The Steering committee of the Blue Oceans Conference headed by the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Nathaniel Blama has stressed the need to protect the marine ecosystem in Liberia.
Director Blama stated that protection of the marine ecosystem is crucial towards the livelihood of every person because whatever affects the species in the ocean would eventually have trickled down effect on all Liberians and citizens of other countries through our food.
The EPA Boss made the statement Monday at a Press Conference as the Blue Oceans Conference commerce in Liberia held at a local hotel in Congo Town outside Monrovia.
According to him, the Blue Ocean Conference has been initiated by the Liberian Government in collaboration with the Sweden Embassy since 2018 to identify some problems within marine ecosystem in the country.
He noted that the marine ecosystem has been used as a dumping ground for waste, but the conference provide a platform to create an opportunities for Liberians to enhance their living standard and the development of Liberia through ecosystem.
TheDirector Blama emphasized that the government has prioritized Blueocean Conference as a significant milestone to address issues confronting the marine ecosystem with stakeholders.
He indicated that the marine ecosystem has been polluted, misused and it is time for Liberians to preserve the marine ecosystem for the benefit the nation and its people.
He pointed out that marine ecosystem has a deposit of nature resources such as oil, fishes and transport system, noting that before aircraft was invented marine ecosystem was a major form of transportation in Liberia.
Executive Director Blama cited that destroying the marine ecosystem through cutting of the mangoes, people are settling at the water front and masses pollution, but hope that the marine ecosystem will be protected for all Liberians to benefit from it.
Meanwhile, the Country Director of the Conservation International Jessica Donovan Allen said marine ecosystem is a nature resource which has been undermine over the years in Liberia.
Madam Allen stated that this is an opportunity for Liberia to value marine ecosystem through their action to the ocean and the environment as a whole.
She indicated that Liberia has a rich ocean and it is intact ecosystem across West Africa.
According to her, Conservation International has been working in ten communities along the coast with a project which focuses on mangoes conservation and sea traders monitoring on the beaches from Marshall to Lake Piso including Buchanan.
Conservation International Boss noted that the ocean provided the food, incomes and livelihood over the years, but Liberians are not protecting the ocean, adding that their actions towards the ocean
“Conservation International has been in Liberia since 200, but like more international conservation organizations we focus on the Liberia’s forest” Director Allen.
She stressed that the partnership with the EPA has grow stronger every day and the focus is how to build the coastal conservation work.
She hoped to seen that Liberians will have a culture revolution concerning the marine ecosystem in Liberia, noting that the ocean is a new frontier for Liberia which has not being develop.
For her part, the Head of the Development Corporation at the Sweden Embassy accredited near Monrovia Elizabeth Harleman said the conference is vital towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goal number 14 which is concern about conservation of the ocean for Liberia.
Madam Harleman stressed that the conference will bring together participants from across Africa, Europe and America to get different prospective about the marine ecosystem.