I recently stumbled upon Azraq, a newly launched non-profit marine conservation organisation in the UAE, working towards preventing the destruction of marine habitat and slaughter of ocean wildlife.
Managed by Natalie Banks, a former journalist who left her career to dedicate herself to marine conservation, the organization’s efforts are focused on shark conservation; cleaning debris from the ocean (like plastic); awareness on importance of refusing single-use plastic – like straws; releasing captive dolphins into the ocean, and awareness on the harm caused by cigarette waste.
Azraq’s website is very informative on each issue, and gives you ways to get involved if you are interested. Their Facebook page is active not only with relevant content but with well-informed commentary on the content that is shared, which is rare to find.
For World Environment Day, they will be screening the film Straws on June 9 at the Junction in Dubai. Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the US alone. This video of a straw being pulled out of a sea turtle’s nose is just heartbreaking.
After the documentary, a panel discussion with organisations that have banned plastic straws in Dubai – Freedom Pizza and Jumeirah Group; along with Natalie Banks will follow. I highly recommend going to the screening if you can. And, if you really can’t live without a straw – please buy a reusable one from here.