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Liberia hosts West Africa's first marine and environmental conference

Conference attendees participate in beach clean up in Monrovia, Liberia.

 

The Blue Oceans Conference, held in Monrovia (March 18-21), provided the backdrop for West Africa's first ever marine and environmental conference, with experts in both the private and public sectors discussing a range of environmental issues affecting coastal environments, including marine pollution, climate change, sustainable fishing, and the blue economy. CeCAR's Bethany Carney Almroth, an associate professor at Gothenburg University researching the effects of plastic-chemicals and microplastics in the environment, participated in this event.

With deep and nutrient-rich waters, West Africa's extensive coastline is one of the most diverse, and economically important, environments in the world. In an effort to raise awareness of sustainable marine governance in the region, the Liberian and Swedish governments, in partnership with American NGO Conservation International, hosted a three-day event aimed at highlighting the major challenges in marine governance and development.

The conference brought together domestic and international stakeholders in government, business, civil society, and academia to discuss these challenges - as well as identifying innovative solutions. Bethany Carney Almroth, an expert in ecotoxicology, explained the unique nature of the conference, "I learned a lot about how these problems can look in a country with completely different conditions to those we find here in Sweden. In Liberia, the main problem is access to drinking water, which means that people buy water in small plastic bags. There are around 29 million bags a day that are often thrown on the ground."

Poor waste management and limited recycling in West Africa, coupled with frequent flooding and poor sewerage systems, results in large deposits of plastic waste into the sea. During her visit to Liberia, Bethanie met with waste management personnel at a number of local authorities to discuss both challenges and possible solutions, "I hope I can continue to support these authorities with information. It is about finding solutions that work according to their conditions."

CeCAR Contributors

Bethany Carney Almroth

More information

Associate Professor
Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg

bethanie.carney@bioenv.gu.se
+46 31 786 3673

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Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 4/3/2019
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