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NMSA: Youth say no to marine pollution - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) is driving the change of mindset of our
future leaders to work together to prevent marine pollution within the 15 maritime
provinces of Papua New Guinea.

This is evident through the annual coastal clean-up exercise organised by NMSA whereby
the Authority engages selected secondary schools located within the maritime provinces to
assist its Marine Environment Protection Department (MEDP) staff in clean-up the shore
lines. And more recently, a joint clean-up exercise was conducted at Dali beachfront with
assistance from teachers and students from Vanimo Secondary School.

This clean-up activity is part of the Authority’s Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) and more importantly, it’s the Authority’s mandated role and responsibility to prevent marine pollution to promote and improve a cleaner and safer marine environment in PNG.
NMSA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Unas said protecting our marine environment is very important as all of us living within the maritime provinces are dependent on marine life to sustain our livelihood. There is a need for more collective efforts to be made by
stakeholders to address this global issue which is not only affecting PNG but the world as a

He said one of the most relevant approaches now is to change the mindset of school
students, so they see the importance of preserving the marine environment for future use
and benefits.

Mr Unas thanked the staff and students of Vanimo Secondary School for their efforts whilst appealing to the shipping industry, port operators and the general public to be conscious of the environment, particularly our rich and diverse marine environment.
He said: “This activity should also be seen as educational as we want to educate our
tomorrow’s leader and to instil in their minds the importance of keeping our marine
environment clean and safe.

“Marine littering resulting in marine environment pollution is becoming a global issue
especially non-biodegradable materials such as plastics in various types and
forms. PNG is no exception to this significant problem that many people do not realise. Plastics take considerable periods of time to break down. They are not completely broken down but remain as micro-plastics that our naked eyes cannot see in the marine environment that can become more toxic to marine ecosystems and people as well. Plastics to name a few include plastic shopping bags, drinking containers and their lids, cigarette lighters, drinking straws, toothbrushes, plastic forks, spoons, plates, fishing lines and nets, etc.
NMSA donated new sporting equipment to the Vanimo Secondary School as a token of
appreciation towards this coastal clean-up exercise.

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