Lagos — AFRICAN Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative, AFMESI, has called for fast tracked action against plastic pollution with a view to sustaining the nation’s aquatic lives.
Speaking at the just concluded third edition of the annual Symposium of AFMESI, Executive Secretary, Chiamaka Mogo said that the marine environment must be protected so as to preserve the nation’s cultural connection to the waters.
Mogo explained that there is a need for governments across the African continent to adopt a fund-to-yield approach and prioritise allocations for ocean science and data gathering, maritime surveillance technology, building of Indigenous shipping capacity and very importantly, gender equality and youth involvement in the maritime sector.
She stated; ‘‘The importance of healthy and sustained Blue Economy sectors across Africa cannot be overstated. For a continent significantly surrounded by water, there is need to fast tract actions against the menace of plastic pollution, protect our marine biodiversity and preserve our cultural connections to water.
There is a need for governments across our continent to adopt a fund-to-yield approach and prioritise allocations for ocean science and data gathering, maritime surveillance technology, building of Indigenous shipping capacity and very importantly, gender equality and youth involvement in the maritime sector.
Boasting the Blue Economy is fundamental to advancing the socio-economic prospects of African coastal communities and nations;
it is also fundamental to the leveraging of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and to fostering Africa’s competitiveness vis-a-vis the global community when it comes to maritime trade and transport.
Since last year’s Symposium, AFMESI’s collaborations as well as the impact of our work have more than doubled. This is thanks to the leadership of our President, Dr. Felicia Chinwe Mogo and the commitment of all the staff and volunteers of the NGO. AFMESI is a key stakeholder to the African Union Inter-African Bureau on Animal Resources in Kenya; our NGO serves on the AfDB’s Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group; AFMESI participates actively as a member of NIMASA’s task force on Marine Litter and Plastic Management in Nigeria.
‘‘On invitation, AFMESI formally submitted recommendations to Nigeria’s federal ministry of transportation on the upcoming National Maritime Transport Policy. AFMESI has through His Excellency, the High Commissioner of Kenya to Nigeria, formalized a partnership with Kenya – some of us may recall that it was in Kenya that the first ever global conference on sustainable development was held.
‘‘Through the Office of the President of AFMESI, the organization has been working with counterparts on the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea G7++ Group on matters of maritime security in the sub-region. We especially engage with this Group from the stand-point of highlighting that the pursuit for maritime security should also contain strategies to address deep-rooted issues of inequality.
‘‘AFMESI will launch its Strategic Action Plan for the next five years. It is a vast document that consists of action steps and their corresponding tools needed to take our continent to milestones and beyond. At AFMESI, we believe that the Africa that we all want is possible, we just have to make it happen.
‘‘So, while this Strategic Action Plan is a step in the right direction, to successfully implement it, we need your collaboration, your guidance and your support.’’