UNEP chooses Nigeria to lead action to combat marine pollution in Africa

Country will be in charge of coordination efforts of 22 nations

By Moushumi Sharma
Published: Thursday 17 July 2014

Nigeria's experience in marine pollution led UNEP to appoint the country as the headquarters of the regional coordination centre

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has chosen Nigeria as the headquarters of its regional coordination centre to combat marine pollution in west, central and southern Africa. The decision to grant Nigeria the hosting right was taken at the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Abidjan Conference, held in South in March this year.

During a meeting with Nigerian environment minister Laurentia Mallam, Abou Bamba, UNEP regional coordinator on Abidjan Convention, said that Nigeria won the right on the basis of its experience in marine pollution management, in addition to its political stability. According to him, Nigeria would be in charge of the coordination efforts of 22 countries which are signatories to the Abidjan Convention, reports National Mirror.

As the host, Nigeria’s key functions would be to collect and disseminate relevant information; initiate, design and assist in the running of national and regional training courses and exercises; and assist the countries in ensuring the sustainability and revision of their national plans. In addition to these, Nigeria would also be responsible for facilitation and coordination of international assistance in case of emergency; fostering scientific and technical cooperation with specialised agencies of the UN, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations; and facilitation of technical and scientific assistance and training to governments and institutions within the region.

Mallam thanked UNEP for giving Nigeria the opportunity to play a lead role in combating marine pollution and stressed that the country would fulfil its obligations under the arrangement.

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