Dubai beaches targeted for cleaning during International Coastal Cleanup 2016

DUBAI, 30th October, 2016 (WAM) Individuals and groups came together to remove waste from the emirate’s coastal beaches this week at the Jebel Ali Marine Sanctuary in Ghantoot.

The beach cleanup programme was sponsored by the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality, which participated in the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2016 on October 27-28. ICC is an occasion marked by beach and coastline cleanup activities throughout the world.

“The Municipality’s participation in the initiative was aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of coastal and beach areas, in addition to highlighting the problems and threats to this fragile environment,” said Eng. Alya Al Harmoudi, Director of the Environment Department at Dubai Municipality.

She added that the coastal and marine environment in all parts of the world are among the ecosystems that suffer tremendous environmental stress and pressures. “The threats to the environment are the accumulated waste resulting from human activities, or waste that gets washed away by wind and waves from other regions to end up on beaches and sink under the water to destroy the marine environment and cause pollution,” she added.

Al Harmoudi said that Dubai Municipality has a system of programmes for sustainable management of coastal zones and spares no effort to update its programmes, which contribute to the preservation of coastal areas, while developing them in a sustainable manner.

The Environment Department is participating in the ICC event for the second consecutive year, with the support of Emirates Marine Environmental Group, and under the patronage of United Parcel Services.

The clean-up operations this year attracted more than 500 volunteers from academic institutions and the private sector, including Nakheel, Le Meridien Hotel, Dive Zone, Filipino Scuba Divers Club, and Majid Al Futtaim – Carrefour Dubai. The volunteers from public and private schools included students from four government schools in the Emirate of Dubai, including Al Khulafa Al Rashideen School, Al Ahamadiyya Model School, the Second of December School and the JSS Global School.

“The event was organised at the Jebel Ali Marine Sanctuary to draw attention to the role that natural reserves play, in general, and marine reserves, in particular, in maintaining ecological balance and protecting many biological systems,” said Aisha Al Murr Al Muheiry, Head of the Natural Resources Conservation Section.

“The Jebel Ali Marine Sanctuary was declared to be a protected natural marine reserve in 1998, in order to maintain the marine area’s natural resources, and was classified according to the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as a natural habitat and species management area,” she said.

“Dubai Municipality is working through various protection activities and programmes to ensure preservation of this threatened species, and continuity for future generations. Dubai Municipality has taken resolute steps, with the support of the Emirates Marine Environmental Group, to ensure the protection of wildlife in the waters and on the coast of the emirate,” she added.