Ocean conservation panel held in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 30th January, 2019 (WAM) — The Emirates Environmental Group, EEG, today held a panel discussion under the theme ‘Let’s Heal: Ocean Health’, to 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 challenges and opportunities in conserving oceans.

The UAE-based organisation – which aims to achieve sustainable developments goals in the country – held the panel discussion in Abu Dhabi.

“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. Focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 14, the panel discussion will address marine conservation, desalination, effective partnerships and waste water treatment,” Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of the EEG, said.

Oceans cover over 70 percent of the globe, however they absorb up to 93 percent of the planet’s extra heat due to climate change, Al Mar’ashi added.

“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 percent 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,” she noted.

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,” she added.

“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,” she continued.

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.

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