The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), a UAE-based professional working group, with the mission of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the country, held a panel discussion on the topic of “Let’s Heal: Ocean Health” on the 30th of Janaury at the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event was conducted in association with the Arabia CSR Network, Emirates Green Building Council, Clean Energy Business Council and with strategic support from the United Nations Environment Programme. The 1st Panel Discussion of the year was sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and Adeeb Group.
“The panel discussion, earlier known as ‘community lectures’, is an annual EEG event that began in 2003. We are proud to start 2019 with a strong topic, an impressive line up of speaker and with a strong attendance at the capital city of Abu Dhabi. The event will strengthen the information platform on ocean health in the region and globally by bringing together environmentally conscious global citizens, who are interested in learning more and understanding about the challeneges and oppurtunities in conserving our oceans. Focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 14, the panel discussion will address marine conservation, desalination, effective partnerships and waste water treatment”, said Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group.
Oceans cover over 70% of the globe, however they absorb up to 93% of the planet’s extra heat due to climate change. Over half the air we breathe comes from the ocean, and it stores 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. Despite being the lifeblood of planet earth that drives the weather, support economies, facilitate commerce, regulate temperatures and support the majority of life on planet earth, – the oceans remain one of the least explored, unmapped, unobserved places known to humans. More than 80% of our ocean is unmapped, which means, we currently have more detailed understanding of the surface of the moon and mars than we do of our oceans.
The UAE has a special relationship with the Ocean – historically, culturally and economically. Historically, our deep connection to pearl diving and sea trade routes have been well known for centuries and form an integral part of Emirati culture and identity. Today, a huge part of the economy – fishing, shipping, leisure, tourism all depend on our oceans, and it is what drives and sustains this great nation that so many nationalities proudly call their home. The UAE waters are also home to a unique and wonderful array of plant and wildlife such as the dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sharks, whales and mangroves that are rich in biodiversity. Finally, as desert environment a huge part of water needs is also met by the ocean through the process of desalination
The critical topic of Ocean Health was strategically covered in full scope, bringing together a diverse panel of speakers. The expert panelists from Emirates Global Aluminium, Dubai Municipality, Convention on Migrratory Species – United Nations Environment Programme and Adeeb Group represented their entities and shared their expertise and knowledge in the field of water conservation, marine ecology, effective partnerships, water treatment and more. The meaningful panel discussion explored how UAE is leading the fight on ocean health and the challenges we as a species face locally and globally. The presentations were followed by a lively intractive session where the experts and audience members shared information, discussed queires and uncovered the truths and complexities of our oceans.
Notes for Editors:
Emirates Environmental Group (EEG): EEG is a professional working group established in 1991 devoted to protecting the environment through the means of education, action programmes and community involvement. The organisation is open to all nationalities. The EEG is actively encouraged and supported by concerned local and federal government agencies. It is the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001 certified and the only organisation of its kind in the UAE with accredited status to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). EEG is the member of the UN Global Compact and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).