Marine Conservation Forum Focuses on Reefs and Turtles, AMEInfo, 09/07/06
In a move that showcases their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, major multinational and local businesses are among the sponsors of a key regional conference on marine conservation to be held in Abu Dhabi next week.
A loggerhead turtle makes its way back to the sea, after laying eggs on Masirah Island (Oman), possibly the world's largest nesting ground for loggerhead turtles. Turtle and coral reef experts from the region will meet in Abu Dhabi on September 11-14 to debate a region-wide marine conservation strategy at the Marine Conservation Forum. Photo credit: Nancy Papathanasopoulou/ Masirah Turtle Conservation Project.
More than 80 environmental experts from the GCC, Iran and Yemen are expected to attend the Marine Conservation Forum, where a strategy on regional cooperation to preserve endangered marine turtles and coral reefs will be developed.
The Forum which will take place on 11 - 14 September 2006 at the Crowne Plaza, Abu Dhabi is organized by EWS-WWF (Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wildlife Fund for Nature) under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Environment & Water.
'As an Abu Dhabi-headquartered organisation fully committed to supporting the sustainable development initiatives of the emirate's government and its private sector, First Gulf Bank has no hesitation in sponsoring this important international symposium' says André Sayegh, Chief Executive Officer, First Gulf Bank, the main sponsor of the Forum.
'The bank has prioritised sustainability and environmental awareness as key planks in its corporate social responsibility programme. These are issues which the bank believes are in line with its own philosophy of delivering best-of-breed environments to the communities it serves'
'Marine conservation is a crucial element of TDIC's tourism development strategy' said Lee Tabler, CEO, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) who alongwith TOTAL are the co-sponsors of the event. Quoting the example of Saadiyat Island, TDIC's flagship development project which boasts a number of important marine sites, Tabler said that TDIC was committed to preserving aquatic life.
'Dolphin Energy decided to associate with the Forum as a support sponsor to showcase our ongoing commitment to the environment', said Ahmed Al Sayegh, CEO of Dolphin Energy. 'We are delighted to show our continued support for the work of the EWS-WWF and we look forward to a successful event'. Dolphin Energy already sponsors a three year coral reef investigation in the Southern Gulf managed by EWS-WWF.
David Wild, General Manager of DHL UAE, a founding member of the WWF-UAE Corporate Club, said 'The protection of the environment is a core part of our strategy at DHL, and we are very pleased to continue to support EWS-WWF efforts in introducing new schemes and initiatives to protect the environment and wildlife in the UAE and the region'.
Commending the sponsors for their support, Razan Al Mubarak, Director, EWS-WWF said 'We are encouraged to note that businesses in the UAE are conscious of their responsibility to the environment and forthcoming with their support. Their commitment provides organizations such as ours with adequate resources for our work to be effective. By supporting the Forum, our sponsors have shown that they are prepared to 'walk the talk' in displaying their environmental commitment'.
The Marine Conservation Forum will be held over four days with the first two days dedicated to coral reef conservation followed presentations focused on turtle protection. Areas of discussion over the four days will include habitats, legal aspects, management, protected areas, population assessment, threat assessments and mitigation strategies. Local conservation efforts in each participating country will be reviewed and best practices assimilated into a Regional Conservation Action Plan.