25 May 2017

Ghana supports efforts to end marine pollution

Ghana has become the latest nation to join the fight against marine pollution, committing to give the issue priority attention, the country’s Minister of Transport said. 

Ghanaian Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, stated that the nation will give priority attention to the prevention of marine pollution, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations

Speaking at the opening of a five-day regional workshop for marine experts from nine countries in West and Central Africa, Minister Asiamah said increasing coastal development, pollution from ships and land-based sources of pollution are deteriorating the world’s coastal waters and oceans.

In response to this pollution, the Minister called for nations to take action and implement global instruments to ensure that the necessary legislation to protect the marine environment is in place and enforced.

As part of Ghana’s commitment to global efforts to protect the world’s oceans, the nation has ratified the London Convention (1972).

The London Convention aims to promote the effective control of all sources of marine pollution and to take all practicable steps to prevent pollution of the sea by dumping of wastes and other matter.

Ghana has incorporated the Convention’s provisions into the nation’s Marine Pollution Act (Act 932), which was passed last year.

Minister Asiamah appealed to other nations to take urgent steps towards the protection of the marine environment, calling for those countries that have not ratified the London Convention to do so.

At present, 87 States are Parties to the London Convention.

Fredrik Haag, Technical Officer of the Office for the London Convention and Protocol and Ocean Affairs of the IMO, stated that over the past two years, the global community has shown true determination to protect the world’s oceans through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 14 of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Next month, these global efforts will culminate at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York, where leaders and practitioners from around the world will come together to pledge their commitment to save the oceans, Mr Haag said.

The news follows the launch of UN Environment’s unprecedented global campaign to eliminate marine litter, including microplastics in cosmetics and single-use plastic by 2022.

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