Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative, Ghana, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has called for support for researches on oceans.
In that regard, she underscored the need for data that would generate evidence to help produce strategies to tackle the plastic situation in the country.
Dr Lusigi made the call at a clean-up exercise at the Regional Maritime University beach front organised by the United Nations, Plastic Punch, European Union and the Krower Municipality as part of activities to mark World Ocean Day.
In 2008, the UN General Assembly decided that from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” to celebrate the role of the oceans in everyday life and inspire action to protect the ocean and sustainably use of marine resources.
This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.”
Globally, three billion people depend on oceans for their livelihoods whiles fisheries in Ghana support about three million livelihoods with over 100,000 fishers in the marine.
Plastics are non-biodegradable, hence, difficult to decompose.
More than 550 marine animals are affected by plastics; they eat them, get entangled and die in some cases.
Dr Lusigi appealed to the public to play their roles in creating a sustainable future for the world and said data would provide a better understanding to the effects of climate change on the oceans for appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to be taken and implemented.
She said it would also help the National Plastic Action Plan Partnership, which brought together stakeholders from the public and private sector to find solutions to the plastic crisis.
The Resident Representative said oceans were the lungs of the earth, which helped to regulate global climate, however, their health was at risk from human driven activities, including land-based pollution and overfishing.
“As the plastics get into the oceans and the oceans continue to warm, it becomes a problem because we rely on the oceans for food, livelihoods, transport, and trade,” she said.
Dr Lusigi assured that UNDP would continue to support innovation and work with public and private partners to expand opportunities for young innovators working to keep the oceans healthy.
Mr Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo, Director of Plastic Punch, called on the citizenry to reduce the use of plastics whiles adopting the habit of recycling plastics.
He noted that plastics leached harmful chemicals into food, which could cause cancer and other health related problems.
Mr Quarcoo said the reuse of plastics would help reduce the plastic waste produced in the county.
Plastic Punch Plastic Punch is a Non-Profit organisation in Ghana with the mission to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic on the environment, wildlife and humans, and to provide innovative and sustainable waste management solutions.