Abu Dhabi, 4/22/2016 3:30:00 AM - The Environmental Services team at the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), organised yesterday an educational workshop for school pupils at the Saadiyat Beach Club, which featured an interactive discussion and the release of 10 endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles. The event was organised as part of TDIC’s rich Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, in order to raise awareness among children and the wider Abu Dhabi community about the importance of environmental conservation.
Nine of the turtles are juvenile critically endangered Hawksbills, and one is a large adult female Green turtle that had lost one of its front flippers. It was fitted with a special tracking device that would allow the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project and the general public to track her movements on a daily basis at www.seaturtle.org. The tracking is meant to investigate the turtle’s behaviour after its release and to find out how such animals integrate back into the wild, including additional data regarding its movements, feeding and nesting behaviour.
Buthaina Al Qubaisi, Environment Manager at TDIC, said: “For the last few years we have rescued over one hundred turtles that have washed up onto Saadiyat Beach during the cool winter months before transporting them for treatment to the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. We are pleased to not only release them back into the wild today, but that we were able to offer Abu Dhabi’s school children an opportunity to learn more about these endangered creatures, and the importance to caring for our rich environmental habitat. This would have been possible without our partnership with the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project with whom we have worked to ensure the wellbeing of these endangered species.”
Engineer Hamad Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of ADEC’s Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector, said: “We are pleased to work with TDIC on this important event, which also offers us a unique teaching opportunity to instil the importance of environmental awareness and conservation in our children. We are confident that pupils who experienced today’s event will share their new-found knowledge with their families and the wider Abu Dhabi community, thus helping to spread this important message to the public.”
A participating pupil remarked: “We had a lot of fun at the turtle event. We learnt about the different reasons they get sick and how they are treated, and how important it is to take care of the environment. We also saw them up close and helped to release them back into the water. I hope something like this is organised again soon.”
TDIC has a robust conservation programme that is utilised across its projects within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. On Saadiyat, these ongoing efforts have resulted in Saadiyat Beach receiving the prestigious Blue Flag certification for the third year in a row. The Blue Flag is a prestigious international recognition which is awarded to beaches and marinas that follow strict criteria regarding water quality, environmental management, safety, site facilities and environmental education.
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