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Marine, coastal environment in Africa facing major pollution problem —UNEP

Mr Abou Bamba, Executive Secretary, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Abidjan Convention has said that marine and coastal environment in Africa is facing major pollution problem.

Bamba made this known on an Instagram live programme on Monday, organised by Zoemaritime Resources Ltd., with the topic, ”Sustainable Shipping in Africa for a Sustainable Planet”.

According to him, the various plastics and other waste materials littering the coastal environment were not good and were detrimental to the economy of the region.

Bamba noted that the Abidjan Convention had a major programme regarding plastic and other pollutants and this had to do with public awareness and training among stakeholders.

“There is absolutely nowhere one can take away any advantage, having plastics all over the shores of our oceans.

“We cannot do tourism, fishing, have any decent economic activities where our lagoons and oceans are heavily polluted and, the first step is awareness and training,’’ he said.

Read also: COVID-19 is a ‘wake-up command’ to address Africa’s challenges – Tony Blair

Bamba said that recycling was an issue that should be looked into, adding that the Abidjan Convention was joining hands with private sectors in Ghana, Nigeria, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and other countries to create jobs, and wealth out of recycling.

He noted that to be able to achieve this, government needed to put together a mechanism  for all stakeholders where they would come up with their interest in the marine environment and ways to preserve them to have sustainable marine environment.

Speaking on participation at the Abidjan Convention, Bamba said the convention had a convening power to bring its 22 participating countries to be involved in the framework of its activities.

According to him, issues of maritime had no known boundaries or partition, as something that happened upstream, would have repercussion downstream as such, each country must work at the same level. 

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