United Arab Emirates: Around 50 volunteers from Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, have participated in a beach clean-up at the company’s Al Taweelah site ahead of the nesting of the critically-endangered Hawksbill turtle. The beach clean-up was carried out in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Center of Waste Management (Tadweer).
Nearly 100 Hawksbill turtles have laid eggs at the beach next to EGA’s Al Taweelah site since 2011 and almost 7,000 baby turtles have hatched during that time.
The beach is not accessible for public use, but over the past decade EGA employees have collected an estimated 60 thousand kilograms of rubbish washed-up from the sea.
Keeping the beach clean is one commitment under EGA’s Biodiversity Action Plan, which details EGA’s programme to conserve nature around its Al Taweelah site. Protecting biodiversity is an important aspect of sustainability in the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standards. EGA’s Al Taweelah site was the first in the Middle East to be certified to the standards.
EGA employees collected 450 kilograms of wastes that included plastic bags, bottles, caps, and food wrappers.
His Excellency Dr Salem Al Kaabi, General Manager of Tadweer, said: “Our participation in this clean-up drive in collaboration with Emirates Global Aluminium is aligned with Tadweer’s strategy to support the efforts of its partners to promote environmental awareness and educate members of society on how to properly dispose of waste. Through highlighting the importance of waste reuse, recycling and segregation from the source, we aim to turn waste into an important economic resource, and ensure the highest cleanliness standards in the emirate. This will allow us to preserve the aesthetic appeal of Abu Dhabi, while creating a safer and more sustainable environment for present and future generations.”
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer at EGA said: “Cleaning the beach is just one way we take an active role in the conservation of wildlife. The Hawksbill turtle is an iconic species and we have a special responsibility to ensure these animals can continue to nest on our beach, just as they must have done for many years before we established our operations here. We thank Tadweer for joining these efforts.”
During the nesting season, EGA’s sustainability team tracks turtle nesting patterns, monitors the beach for potential predators, rescues any sick animals, and installs protection measures to safeguard nests and ensure hatchlings have a safe passage to the sea.
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative is a global, non-profit standards setting and certification organisation. Its members are mining and metal companies, end-users like Apple and Nespresso, and non-governmental organisations, and it aims to maximise the contribution of aluminium to a sustainable society.