Fredrick Haag (Left), Rear Admiral Muhammed Munir Tahiru (Second left), Joyce Mogtari (Middle) and Peter Issaka Azuma in a post after the ceremony.
The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) yesterday in Accra, commenced a three-day capacity building workshop on Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI and Ship Energy Efficiency and Technology Transfer for players within the maritime industry.
The regional workshop, aimed at government administrators responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the MARPOL Convention, had in attendance participants drawn from eleven African countries such as Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, among others.
The Director General of GMA, Peter Issaka Azuma, in a speech, stated that the main objective of the training programme was to sensitize participants and provide detailed information on the MARPOL Annex VI, particularly with regard to its recent amendments and the responsibilities of contracting parties regarding its implementation.
MARPOL, he observed, was the main international instrument concerned with the prevention of pollution of the marine environment from ships. ‘Annex VI of MARPOL specifically addresses air pollution from ships and includes requirements applicable to the manufacture, certification and operation of vessels and their engines.’
According to him, Annex VI of the Convention establishes limits on Nitrogen Oxide emissions and requires the use of fuel with lower sulfur content to protect people’s health and the environment by reducing ozone-producing pollution and rising temperatures at sea.
Chairman for the ceremony, Rear Admiral Muhammed Munir Tahiru, remarked that the International Maritime Organization had developed technical and operational energy efficiency measures to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping.
Technical Officer, Marine Environment Division of IMO, Fredrick Haag, stated that the workshop was the first in a series and that it was an important part of the IMO’s efforts to support developing nations.
‘It takes a new approach by not only training the participants on Annex VI of MARPOL, but also and very importantly, allowing the participants to feed back views and information to an ongoing process at IMO and thereby being part of IMO’s global response to address climate change,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Joyce Mogtari, who declared the workshop officially opened, noted that it (workshop) was crucial to the attainment of an adequately protected marine environment ‘and it is pertinent to note that the IMO has put in place a number of effective measures to ensure that the environment is protected from all forms of pollution, especially ship source pollution.’
Ghana, the Minister said, had ratified some major conventions of Marine Environment Protection including the MARPOL Convention, which has six annexes.
The amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution (from ships) were adopted in July 2011.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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