W/shop on control of marine pollution underway in Accra

Participants at the workshop.

Participants at the workshop.

Stakeholders in the marine industry from nine countries within West and Central Africa have converged in Accra for a five-day workshop on the prevention and control of marine pollution.

The participants, about 40, include heads of maritime agencies and resources persons from the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe and Ghana.

The workshop aims at building the capacity of participants on three international conventions geared towards cleaner oceans to ensure their ratification and implementation in their various countries.

These conventions include the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and other matters, known as London Convention. The rest are the International Convention on Control of Harmful Anti-fouling on Ships (AFS Convention) and the Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships’ Bio-fouling (Bio-Fouling Guidelines).

The workshop is organised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), United Nation’s specialised agency on security of shipping and maritime pollution, and the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the workshop yesterday, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah expressed worry that the world’s coastal waters were deteriorating due to pollution and said there was the need for countries to implement global instruments to ensure that the pollution was prevented or controlled.

Mr Asiamah indicated that Ghana had ratified the London Convention which it incorporated into the Maritime Pollution Act 2016, adding that the country was commitment to the global efforts towards protection of the sea.

Mr. Fredrik Haag of the Marine Environment Division of the IMO said the conventions were to safeguard the marine resources for posterity and urged participating countries to take them seriously.

He noted that the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals 14, which is on oceans, was an indication that the global community was determined to protect oceans, adding that the achievement of that goal required decisive action at the national level, adding that the IMO would continue to support efforts of the various countries.

The Director General of GMA, Kwame Owusu indicated that dumping of waste at sea contributed to about 10 per cent of the overall input of pollutants into the sea.

He said a clean marine environment was instrumental in achieving sustainable development and indicated the need to harness the resources of the oceans without degrading it.

By Jonathan Donkor



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