NIMASA) Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has launched the Maritime Action Plan on Marine Litter and Plastic Management to help the agency rid the waters of unwanted materials, which can cause food insecurity, environmental degradation and impede safety of navigation on the territorial waters.
charged Nigerians on the use of ocean resources, adding that so many activities depend on the ocean.
In his words;
“It is a known fact that our oceans and seas sustain lives but when the threats to ocean health are numerous, it also affects human beings. The state of health of the ocean is related to the state of our health and our economy. Therefore, we must stop the indiscriminate dumping of materials in our ocean.
“The issue of marine litter and plastics in the seas and oceans has remained a global concern, particularly, following the increased awareness about blue economy and its derivable benefits. The challenges of marine litter and plastic pollution are multiple, and include threat to food security, threat to economic activities, navigational hazard, water safety, threat to ecosystem, harmful effects on marine life and bio-diversity, among others.
Implication of plastic waste to the economy
Peterside said the mplications for the economy are enormous. “The presence of Marine Litter and Plastics in our waters is impacting negatively on the drive to make Nigeria a greener, safer and healthier nation. We all know that solutions to this global challenge are multiple and require consideration of a systematic approach to the various sources generating the pollution, both land and sea-based contributors, and a combination of intervention in different sectors and at different levels. For those within the maritime sector, we are faced with greater threat hence the development of the relevant IMO instruments, which includes the MARPOL-Annex V, London Convention and its Protocol as well as the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act 2007. This global effort are tackling marine litter and waste dumped into the sea and oceans aligns with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 6, 11, 12,14, and 17,” he said.
Recognising that NIMASA has a responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria has clean seas and oceans, the agency decided to take action in partnership with others to combat the menace of marine litter and plastics. The result of that effort is the Maritime Action Plan on Marine litters and Plastics, which NIMASA presented in Lagos, a few days ago.
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