We have to change our attitude to littering

Preserving the cleanliness of the UAE’s coastline should be a duty for all of us

Tonnes of plastic waste are dredged from Dubai Creek every day by municipal crews. Courtesy Dubai Municipality
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Though scientists have long been sounding the alarm over the environment some people refuse to listen. Many countries have introduced environmental policies and series of initiatives to raise awareness at community level, but the journey to environmental awareness and responsibility is a long one.

In the UAE, the government has launched numerous environmental protection initiatives, as part of its UAE Vision 2021, to achieve a sustainable environment. Several policies were also introduced at emirate-level to improve marine environment and protect it from pollution. Over the past decade, companies across the country have stepped up efforts and pulled up their sleeves to take part in clean-up campaigns, a corporate contribution mostly carried out in the frame of public-private partnerships. In a broader effort to keep our cities and beaches clean, environmental authorities, municipalities or civil society volunteers went on clean-up campaigns, pulling tonnes of rubbish from waters along the shores of Mussaffah and Al Mafraq in Abu Dhabi, and from the Dubai Creek, as The National reported.

Littering in coastal waters, whether by individuals, factories or boats, is causing grave damage to the marine environment and affecting biodiversity. According to Lt Col Ali Abdullah Al Naqbi, head of the maritime rescue department at Dubai Police, "Fish and other creatures are all being affected by littered waste. Over 50 tonnes are collected annually from Dubai waters". That is a staggering number.

Environmental protection is considered a main objective of the UAE's developmental policies. It includes improving the marine environment, protecting it from pollution and preserving fish resources, among several other objectives. The least every one of us can do, as responsible citizens and residents, is to ensure the waters that nurture marine life stay clean.


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