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Protecting Egypt’s seas from marine litter

Provision of adequate reception facilities is key to supporting implementation of garbage regulations contained in Annex V of the International convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Egypt is the latest country to benefit from a national training workshop (17-19 November) on implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V (prevention of pollution by garbage from ships), which prohibits disposal of plastics and restricts disposal of other ship-generated solid wastes at sea.

Officials responsible for the prevention and control of pollution from ships gathered in Hurghada, Egypt, for training on the management and operations of ship-generated waste reception facilities at Egyptian ports. The aim was to update participants about information on the MARPOL Convention and its current requirements, with a special focus given to Annex V of MARPOL and recent developments. Participants also discussed the need for activating the “Special Areas” status of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Participants discussed factors affecting full implementation of MARPOL, including incomplete transposition of the convention and its amendments into national legislation. Recommendations to address the existing barriers were discussed. The workshop was organized by the regional environment conservation organization PERSGA*, through IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation programme (ITCP). The PERSGA representative updated participants on ongoing efforts to designate the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden as a Special Area under MARPOL Annex I and Annex V.

The training will support the establishment and implementation of a Regional Action Plan on marine litter, under the coordination of PERSGA, in line with IMO’s Action Plan on Marine Plastic Litter (Read more here).

The Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea are a strategic and important sea corridor linking Asia, Africa and Europe through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Suez Canal. Heavy shipping in the region raises the risk of negative impacts on the marine environment, its pristine biodiversity and resources.

The workshop was delivered to 30 national participants through a virtual connection to participants in the Hurghada facility.

* Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden [http://www.persga.org/page/About]

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