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HOMEF advocates ocean rights for protection of coastal areas

Nneka Nwogwugwu

In its continuous efforts to protect marine and aquatic lives, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has reiterated the importance of advocating marine policies, human and ocean rights.

At a virtual media roundtable held on Tuesday, the NGO maintained that coastal communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria suffer flooding, coastal salinization and loss of aquatic lives as a result of activities on waterbodies.

Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of HOMEF, while speaking during the session, noted that local Fisher folks and communities are most affected by the impact of failing waterbodies.

He affirmed that suspects in human infringement of ocean rights are the oil and gas industries as well as security agencies.

He further urged for the protection of stakeholders such as Tourism workers in coastal areas, farmers and communities.

Speaking further, Mr Jasper Koikoibo, HOMEF legal advisor, pointed out that lack of government interest in strengthening marine policies and ocean rights is a major challenge.

Highlighting different types of rights like right to life and right to liberty, Koikoibo informed that they are also legal instruments to protect ocean rights.

He said the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African charter, amongst others are legal instruments.

Also, the Media communication Lead, Kome Odhomor charged communities to always speak up whenever their rights are being infringed.

She also added that they can protect their waters by reducing pollution, conserving water and shopping wisely.

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