Defaulting Contracting Parties called to Order
Story: Mohamed Abu,ADM, Accra.
The Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention Secretariat,Abou Bamba has exhorted experts and owners of the Abidjan Convention area to consider linking the question of the ocean to the equation of development in Africa to create more jobs and improve livelihood of their people during debates in view of its wealth potential.
In a key note remarks during the Experts Segment of COP13 Virtual Mr.Bamba cited World Bank sources that among others,say the West African Coastal zone is the source of 56 percent of West Africa’s GDP (nominal GDP of the region was USD 623,4 billion in 2015).
“It is home to most capitals, major industries, including ago-industry,fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration and production, and tourism, as well as city and seaside residences.
“The Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) in the region is one of the world’s most productive marine and coastal areas, with rich fishery resources, oil and gas reserves, precious minerals, and high coastal tourism potential.
“The total economic value of the environmental goods and services provided by the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystems (GCLME’s) coastal and marine resources is estimated to be some US$18 billion per year”.
Mr.Bamba also underscored the achievements of ABC the key ones he noted were the establishment of a fully fledged secretariat, five additional protocols, amended texts of the Convention, creation of a regional center of emergencies, strong network of partners, several field projects implemented, new Parties, among others.
The most important among these achievements he noted was, the Abidjan Convention is by no contest the main actor in the oceans’ debate in West, Central and Southern African.
“It’s a unique organization with the convening power and the institutional, legal, scientific,technical mandate from Contracting Parties to sustainably manage the ocean and coastal resources in the region” she intimated
Against this background,Mr. Bamba expressed grievous concerns about how the non-payment of dues and arrears by several Contracting Parties could jeopardize the amazing legacy of the ABC.
Some of them he noted,have about 10 years of arrears but are still benefiting from the Secretariat services and projects.
“We have reached today the amount of more than Three Million Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars( 3.4 million) in terms of unpaid contributions” Mr. Bamba lamented adding,”This is not acceptable if we want to have a solid and viable convention which will last for another 40 years”
.“We therefore hope that when you discuss the financial matters during the experts segment, you’ll come up with strong and genuine recommendations to the ministers so that sound decisions are made to reduce the surge on the Abidjan Convention Trust Fund”he implored.