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International Coastal Engineering Conference to form new alliance

The International Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC) had its Permanent Secretariat located at the Lanka Hydraulic Institute (LHI) in Sri Lanka since the inaugural conference in 1983. It has since assisted in the organization of five other conferences in China, Kenya, Brazil, South Africa and the current event in Sri Lanka. At COPEDEC VI to be held from September 15 to 19 at the BMICH in Colombo, the COPEDEC Organising Committee will merge with the oldest and one of the largest coastal and port engineering conference organisers in the world, the Cooperation Commission of PIANC, the International Association for Navigation Congresses based in Brussels, Belgium.

This new alliance will further enhance COPEDEC organisers' ability to contribute to developing coastal and port engineering capabilities on behalf of the engineering communities in the developing countries. As part of the PIANC Congress, COPEDEC will retain its own identity and carry on the conference model of supporting the participation of deserving candidates each year. The COPEDEC/PIANC alliance will have several COPEDEC Permanent Secretariat representives serving in the Congress organising committee.

Commenting on the merits of the alliance, the current Chairman of the COPEDEC Permanent Secretariat and LHI Chairman Summa Amarasinghe said "This alliance will be a win-win for both COPEDEC and PIANC. Both conferences can feed on each other's participation, while retaining its own focus and speciality, providing coastal and port engineers from the developing countries an even wider forum to learn and share experiences". It is expected that the new COPEDEC/PIANC Secretariat will be based in Colombo providing its Chairmanship.

Engineer Eric Van den Eede, President of PIANC will make a special presentation at the COPEDEC VI inauguration on September 15 to outline the nature and the benefits of the alliance.

Over 230 international participants from 44 countries with their spouses will participate at COPEDEC VI when it is held in Sri Lanka for the second time in its 20 years history. Participation also includes an additional 40 engineers from Sri Lanka with India, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, UAE and South Africa fielding the largest country contingents of participants and technical paper presenters.

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