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 organizers of the annual symposiums posit that the event scheduled to hold on Friday this week by 9:30am at Best Western The Island Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, would provide headway to ensure that resources in the continent’s marine environment is tapped in a sustainable manner.
The upcoming event with the theme: “Marine Pollution Prevention and Control towards Blue Economy” is the second symposium to be organized by AFMESI.
In a press statement issued today, 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 as the continent bids to explore the numerous potentials of the blue economy.
Mogo, who had served the Federal Government of Nigeria for about 33 years and attended meetings both local and international committees and also acted as a negotiator for the African region to the United Nations, stressed that there are so many opportunities but there is a huge need to ensure compliance to issues of marine environment protection for the resources in the marine environment of Africa to be tapped in a sustainable manner.
Part of the statement read, “Most African countries have coastal corridors but some of these nations are not associated with International Maritime Organization (IMO). On issues of marine environment protection, some 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 in the coastal area, 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.”
While encouraging African nations with coastal resources to prioritize IMO conventions and meetings, she noted that Africa wouldn’t be able to protect her unique interests if the nations don’t show up at the crucial meetings.
She revealed that AFMESI intends to provide quality advice and partner with the regulators and the operators in the marine space to ensure a sustainable environment where marine biodiversity thrives.
Noting the place of host community relations, the Founder of AFMESI, Mogo posited that the group would encourage the participation of host communities in all maritime engagements to increase their access to the blue economy opportunities.
She revealed that AFMESI has secured partnerships with a branch of the University of Victoria for the upcoming conference; while the group is also a stakeholder with the African Union as a resource partner participating in AU conferences on blue economy issues and several other organizations.
The African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative, otherwise known as AFMESI, was registered as a non-profit organization in 2015.