UN environmental agency teams up with key European travel group to save dolphins

4 December 2006 – With 2007 declared the “Year of the Dolphin,” the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has teamed up with TUI, Europe’s leading travel group, to launch a major public awareness campaign on various threats to the marine mammal’s survival such as entanglement in fishing nets and the degradation of their habitats.

“The United Nations often lacks sufficient resources to undertake global public awareness projects; thus the need to join forces with others,” said Robert Hepworth, Executive Secretary of the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species, an intergovernmental treaty concluded under UNEP’s aegis that seeks to conserve wildlife and habitats on a global scale.

“We are very pleased to welcome TUI as our corporate partner of this campaign and rely on their established communication network to spread our message,” he added.

Activities promoted though this partnership include the publication of information on dolphins in brochures and travel catalogues, in-flight magazines, a dedicated website (www.YoD2007.org) and the development of a ‘dolphin diploma’ for children. Multilingual dolphin manuals will also be developed and distributed to young travellers and their families in TUI destinations and passed onto local schools.

“We believe that our tourists and managers could contribute to an important cause while enjoying their holidays or doing their work,” TUI Director of Corporate Environmental Management W. Michael Iwand said, adding that the alliance with the Convention “is a smart way to conjugate business needs with outreach and communications on important environmental and social issues.”

TUI will also assist with the organization of an important meeting in the Canary Islands in late 2007 to develop an international agreement for the conservation of small cetaceans in West Africa, by providing logistics and assistance to developing country participants.

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