EWS-WWF Fosters Discussion on a Sustainable UAE Marine Environment for a Thriving Post-Oil Economy
During his speech, delivered to the senior business leaders in attendance, HE Al Marri said: “The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is spending a lot of time diversifying the economy and tourism plays a big part in this. The well-being and happiness of tourists and residents is paramount and the marine environment is an important factor. For people who grew up here, the sea is a source of passion, and for many of the visitors, Dubai is a beach and marine destination. My colleagues at EWS-WWF are raising awareness and working on critical marine programmes that need your support.”
The discussions that ensued focussed on how a healthy marine environment provides a foundation for a strong and sustainable economy. Conversely, gulf waters are under pressure from ever increasing, unsustainable activities and climate change. Thus, immediate action is required.
Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Deputy Director General of EWS-WWF, added: “The health of our marine ecosystems has a direct impact on several industries including food, water, transport and energy, as well as tourism and recreation— in addition to having further impacts on many more. Accordingly, sustainable marine practices, planning and management directly benefits economy, business and society, facilitating the UAE’s future sustainability in a rapidly evolving post-oil economy.”
She continued: “We encourage the private sector, civil society and key decision-makers to take a more active role in understanding and working to overcome the challenges that face our marine environment —and subsequent risks to UAE industry and business. We also invite them, and in particular the private sector, to collaborate with us through our Marine Programme, to help boost the resiliency and health of our marine environment.”
During the event, Ammar Shams, former Regional Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC said, “In the absence of turtles and other marine species, everything else collapses. We need to reposition the marine conservation conversation to highlight the effects of change on the whole ecosystem”.
EWS-WWF’s Marine Programme seeks to create a network of marine protected areas with the united support of regional players. This programme will feed into WWF’s Global Priorities and contribute substantially to worldwide ocean conservation efforts. To find out more about EWS-WWF’s corporate membership programs and opportunities for collaboration, please visit http://howyoucanhelp.uae.panda.org/