CEDA Welcomes a New President
4 November 2015
Today Polite Laboyrie (Witteveen+Bos, the Netherlands; on the left in the photo below) became CEDA President after his year as CEDA President-elect. He succeeds Anders Jensen (DHI, Denmark) who steps down as President after seven outstanding years of service to the Association.
Polite said, “I’m honoured to accept the mantle of CEDA President from Anders. I believe that cooperation of organizations and experts is the key to finding the best solutions to the challenges we face as an industry. CEDA is already the leading association on dredging – and has been for more than 35 years. Dredging is particularly important to our society because it contributes to safety, trade and transportation. To be able to lead this organization and to help it grow makes me proud.”
For new President Polite, taking on the role has meant leaving CEDA’s Environment Commission (CEC) where he was a member for more than 12 years, and Chairman for 7 years. He leaves with fond memories and has made a huge contribution to its work over the years.
The first CEC meeting he joined was hosted by Anders Jensen and a colleague, Bo Mogensen at Skallingen Laboratories, a remote field measurement station of Copenhagen University. It was a particularly memorable meeting because Anders and Bo not only arranged accommodation but also cooked for the group, which reportedly made quite an impression on everyone who was fortunate to be there.
During Polite’s term as CEC Chair, the Commission was involved in a number of important initiatives. They included the publication of nine CEDA information and position papers on a range of subjects from climate change to ecosystem services and underwater sound. They also started work on a new book on environmental and social aspects around dredging project. Other highlights of Polite’s leadership of the CEC include actively engaging in the discussions around relevant EU directives, in particular the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. As part of their work CEC helped CEDA to expand its geographic reach and establish a strong working relationship with the Russian State Hydrometrorological University, based in St. Petersburg, Russia.
As Chairman of the CEC, Polite represented WODA/CEDA on numerous occasions at the London Convention meetings. He contributed to the discussions, drawing on CEDA’s collective knowledge and experience, including the recent revision of the Dredged Material Guidelines. Polite also represented CEDA at various events organised by others such as PIANC and SedNet.
He said “Leaving the CEC makes me a little sad, but dredging is always influencing the environment because it changes it, so this puts the CEC at the heart of CEDA. ... I’m very confident that they’ll carry on in at least the same way.”
“CEDA has a good future” he added. “Dredging is of eminent importance and the need, and will, for co-operations is growing. Expanding on this and helping more organizations and professionals to profit from it is the challenge I’ve set myself. Also making sure that CEDA remains a viable organization for young professionals will remain a vital task in ensuring that CEDA continues to flourish.”
The final word must go to Anders, as outgoing CEDA President, who said “I wish Polite good luck with his new quest of taking CEDA forward as a thoroughly independent association attracting members not only from people and organisations involved in dredging but also from related sectors such as the offshore energy sector. I wish all the best to Polite and the Board.”
The Board of CEDA expressed their gratitude to Anders for his dedicated service on the Board, and their delight that he will be continuing his valued contribution to the Association, in other capacities, in the future such as charing the Editorial Advisory Board of the CEDA-IADC handbook “Sustainable dredging”, and membership on the Educational Activities Commission.