Drawing a better future for our oceans: Emirates Draw backs the Coral Reef Programme
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Drawing a better future for our oceans: Emirates Draw backs the Coral Reef Programme

Emirates Draw

Emirates Draw, an environmental-friendly and socially active company of the Emirates Group, has come up with a novel way of conservation. As part of the United Arab Emirates’ Golden Jubilee celebrations, the company launched its flagship CSR programme aimed at marine and coastal ecosystem preservation.

The Coral Reef programme is an initiative to rejuvenate and preserve the marine ecosystem of UAE. It is part of a larger effort to battle climate change, marine conservation and environmental protection. Emirates Draw selected the programme as its first charitable cause to support and will provide long-term backing to ensure that the rich and diverse marine ecosystem of UAE for the future generations.

UAE has a 650 km long coastline that is home to a very rich marine ecosystem. The threat of climate change is very real and could potentially result in the loss of the coral reefs and the aquatic life that teem the waters. The Coral Reef programme wants to offset this by creating a safe zone that will become home to all marine life.

The designated area will span nearly 60 football stadiums, becoming the abode to over 1.5 million coral reef colonies. As part of conservation efforts, 25 divers lead by Emirati diver, Saleh Aldhuhoori, volunteered to commence restoration operations. They have started working on the initiative in the relatively shallow waters off Khorfakkan beach.

Steel frames have been installed on the sea bed at a depth of six to seven meters to provide the foundation for the coral polyps. Some of the coral species selected for the preservation efforts include Acropora, Symphillia, Pavona, Pocillopora and Stylophora.

Till date, over 3,000 coral polyps have been planted by more than 300 volunteer divers from all over the world. Much of the activity was focused around Khorfakkan in Sharjah and Dibba in Fujairah. The initial aim is to plant 48,000 polyps before moving on to achieving the magic number of 1.5 million.

Commenting on the CSR initiative, Mohammad Alawadhi, Managing Partner of Emirates Draw, said that climate change has resulted in a rapid bleaching of coral reefs in UAE and across the world and conservation efforts are a necessity to save our biodiversity rich oceans.

“It’s such a thrill and joy to contribute to the health of these underwater habitats and there is room for anyone wishing to get involved in our conservation project whether underwater or on land. Volunteering for a coral reef restoration programme such as ours at Emirates Draw is an amazing opportunity to help protect our oceans and ultimately, our planet,” he added.

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