International partners in Sri Lanka hand over marine clean-up equipment to authorities. To support the Sri Lanka Government’s immediate response to the MV X-Press Pearl wreck off the coast of Sri Lanka, the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Japanese Embassy in the country, Mr. KITAMURA Toshihiro, together with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, handed over important personal protective equipment (PPE) to Sri Lanka’s Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA), with the support of the Global Maritime Crime Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Government of Japan.

By taking quick action to address the recent MV X-Press Pearl incident, the joint efforts by the Sri Lankan authorities and its international partners ensure a thorough and safe clean-up process along the country’s coast. Healthy oceans and seas are essential to our existence, yet our oceans face a complex mixture of environmental, social and economic impacts, such as this cargo shipwreck and its potential consequences for marine ecosystems.

Ocean conservation and action should not come to a halt while we tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The magnitude of the threats facing the marine environment needs urgent action to safeguard it and achieve healthy and productive oceans. The PPE will help frontline workers to conduct relief operations safely towards this end.