As part of efforts to tackle the problem of marine pollution, which has hindered the growth of Africa’s blue economy, the African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), has dedicated its 2020 conference to explore prevention and control measures for marine pollution.
The organisers of the annual symposiums posit that the event would provide headway to ensure that resources in the continent’s marine environment are tapped in a sustainable manner.
The event with the theme: “Marine Pollution Prevention and Control towards Blue Economy,” is the second symposium to be organised by AFMESI.
In a press statement, the Founder of AFMESI and former Director of Marine Environment Management department at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Felicia Mogo, stated that the discourse on marine pollution is apt in the continent’s bid to explore the numerous potentials of the blue economy.
Her words: “Having served the Federal government of Nigeria for about 23 years and attended meetings both local and international committees; I found myself as a negotiator for the African region to the United Nations. I became one of the advisors of the United Nations on issues of marine environment protection and there are so many opportunities of engagement at that level. I found out that there is a huge need to ensure that the resources in the marine environment of Africa are tapped in a sustainable manner.
“Most African countries have coastal corridors but these nations are not associated with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). On issues of marine environment protection, these countries are not there to negotiate despite the fact that the resources are there. The significance of the blue economy to the African continent is huge, especially for nations with coastal areas, but this is not appreciated. There is a huge deposit of waste dumped in the marine environment and this includes solid and liquid waste. There is also the problem of noise pollution and air pollution. AFMESI decided to intervene and ensure that we create awareness on this issue.”
According to her, the group intends to provide quality advice to the regulators and the operators in the marine space to ensure a sustainable environment where marine biodiversity thrives.
She revealed that AFMESI has secured partnerships with Ocean Initiative in the University of Victoria, Canada, while the group is also a stakeholder with the African Union and several other organisations.