

About the Environmental Change Institute

The Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford was established in 1991. Its aim is to organise and promote interdisciplinary research on the nature, causes and impact of environmental change and to contribute to the development of management strategies for coping with future environmental change.

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