The Environment Protection Agency in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Biology and Oceanography (IMBO) had conducted a training on micro contaminants in the marine environment at the Grass Roots Gender Empowerment Movement (GGEM) hall in Freetown on the 6th of May, 2021. The training was a collaborative event between the two institutions in collaboration with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone.

The training was conducted by IMBO staff of the University of Sierra Leone. The Training which drew participants from the Environmental Protection Agency – Sierra Leone (EPA – SL), Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA), Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and the Fisheries Consortium as well as students and technical staff from IMBO comprised of a series of lectures and demonstrations.  The lecturers were experts with excellent training track record who have conducted such training sessions both ay the national and regional levels.

The training was part of a regional effort to build capacity across institutions in the Regional Coastal Management Programme (PRCM) project area which include Mauritania, Senegal Gambia Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone. Similar events have taken place in the above countries and which are part of the PRCM network.

During the opening, welcome remarks were made by Dr Raymond Johnson Senior Lecturer at IMBO who also doubles as the Course Director. Mr. Paul Lamin, Director, Natural Resources at EPA- SL gave a brief background to the project and said that IMBO had been a reliable partner with the relevant expertise. He expressed his appreciation to Dr. Bondi Gevao, Executive Chairperson of EPA – SL for his support and excellent leadership, the PRCM for the financial support and thanked and appreciated the MDAs who participated in the training as partners in the development of the marine environment. The Session ended with assessment of the programme which according to participants was excellent. Closing remarks were given by the course Director who appreciated God Almighty, the PRCM, his team of resource persons and all the participants from the various MDAs and NGOs as well as to the management of GGEM caters, the media etc.     

The primary aim of this workshop was to provide training and background knowledge to technicians, managers and researchers on the use of pollution monitoring tools, sampling and analysis of micro-contaminants in order to enhance their skills and efficiency in data collection, archiving, transmission and analysis which will enable them to produce accurate and reliable statistics for IMBO and partners.

Among the objectives of the training are to improve knowledge base on marine micro-contaminants sources, impacts and prevention, improve knowledge in  data collection and recording methods; communicate the importance of marine micro contaminant pollution data and information for sustainable environmental management, present an overview of marine pollution reduction practices, legislative control and prevention and present an overview of international instruments for the management and prevention of marine pollution.

At the end of the training, the knowledge base on marine pollution in relation to micro contaminants of participants was improved in terms of sources, impacts and prevention, improved knowledge in  data collection and recording methods; communication of the importance of marine micro contaminant pollution data and information for sustainable environmental management, present an overview of marine pollution reduction practices, legislative control and prevention; overview of international instruments for the management and prevention of marine pollution within the context of climate change and sustainable environmental management.