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UNU-INWEH and Nakheel reveal early findings of joint coastal monitoring programme

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, February 18 - 2009 @ 15:05

These findings are a result of two years of environmental monitoring implemented by UNU-INWEH at Nakheel developments including Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali.

The news follows the conclusion of the Second Annual Marine Monitoring workshop held at Zayed University, run by Nakheel and UNU-INWEH, which provides information on the design and operation of coastal monitoring programmes. The workshop was attended by 30 environmental managers from around the Gulf and included field activities at Nakheel’s Palm Jebel Ali and at the EHS-Trakhees Marine Biology Laboratory. EHS-Trakhees has played a major role in the programme through the development of the state-of-the-art marine biological laboratory capability that is essential to the programme and the ongoing management of the coastline of Dubai.

UNU-INWEH and Nakheel are committed to openness and transparency, and agreed prior to project commencement that UNU-INWEH scientists had the right and responsibility to publish all research results in the technical literature accessible to all. The first results from the project were reported at international conferences last year and are now being published in various technical journals.

Abdulrahman Kalantar, Managing Director- Nakheel Asset Management, Design & Development, said:

“Nakheel strives to be a leader in the field of sustainability. Our collaboration with UNU-INWEH and activities like the Annual Marine Monitoring Workshop, allow us to help others across the Gulf achieve greater levels of environmental understanding to assist in the creation of their own programmes.”

“Nakheel has made a clear commitment to the development of sustainable coastal communities. Our work with UNU-INWEH has already provided valuable information on how we can manage our marine communities and contribute to the development of thriving eco-systems.”

Mr. Amin Al Mulla, Chief Operating Officer, EHS-Trakhees said: “As Dubai World’s regulatory authority overseeing the management of Nakheel’s coastal projects, EHS-Trakhees must be able to draw on the best available scientific information to our stakeholders and implement them in decision making. With UNU-INWEH, we are working with some of the world’s leading experts so that we can execute our marine management responsibilities at the highest level to expand our capabilities in the future.”

Dr. Peter Sale, Assistant Director UNU-INWEH, comments: “Nakheel can be justly congratulated for the foresight to recognize the need for a significant effort to provide long-term sustainable environmental management for these developments. They invited UNU-INWEH to collaborate in the research and monitoring necessary to reach that goal. The early results of our research suggest that the constructed environments are developing into rich ecosystems that could play a major role in ensuring the overall health of the coastal waters of Dubai. The collaboration between Nakheel and UNU-INWEH, and the regulator EHS-Trakhees, is also bringing benefits to the region in the form of workshops, student training, and other forms of scientific interaction.”

The research and management project between UNU-INWEH and Nakheel was forged in 2007 and is staffed by an eleven-person international science team with support from Nakheel Environment Department. It aims to bring new knowledge, understanding and training to Nakheel employees and those across the Gulf.

UNU-INWEH – Nakheel Project: Key Facts & Findings

The UNU-INWEH – Nakheel project is staffed by an international team based in Dubai and North America, supported by Nakheel Environment Department and EHS-Trakhees. The partnership began in January 2007.

Under this partnership, the UNU-INWEH activities include: establishment of a monitoring programme across Nakheel’s coastal communities; technical seminars to share knowledge on the management of coastal ecosystems; collaboration with regional governments, NGOs and universities; and the establishment and operation of a marine biological laboratory with the Dubai World regulatory authority, EHS-Trakhees. The laboratory was opened in March 2008.

Research at Nakheel’s projects has already revealed:

The development of diverse fish and invertebrate communities along the rocky breakwaters that surround Nakheel projects

Valuable information on the ecology of the lagoons within Nakheel marine projects, underpinned by chemical data on water column structure, dynamics, physical and chemical characteristics. These findings have provided practical advice for managing the waterways of the coastal communities to optimize water quality for residents and guests and maximize efficiency in maintenance operations.

The research programme includes comparisons between the natural ecosystems of the southern Gulf and those developing around the Nakheel projects, enabling an accurate assessment of the value of the marine environment that the Nakheel projects represent.

As the project develops, it will be able to provide further advice to Nakheel on the following: methods for optimizing circulation in lagoon areas; protection and maintenance of tourism assets – beaches and coral reefs; long-term options to enhance fisheries production; protection of water quality for recreational users; management of marine spills; management of marina operations; advice for improved reclamation design.

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Wednesday, February 18- 2009 @ 15:05 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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