U.S. Embassy Lome and the Togo Fulbright Alumni Association brought together about 250 volunteers to help clean waste and debris from the Lome beachfront on Sep. 10. The effort by Embassy staff, alumni, environmental science students, Ministry of Environment staff, and representatives of businesses near the beach raised awareness of the need to protect our ocean for future generations. The event also served as an informal launch for the “Friends of the Beach” public-private partnership aiming to encourage regular dialogue between stakeholders, organize beach preservation activities, and promote sustainable beachfront development, hitting the key mission goal of promoting sustainable, environmentally-friendly economic growth in Togo. In their remarks, Charge d’Affaires Dana Banks and Minister of Environment Andre Johnson commended the participants for their civic engagement. Chargé Banks added that great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
The beach clean-up was one of many events organized around the world in advance of the Our Oceans conference organized by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. from Sep. 15-16 with the aim of mobilizing global support for measures to protect the oceans.