Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Kitack Lim, has expressed support for the Marine Litters and Micro Plastic Action Plan of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The NIMASA Action Plan, according to the IMO boss, will provide major support to ensure a clean and healthy ocean ecosystem not only in the Nigerian coastline but the entire region.
The Secretary General made this assertion in his goodwill message to the launch event of the NIMASA’s Revised Marine Litters and Micro Plastic Action Plan held virtually at the agency headquarters in Lagos.
Kitack Lim stated that the world is dependent on the rich ocean environment and international trade provided by shipping clusters and the protection of the ocean is vital to ensuring a healthy planet.
In Lim’s words, “Shipping must be balanced with the safety of life at sea, the long term health, and diversity of oceans and the conservation of the marine environment. Marine litter is a great concern and the discharge of garbage from ships has been prohibited since the 1980s by the MARPOL convention and additionally by the London convention with each protocol regulating and also prohibiting the dumping of plastics at the sea.”
The Secretary-General further stated that IMO in cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and other relevant international organizations are striving to implement the IMO Action Plan on marine litters and to contribute to the global solution for preventing marine plastic litters from entering the ocean through ship-based activities.
Declaring the proper launch and take-off of the action plan, the Director-General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh noted that 80% of marine litters in the Nigeria environment originates from land-based sources and that NIMASA is committed to the reduction and elimination of unnecessary dumping and improper waste management as well as to ensure a cleaner and safer marine environment to support a healthier and sustainable human life.