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The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Norwegian Embassy in Nigeria will hold the second edition of their collaborative training programme on marine safety and fisheries protection during the third quarter of the year.
The proposed conference is a follow-up to the maiden edition organised in Lagos, last year for professionals from multinational oil companies, governments, maritime regulatory agencies, oil spills prevention organizations, international bodies, and private sector, among other diverse constituencies, to highlight environmental issues connecting to oil spills; facilitate discussion on the deployment of mechanical tools rather than the use of chemical dispersants as a first response when oil spills occur; and deliberate on how to strengthen regional cooperation when huge accidents occur.
In a chat with the Head/Resident Representative, UNITAR Nigeria office, Dr. Larry Boms, at the agency’s office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, he disclosed that the follow-up conference has become necessary in view of a number of critical factors, particularly the need to strengthen capacities and promote exchange of knowledge among stakeholders, as suggested by participants during the first edition of the training programme.
He noted that the marine environment in the region has one of the richest biodiversities globally and offshore oil producing countries in the region, spreading across the Gulf of Guinea to the Cape in South Africa, with some of the world’s most important sea route, “accounting for more than 3,000 ships passing annually with an estimated 140 million tons of oil”.