(BOLLORE) - Meridian Port Services Ltd (MPS) has relaunched its sea turtle conservation initiative, this is in fulfilment of the company’s Environmental Action Plans for Sea Turtle Conservation and as per the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard (PS6) for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources and the No-Net-Loss commitment.
“The Biodiversity Action Plan of MPS include the training and deployment of six beach patrol staff and community volunteers to identify, catalogue and protect all sea turtle emergences from the sea to lay their eggs on 9KM of beach stretching from Old Ningo to Prampram. Nests are protected from dog predation, erosion, human poaching, inundation and other threats. Sensitization of fishermen to safely release turtles mistakenly caught or entangled in their nets also forms a part of this important endeavor. Finally, the establishment of an eco-tourism surrounding the conservation of sea turtles will also be undertaken soon, as well as supporting national enforcement mechanism for the protection of these magnificent creatures under the existing laws of the Republic of Ghana” Said Dimitri De Pues, MPS QHSSE Consultant.
The program which commenced in November 2018 involves the safe relocation of turtle eggs at risk in their natural environment into an enclosed hatchery replicating natural conditions, creating a conducive atmosphere for them to hatch and finally releasing the hatchlings into the ocean. Between November 2018 and August 2020, 24,674 eggs were retrieved and brought to hatchery while 16,198 hatchlings were successfully released into the sea during this same period. The current hatchery has 2 Sea Turtle species namely; Olive Ridley (88%) and the Green Turtle (12%).
For CEO of MPS Mr. Mohamed Samara : “We attach immense importance to environmental and social sustainability. To this end, MPS has set the following part of its environmental and social sustainability goals. The goals include the Identification and Management of Environmental and Social Risks associated with all aspects of its operations. While at it we only deploy innovative and globally acceptable methods to ensure the preservation of flora and fauna and restitution for any loss to personal or communal assets amongst others.”
Apart from finding a suitable environment for sea turtles to safely hatch, the program also involves a community awareness initiative where host communities of the hatchery are sensitized on turtles and the need to conserve them. It also highlights human activities that are detrimental to the life of sea turtles. Prampram, New Ningo and Old Ningo are among the offset communities who have been sensitized. This awareness is done twice annually during peak nesting season between October to March to help increase understanding of importance derived from sea turtles and the need to protect them. This year’s first awareness was conducted during September where community members and fishermen were informed on the importance of sea turtles and the need to protect them and how the aforementioned communities can contribute to this valiant initiative.
Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) is a joint venture composed of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals and the State of Ghana via the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA). With 700 employees and generating 1,000 indirect jobs, MPS is developing container storage and stevedoring activities to the benefit of the Ghanaian economy. The company implements solidarity initiatives that benefit the population in partnership with NGOs, helping to empower young people and raise awareness on environmental protection.