The second workshop of the BRS-NORAD project on marine litter and microplastics in Ghana was held online over a period of four days, 11-14 May, 2020.
The objectives of this second workshop were:
- to provide a forum for presentation by the international consultants to stakeholders, of the progress made so far on the project, and their recommendations for the next steps
- to engage stakeholders in discussions of the presentations, consideration of the recommendations, and to receive concrete feedbacks
- to engage the stakeholders to jointly agree on next steps.
- to conduct a preliminary training exercise on the control of TBM for competent authorities and enforcement agencies in Ghana.
Following the project’s inception meeting that was held in Accra, Ghana during 8-9 October 2019, a face-to-face workshop had been scheduled to take place in May 2020 with a view to reviewing ongoing project activities and considering recommendations from the project consultants. In addition, a training session on plastic waste inventory methods and control of transboundary movement (TBM) had been proposed to hold back-to-back with the afore-mentioned general stakeholders’ meeting/workshop. However, as a result of the current global crisis of the COVID19 pandemic, and associated restrictions on international and local travels and meetings, it became impossible to hold the face-to-face May 2020 meetings as envisaged. Notwithstanding the difficulties, and in order to keep the project activities ongoing, the BRS Secretariat in consultation with partners at the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI), and other stakeholders, agreed to conduct an online (web-based) meeting/workshop in place of a face-to-face meeting.
The first three days of the workshop were dedicated to presentations, discussions, feedbacks and decisions on the way forward with regards to ongoing work on the three core project components of inventory, ESM, and tackling sources. On the fourth day of the workshop a preliminary training programme activity for competent authorities and enforcement agencies was held in place of the aborted face-to-face training programme.
Participants at the four-day workshop included representatives of Ghana government Ministries and Agencies (MESTI, Ministry of Justice, EPA, Police, Customs, GPAP, etc), representatives of the BRS Secretariat, NORAD, Interpol, World Customs Organisation, and some NGOs. Also participating, were the project’s international consultants, the local experts, and the Executive Director of the BCCC-Africa.
The BRS-NORAD project in Ghana, titled “Marine litter and microplastics: promoting the environmentally sound management of plastic wastes and achieving the prevention and minimization of the generation of plastic wastes” is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and was designed by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat) to build capacities for addressing the following three components relating to plastic wastes management in Ghana.
(i) transboundary movements of plastic wastes (plastics in global trade);
(ii) environmentally sound management (ESM) of plastic wastes, and
(iii) tackling sources (prevention and minimization of the generation of plastic wastes), including through behavioural change towards sustainable consumption and production.
The project commenced in Ghana with preliminary stakeholders consultation activities during May to July 2019, by the BRS Secretariat and the BCCC-Africa implementing partner. Baseline surveys on the key components were conducted during June to August 2019 by international consultants that had been engaged for the project, working in collaboration with local Ghanaian experts. Subsequently, a two-day inception meeting/workshop was held in Accra during 8-9 September 2019, to brief stakeholders on the project objectives and draft workplan, receive their feedbacks, and thereafter fine-tune the project objectives/workplan for the next steps.
This second workshop was successfully conducted online, with all consultants making their presentations and receiving good feedbacks and suggestions for the way forward on several critical aspects of the project. Further consultations between the BRS Secretariat and Ghana’s MESTI will define the timelines for further actions.