Port Elizabeth: 14 July 2017
Local tourism authorities at South Africa’s third biggest coastal city and the economic capital of the Eastern Cape province, Port Elizabeth have committed to wasting no time implementing some of the strategies and insights shared at this year’s inaugural African Marine Waste Conference hosted here this week.
According to head of the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, the four day conference provided not only an opportunity to enhance the positioning of the city named after liberation struggle stalwart and the first democratic South Africa president, the late Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, but it also delivered on wealth of ideas on marine waste management strategies and ideas local tourism will definitely benefit from.
Ms Skefile was among some 300 delegates from across the world, but mostly Africa who had descended on Nelson Mandela Bay for a four day Africa Marine Waste conference that began on Monday and ended on Thursday afternoon.
Its main objective, according to organizers, was to use it as a launchpad for development of common strategies across the African continent towards the fight against and hopefully elimination of particularly marine waste at both inland and oceans surrounding the continent.
Tourism as a major contributor to marine waste globally featured promptly at the conference with tourism authorities encouraged to be part of the African Marine Waste Network launched at the conference this week.
Ms Skefile welcomed both the staging of the conference at Nelson Mandela Bay but also the opportunity to be part of a global initiative with an African focus and whose outcomes will benefit tourism services.
Ms Skefile said certain key practical issues that could be implemented almost immediately would be consolidated for launch this Spring, during beginning of this year’s summer tourism season.
To listen to her views, Click Here
Meanwhile, chief organizer of the week-long marine waste conference, Dr Anthony Ribbink, CE of Sustainable Seas Trust was full of praise for both the huge turned of high caliber delegates as well for the quality of resolutions taken.
With tears flowing from his eyes at the closure of the conference on Thursday afternoon, Dr Ribbink said he was convinced that the deliberations had set a meaningful platform for the African continent to fully pursue a common strategy on marine waste that would be hugely beneficial in several ways, inclusive of much needed jobs creation.
To listen to his round up of the conference as well as his view on it, Click Here.