KUWAIT: The Dow Chemical Company, in partnership with The en.v Initiative and implementing partner, the Kuwait Society for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat (K’S PATH), announced the conclusion of this year’s activities of the annual Dow Marine Conservation Program (DMCP). For its final conservation and education efforts this year, the DMCP hosted an educational workshop for local educators and wrapped up its inter-school competition with a showcase at the Scientific Center Kuwait. Since commencing its annual program this past November, the DMCP has carried out a total of five cleanups, managing to collect more than 3,226 kilograms of marine waste from beaches in Sulaibikhat and Failaka Island. These clean-ups engaged the efforts of hundreds of volunteers from across a variety of schools, youth groups and local organizations – including the United States Embassy in Kuwait, Honeywell Kuwait, the Kuwait Red Crescent, Universal American School (UAS), AUKause, R.U.G.B.I.I. Kuwait, Kuwait English School (KES) and Al- Bayan Bilingual School (BBS).
The program also wrapped up the “Al Yaal Agents of Change Challenge” with an exhibition and showcase held at the Scientific Center Kuwait (TSCK) on April 23rd and 24th, during the DMCP’s Earth Day celebration.
The five teams who participated in the research and creativity-driven environmental competition launched last February were selected to present their work to a panel of judges comprised of leading environmental experts, artists and activists. Over 300 members of the public also voted for their favorite project over the course of the two days, and the winners were selected based on a combination of public votes and judges’ scores.
The American School of Kuwait (ASK) won first place in the competition, with a project promoting plastic-free school lunches to reduce waste generation and littering in Kuwait.
The Earth Day celebrations also featured a number of interactive activities engaging children and adults alike, and showcased the work of other volunteer groups and educational institutions promoting environmental sustainability in Kuwait. Zahed Sultan, Managing Director at The en.v Initiative, said: “We are very proud of our accomplishments with the DMCP year on year. This year has been a successful one that has yielded impressive results. We continue to work diligently to promote marine environmental awareness across Kuwait, by actively engaging the local community in our efforts to affect real change and drive the local marine conservation movement.”
As part of its education and awareness efforts, the DMCP also hosted a workshop for high school teachers and university professors, which took place on April 30th at Sadu House. The “Al Yaal Youth Engagement and Conservation Workshop” was designed specifically to equip local educators with the scientific data and the practical skills to enable them to engage their students in the classroom, and support the development of environmental projects that promote marine conservation in Kuwait. A total of 22 educators from 12 institutions attended the workshop which included presentations by a number of leading local environmental experts, including Dr Manaf Behbahani from Kuwait University, Eissa Ramadan from the Kuwait Meteorological Center, Dr Sarah Al-Ateeqi from the Public Authority of Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr Ameera Hasan from UN HABITAT, Fatima Al Sabah from K’S PATH and Aimee Cleary from ASK.
Ahmed Dualeh, Managing Director at Dow Kuwait, stated: “At Dow, we take our role to better the communities we operate in very seriously, and we believe that education plays a vital role in this. By engaging youth as well as educators in activities such as the Agents of Change Challenge and Youth Engagement and Conservation Workshop, we are helping empower those who can have the most impact on the future of Kuwait’s environment, and thus promote sustainability in the long-term.
We are very pleased with what has been achieved in this year’s edition of the DMCP, and are looking forward to continuing our efforts”. Introduced in 2011, the DMCP has been spearheading the national marine conservation movement in Kuwait and advocating the protection of fragile marine habitats in the country, such as Sulaibikhat beach, or the Mangrove Beach as it has been nicknamed by volunteers. The program carries out its work through sustained beach clean-ups, educational outreach activities and volunteer engagements. Now in its third year, the DMCP has managed to collect 17 and a half tons of waste over the course of more than 60 clean-ups. The program is carried out under the umbrella of Al Yaal, in partnership with en.v and K’S PATH, as a sustained marine conservation initiative which aims to encourage community advocacy in its efforts to preserve Kuwait’s coastal environment
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