Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr John A. Pwamang, has stressed the need for a global action to help reduce the pressures of humanity on the ocean resources.
According to him, the report of the first ocean assessment warned that the ocean is facing more pressures simultaneously with tonnes of plastics and that the great impacts are limiting its carrying capacity.
He noted that it has been estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have accumulated in the world oceans, while approximately 5 to 13 million tonnes are added every year.
In this regard, the EPA boss minced no words when he stated that the world leaders were expected to take pragmatic measures to address the phenomenon.
Mr Pwamang made the call while addressing participants of the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop organised by the EPA on the United Nations Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of Oceans including socio-economic aspects.
The workshop—which was held in Accra yesterday, brought together experts from the south Atlantic sea board, representatives from the United Nations, and experts of the United Nations regular process and maritime and environment stakeholders institutions.
It is aimed at supporting the collection of regional level information and data for the preparation of the second world assessments.
The regular process was set up to regularly review the environmental, economic and social aspects of the world’s oceans.
He pointed out that oceans played a vital role in the water cycle and climate system, adding that it produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere.
He indicated that the seabed and strata beneath holds minerals, oil and gas deposits that “we increasingly need to use and is highway for ships that carry goods and services we consume.”
According to him, the resources from the oceans provide important medicine, decent work, livelihoods and food to billions of people worldwide.
He indicated that the coastal area has naturally attracted most of the commerce and industrial activities in all the countries in the region.
For his part, the Minister Environment Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, noted that the upsurge of fishing, shipping and, hydrocarbon activities in the manner in which they were pursued were unfortunately generating increasing degradation of sensitive ecosystems, pollution, depletion of living marine resources and costal erosion.
He said that the government of Ghana was committed to finding innovative ways of halting shoreline recession.
He indicated that the government was equally serious about considering a mix of hard and soft engineering solutions to deal with this problem.
He said this would mean protecting coastal habitats such as mangroves and rocky shores and rock pools while putting in place hard structures where needed.
He disclosed that government was also committing over US200 million dollars to addressing coastal erosion in hotpots, 150 million of which has been committed to the Western Region.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng stressed the need to mobilise more resources and passion to provide the needed advocacy and create awareness on the findings of the assessment for mobilising action to save “our oceans.’
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU