EWS-WWF Fosters Discussion on a Sustainable UAE Marine Environment for a Thriving Post-Oil Economy | WWF

EWS-WWF Fosters Discussion on a Sustainable UAE Marine Environment for a Thriving Post-Oil Economy

Posted on
23 March 2017

Dubai, UAE, 22 March 2017: The Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) hosted an exclusive meeting with influential business leaders today, to foster dialogue and raise awareness about the importance of the UAE marine environment and its relationship to the economy and industry. The meeting was supported by the attendance of and keynote speech delivered by His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and EWS-WWF board member, and took place on a dhow trip off the coast of Dubai. Several topics were explored, including the important role of our seas in a post-oil economy, climate change risks for industry & business, and key drivers of marine conservation.
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.”
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/