Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA)
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- The Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative was announced in 2022 by the Quad grouping.
- It is a testament to the commitment to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific.
Announcement of IPMDA
- The IPMDA was announced by the Quad grouping, comprising India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., at the Tokyo summit in early 2022.
- At that time the motivation was to track “dark shipping” and build a “faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters”.
- This would be done by integrating three critical regions in the Indo-Pacific — the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the IOR.
- Enhancing maritime security and shared domain awareness in the region via technology and training support.
- Further it aims to enable partner nations to fully monitor the region, which will, in turn, uphold the aim of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
- IPMDA seeks to establish a comprehensive system for monitoring and securing maritime activities in the Indo-Pacific.
- It also seeks to ensure the safety of critical sea lines of communication, and promoting cooperation among like-minded nations in the region.
Purpose of IPMDA
- Its main purpose is to bring increased transparency to its critical waterways.
- IPMDA harnesses innovative technology, such as commercial satellite radio frequency data collection, to provide partners across Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean region, and the Pacific with near real-time information on activities occurring in their maritime zones.
Benefits to regional partners
- The cutting-edge maritime domain awareness provided under IPMDA supports the ability of Indo-Pacific partners to rapidly detect and respond to a wide range of challenges.
- These challenges involving illicit maritime activities such as ---
- illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,
- climate events, and
- humanitarian crises.
- The initiative also involves regional information centers, helping to establish a common operating picture of the maritime domain across the Indo-Pacific region.
- IPMDA will build a faster, wider and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters.
- This common operating picture will integrate three oceanic regions – the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.
- This will allow the tracking of “dark shipping” and other “tactical level” activities, such as rendezvous at sea by criminal actors – drug traffickers for example; as also respond to climate and humanitarian events, and protect their fisheries.
Q. Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for the safe and efficient conduct of the maritime activity, which itself is a major engine for global economic growth. Substantiate this with special emphasis on the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative.