As part of its ongoing awareness initiatives aimed at protecting endangered animals, Dubai Customs launched on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, the second awareness campaign this year at Deira City Center, following the success of the first campaign held last May at Mirdif City Center. These in-mall activities complement the campaigns being carried out through social networking sites to educate the public about endangered species and the importance of saving them.
Mrs. Feryal Tawakul, Executive Director of Community Affairs and Government Partnership Division at Dubai Customs, emphasized that the campaign will run from 19 to 24 of June at Deira City Center. It will also continue its events during different periods throughout the year. The campaign comes within Dubai Customs’ strategy of educating the community about imperiled animals and increasing awareness about various environmental and community issues. Importantly, Dubai Customs is one of the leading government departments that places emphasis on matters related to the protection of environment and habitats as part of their strategic priorities to ensure adherence to international conventions and initiatives in this regard.
“The campaign is also in line with Dubai Customs’ Social Responsibility efforts, its strategic plans, its keenness to preserve the environment (inland-sea-air) and its goal of spreading a culture of environment protection. During the events, informative brochures will be distributed to visitors at Deira City Centre,” she added.
Visitors to the mall will also have an idea about the role of Customs inspectors who continuously receive training courses to improve their skills and develop their competencies with the aim of carrying out effective missions to protect the local community from infiltration of prohibited goods or entry of such goods for local use through air, inland or seaports, thus maintaining the favourable international image of Dubai Customs in the area of customs inspection.
Mrs. Tawakul explained that in March 2012, the Department launched a campaign through social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter) to publish information about the imperiled animals and plants, and educating the public about the consequences of their extinction, in addition to the importance of releasing regular updated lists of endangered species in coordination with the related agencies and Ministry of Environment and Water.
Mrs. Tawakul pointed out that smuggling of endangered animals, plants and their products is against Islamic principles and in violation of international legislations including the convention of CITES. The UAE Federal Law No. (11) of 2002 pertaining to Regulating and Controlling of the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora restricts the export, transit, unloading, re-shipping, re-exporting or entry of any animals or plants or their derivatives without official approvals, certificates and attestation.
“We are pleased to partner and support Dubai Customs to shed light on endangered animals, and raise awareness about their illegal trade,” said Fuad Al Najjar, Senior Asset Director, Asset Management, Shopping Malls for Deira City Centre. “With Dubai Summer Surprises being such a busy time for the mall, we feel it is the ideal platform to also host this event and educate shoppers on the importance of stopping illegal ownership and trade of exotic animals.”
Mrs. Tawakul said: “As per the CITES convention, imperiled animals, including their skins and taxidermies, as well as plants should be disclosed at airports, sea and inland ports by passengers to Dubai Customs inspectors, otherwise it will be considered as smuggling and will be an offence punishable by law.”