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Environment body launches programme to rate Dubai beaches.

Byline: Blue Flag to assess water quality and cleanliness for local coasts

Dubai: Private and public beaches in Dubai will be rated on cleanliness and water quality under the Blue Flag programme, a voluntary eco-label action acknowledged by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS) - WWF has become the National Coordinator for Blue Flag Programme in the UAE in a partnership with the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE), the organisation behind Blue Flag.

The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with recreational water quality to protect the public health, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety services.

The programme includes information for the public, decision makers and tourism operators but will be running independently of Dubai Municipality.

All beaches and marinas seeking the Blue Flag certification will be subject to assessments and spot-checks from national, regional and international panels, co-ordinated by the FEE, a Denmark based NGO.

Razan Al Mubarak, the managing director of EWS-WWF said the Blue Flag programme would support the protection of the UAE's beautiful coastline.

"[The programme will ]present a platform of good public governance in the form of a certification in order to improve coastal facilities that are litter-free and boast a high recreational water quality, in addition to adequate beach users' safety services."

To facilitate the implementation of the programme EWS-WWF will be organising a Blue Flag workshop involving key stakeholders and FEE representatives to announce the launch of the programme in the UAE.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 10, 2009
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