UGSoL Commemorates World Oceans Day 2023

The University of Ghana School of Law (UGSoL) in partnership with the University of Ghana Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences on Thursday, 8th June 2023, organised a Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum to mark this year’s World Oceans Day, under the theme, “Planet Ocean: tides are changing” at the University of Ghana School of Law auditorium. The forum also commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

In his welcome address, Professor F.K.E. Nunoo, Board Chairman of the Fisheries Commission and Head of the Marine and Fisheries Sciences Department, University of Ghana, asked that Ghanaians and key stakeholders collaborate in saving the oceans and its inhabitants to ensure the continual existence of the oceans for future generations. The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Ambassador Ingrid Mollestad, also stated, that her country was heavily dependent on the oceans and was therefore prepared to participate in more international collaborations to ensure the protection of the oceans, marine resources, and maritime biodiversity.

Dr. Felix Addo-Yobo, the Deputy Director for the Sustainable Development Goals Advisory Unit at the Office of the President in his commemorative address applauded UGSoL for organising an ocean-centred event to generate practical ideas to save the oceans. He stated, “I commend the UGSoL for organising this forum and bringing together great minds to deliberate on the sea and generate sustainable initiatives to safeguard it. I hope that at the end of this forum, our take-home key message would be to prioritise the ocean and make it an essential component to our development discourse for our good and future generations as well.” Again, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the UNCLOS agreement, Mr. Oliver Barker-Vormawor, the Technical Consultant to the Ocean Governance, Research and Development Project, in his presentation, also shared his excitement at the major contributions made by UGSoL to ocean governance.

He asserted, “The first President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Dr. Thomas Mensah, was a former Head of the then Law Department, now School of Law. All the Ghanaian lawyers that defended Ghana in the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire Maritime Boundary Dispute were UGSoL alumni, including Mr. Godwin Djokoto, who received a national award for his role in the matter”, he said. On his part, Mr. Godwin Djokoto, Lecturer of the University of Ghana School of Law, shared an in-depth presentation on an Ocean Governance Study on Ghana which explained the applicable laws governing ocean governance in Ghana, as well as its role in enforcing the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea.

The celebration forms part of the University of Ghana’s Ocean Governance, Research and Development Project, which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The project since its inception, has sought to empower Ghanaian intellectuals with knowledge and skills required in protecting our oceans and its inhabitants.

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