BERMEPA to Champion Efforts to “Save our Seas”
The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) last week officially welcomed Bermuda as its newest chapter- BERMEPA. The objectives of NAMEPA are similar to those set out by the 1982 HELMEPA Inaugural Declaration of Voluntary Commitment “To Save our Seas”.
NAMEPA is a pro-active, marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Founded nearly 10 years ago in North America, it is an important industry group committed to preserving our seas for the world to enjoy and to presenting the marine industry in a positive light. With networking, education and mentoring in focus, NAMEPA seeks to increase environmental awareness and motivation of people within shipping and/or land-based industries and the wider community, through cooperation with international organizations and the adoption of public awareness campaigns.
Carleen Lyden Walker Co-Founder/Executive Director of NAMEPA and an IMO Maritime Ambassador travelled to the Island to congratulate the founders for establishing the BERMEPA chapter and to warmly welcome BERMEPA into the NAMEPA network, which now boasts an international membership of more than 190 companies, associations, schools, individuals and mariners. “We are so pleased to recognize the effort and commitment of the founders to create a BERMEPA,” stated Ms. Walker. “Bermuda is the ideal location for such an initiative as it embraces the tenets of protecting the marine environment. Further, Bermuda is home to many shipping interests who will support this important work.”
Founding members of the Bermuda Marine Environment Protection Association Ltd. (BERMEPA) Paul Scope, Marilyn Feldman and Tammy L Richardson-Augustus, JP formally launched BERMEPA at an event last week. BERMEPA will serve as a further advocate for marine industry best practices.
The founders thought it imperative to form BERMEPA in order to:
• respond to The Environmental Imperative
• reinforce Bermuda’s commitment to protecting the marine environment
• build community relations
• provide a portal for industry, regulators, environmental groups and educators
• promote the Bermuda maritime industry and its value proposition to global society
Tammy L Richardson-Augustus, Legal Officer, confirmed that “BERMEPA was incorporated on 24 July 2017 as a local company limited by guarantee and whilst BERMEPA will be a not-for-profit organization the founders do not intend to apply for charitable status. BERMEPA is part of an international network of organizations with an interest in promoting sound environmental practices and thereby we will be able to collaborate with global leaders in industry, government, regulatory and environmental organizations committed to preserving the marine environment.”
Paul Scope, President, who conceived of the idea over two years ago hopes that BERMEPA will serve as a consolidator for marine environment actions in Bermuda, “…we are excited to introduce an industry driven umbrella organization for engaging regulators, governments, conservation groups, educators. We look forward to forming strategic alliances with existing institutions in the marine environment protection space and encouraging effective compliance of our members with national and international laws and regulations adopted for the protection of the marine environment from pollution”.
Marilyn Feldman, Vice President of BERMEPA added, “We would like to encourage persons working in the marine industry to join BERMEPA so they can take advantage of the many opportunities afforded by being a chapter of NAMEPA. These include access to community relations programs and educational materials and endorsement of your company through leadership and participation in industry events.”
The Hon. Jamahl Snaith Simmons J.P., M.P Minister of Economic Development and Tourism congratulated the new BERMEPA Bermuda chapter during the official launch, held at Willis Towers Watson’s headquarters in Hamilton and acknowledged that the formation of BERMEPA continues Bermuda’s strong legacy of stewardship of the marine environment. Other attendees at the launch included local industry founding members, along with representatives from Bermuda Business Development Agency, Bermuda Shipping & Maritime Authority, Appleby (Bermuda) Ltd., Department of Fisheries, Bermuda Zoological Society, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
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