With their first White Flag location, Malta nominated for the OACM!
On Friday, 2nd of March, we had the pleasure to award another White Flag location with this symbol of the physically cleaned seabed from all plastic and other non-degradable waste. In cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change, the bay of Wied iz-Zurrieq at Qrendi, Malta, became the first Maltese White Flag location, thus ensured Malta a nomination for the OACM membershiip. GUWAA (Global Underwater Awareness Association) Founder and WhiteFlag Int. CEO, Kristijan Curavić, opened the official ceremony by welcoming all the respected guests and thanking Malta for recognizing the importance of ocean protection and the value of the White Flag initiative, as well as expanding safe marine areas around the world.
One of the speakers was also prof. Alan Deidun, marine biologist and IOI Malta Centre Director, who emphasized the importance of the diving industry to the local economy, explained the richness of Malta's waters in terms of marine biodiversity and its geological landscapes, thus reminding of Malta's pledge made last October at the Our Ocean conference to protect 30% of its waters. The host of the event, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change, José A. Herrera, talked about the marine environment being used daily for various activities, making the initiatives such as these even more important to address, in order to maintain the balance.
A very special guest was present at the ceremony, once a young boy who actually grew up at Qrendi, watching Wied iz-Zurrieq change through years - Mr. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. He used this opportunity to praise the White Flag initiative in the broader European context of promoting a sustainable coastal tourism.
In the end, everyone gathered around a flagpole when Qrendi Mayor, Mr. David M. Schembri, rose the White Flag, leaving it to show the world how important it is to preserve the oceans, the main source of life on Earth.