Dead sea turtles wash up on Batticaloa beach; concerns mount over X-Press Pearl

Dead sea turtles wash up on Batticaloa beach; concerns mount over X-Press Pearl

Dead sea turtles wash up on Batticaloa beach; concerns mount over X-Press Pearl

Written by Zulfick Farzan

21 Jun, 2021 | 3:34 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); 03 more dead sea turtles washed up on Sri Lankan shores on Monday (21), as concerns continue to grow over the rising number of dead sea turtles.

Four experts from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Sri Lanka to assist damage assessment and recovery process related to the MV X-Press Pearl Incident, have held talks with Sri Lankan stakeholders over the weekend and on Monday (21) to address concerns over what is now known as Sri Lanka’s worst maritime disaster.

The UN team of oil spill and chemical experts, provided by the European Union (EU), is working with the Sri Lankan Government to assess the impact on the environment caused by the MV X-press Pearl disaster.

The team from the UN, France and Italy is a collaboration between the humanitarian arm of the European Union (EU ECHO/ERCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Environment Unit.

An independent UN report on the incident will be produced with key findings and recommendations on short-term response measures and longer-term recovery planning and submitted to the Government.

The three experts are Dr. Stephane Le Floch from the France National Oil Response and Research Centre (CEDRE) who is a specialist in oil spill response and contingency planning, Dr. Camille La Croix also from CEDRE specializing in marine litter pollution and Luigi Alcaro from the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA, Environment Ministry) who specializes in environmental impact assessment of oil and hazardous noxious substances spills in the marine environment.

The team is led by Hassan Partow from UNEPs Resilience to Disasters and Conflicts Global Support Branch (Ecosystems Division).

“An environmental emergency of this nature causes significant damage to the planet by the release of hazardous substances into the ecosystem, this in turn threatens lives and livelihoods of the population in the coastal areas’, UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said over the weekend.

The European Union (EU) Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) acts as a coordination hub with the 27 Member States of the EU. It was activated on request of the Sri Lankan Government to mobilize support in addressing the MV X-press Pearl incident.

In addition, satellite images were provided through the European Union Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to detect potential oil spills.

A donation of EUR 200,000 will also be provided by the humanitarian arm of the European Union (EU ECHO) for protective equipment used in cleaning operations and to assist fishermen who have lost their livelihoods.

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