President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca presided over the White Flag award ceremony at Golden Bay, and launched the ‘Raise the Flag for the Ocean Campaign’, together with Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera.
The ‘Raise the Flag for the Ocean Campaign’ is run by WhiteFlag International, and is aimed at raising awareness about ocean protection, preservation and cleaning. The main objective is to get various countries involved, to take concrete measures related to the cleaning and preservation of oceans, lakes, and rivers.
“I am very proud that Malta is making this huge statement today, and in the months to come when it will be the first White Flag island of the Mediterranean”, President Coleiro Preca said whilst commending the government of Malta and Minister Herrera for also taking up this important project.
The President said that this is the only way to protect and conserve our oceans, rivers and lakes, further stating that nearly half of the human population depends on the marine ecosystem.
“We really need to work together, in synergy, as individuals and as countries, to ensure that our oceans are completely free from plastics so as to safeguard, protect and conserve marine biodiversity”, the President said, whilst also reminding those present that 30% of our oxygen intake comes from the oceans.
President Coleiro Preca thanked Mr Kristijan Curavic, CEO of WhiteFlag International, for taking up this initiative together with his team, in Malta, and on a global level.
Minister Herrera noted with satisfaction that another beach, Golden Bay, has been certified as a White Flag Beach following an underwater clean-up in order to remove plastic from the seabed. He thanked WhiteFlag International for their work and commitment which is leading to cleaner and plastic-free beaches. Minister Herrera also thanked Mr Green Ltd for sponsoring the White Flag for Golden Bay.
To kick-start the campaign, President Coleiro Preca nominated President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa “to take part in this concrete global initiative.”