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Kuwait Dive Team cooperates with UNEP for cleaner waters

KUWAIT: Members of the Kuwait Dive Team lift fishing nets during a cleaning campaign in this archive photo.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Dive Team of the Environmental Voluntary Foundation continuing cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for West Asia, as part of the International Clean Seas Campaign. The cooperation is aimed, at the local level, at protecting and rehabilitating the marine environment, lifting waste from coastal areas, coral reefs and improving status of the sea creatures’ habitat, affirmed Walid Al-Fadhel, the head of Kuwait Dive Team, an affiliate of the foundation.

Fadhel said that the dive team has recently submitted a full report about its accomplished tasks since 2020 to the UN environmental program bureau in Bahrain. The team delivered the report in line with an accord worked out between the two parties in 2018 that stipulates safeguarding and restoring the Kuwaiti marine environmental, coastal regions and promoting voluntary work to achieve these objectives.

Officials at the UN office have praised the Kuwaiti divers’ commitment to implementing the agreement, their efforts for safeguarding the Kuwaiti shores, cleaning the beaches, the island and installing buoys, Fadhel said, also noting that the team had carried out up to 100 environmental and voluntary missions since start of 2021.

The Kuwait Divers Team, since inking the coordination accord with the UN bureau, has carried out a chain of diverse missions for clearing plastic waste, abandoned nets, sunken boats and other environmentally harmful objects. The divers have lifted and removed 16 abandoned boats and ships, weighing 177 tons, from various locations at the sea, in addition to removing 100 tons of neglected fishing nets and other harmful materials from more than 20 locations in the waters.

Moreover, they have installed 76 buoys marking locations of underwater coral reefs. Kuwait largely depends on the sea for economic, living and tourist purposes, Fadhel has affirmed, underscoring the great need to preserve the marine environment and the natural biodiversity.

Furthermore, the Kuwaiti divers team has cooperated with international organizations for conserving the beaches, has engaged in a special course with personnel of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) training on the Coralwatch Program of the Austrian University Queensland for regular inspection of the coral reefs. Fadhel added that the divers had been involved for the eighth consecutive year in the mobile campaign for beaches’ clean-up however he noted that it had been partially snagged due to outbreak of the coronavirus. – KUNA


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