Dr Kamal-Deen Ali, Executive Director, Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa (CEMLAWS Africa) has urged the public to desist from polluting and degrading the maritime environment since its economic potential is huge.
He said the maritime space contributes about “70 per cent of the land size of Ghana, and the socio economic potential of the state lies at sea; therefore, if Ghanaians were not able to honour the economic potential of the maritime space, then human survival would be very critical”.
Dr Ali told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at the on-going five day training programme being organised by CEMLAWS to improve ocean governance and maritime security in Africa.
The training programme also seeks to promote effective national and regional responses to ocean governance and maritime security through policy analysis, expert-driven deliberations, capacity building and research.
Dr Ali said the training would expose participants to the legal framework of the maritime environment and also the enforcement and legal issues in various maritime zones, including the exclusive economic zone.
He said the “discussions on the legal issues on exclusive economic zone is important because, it forms up to 200 nautical miles into the sea and provides those at the coastal state with many economic benefits, which aids in the socio economic development of the country”.
Dr Ali said deliberations on exclusive economic zone would expose participants to honour the economic potentials of the maritime space of the country; when it comes to how they could legally use their mandate.
He added “where there are enforcement issues, we will teach them how to undertake issues related to it and also help them identify linkages when it comes to the various institutions so that the connections would then build into a required collaboration”.
He said other models would also focus on fisheries management, marine environmental protection and transmission, organised crime at sea, including piracy.
Dr Ali said CEMLAW Africa was building capacity of government institution in the marine space through education as a ‘think-tank’, raising policy issues, conducting researches and undertaking training.
He said “the Environmental Protection Agency, Customs and Immigration officers, all have necessary mandate to execute at sea but there have been very little or no training when it comes to how their mandate can be applied at sea”, adding that; the training had been beneficial because many had acquired the requisite knowledge.