The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships participated in Sri Lanka National Workshop and National Task Force meeting hosted by the Sri Lanka Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), held in Colombo on 25-27 February 2020. This meeting kicked off national activities in Sri Lanka as part of GloFouling Partnerships project.
The event helped to raise awareness on biofouling as a pathway for non-indigenous species and informed participants about the impact it can have along its coastline. The aim of the workshop was to bring together all the interested parties to discuss the composition of the national task force and its goals. Among those attending were port authority and shipyard representatives, aquaculture and environmental authorities as well as academia, navy and the industry at large.
In addition to Lilia Khodjet El Khil (GloFouling Partnerships project technical manager) introducing the attendees to the project in great detail, a guest lecturer Sonia Gorgula (Director, Marine Biosecurity Unit, Biosecurity Animal Division, Australian Government Department of Agriculture) presented on Australia's experience in dealing with biofouling management.
South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) - one of the GloFouling Partnerships regional coordinating organizations of which Sri Lanka is part of was also present. Sivaji Patra (Senior Programme Officer) updated the participants on invasive aquatic species management in the region.
As a result of introductory first day the group agreed on the composition of the national task force and its mandate, which includes defining the national policy on biofouling and invasive aquatic species, drafting of the national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines.
So far ten of twelve lead partnering countries, including Sri Lanka held their first meeting. The remaining two countries to hold their raising awareness workshops and establishment of the national task forces are Ecuador and Peru.
More pictures of the event can be found in the album on GloFouling's Flickr gallery.