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08 August 2003

Individuals and communities from across the Middle East are uniting with a common goal to combat polluted waterways, declining water quality and the growing amount of waste as part of Clean Up the World 2003.

Thirty thousand volunteers from 20 cities across Jordan will unite for Clean Up events organised by the Jordan Environment Society; and volunteers on the Gaza Strip will unite to clean up the beach and surrounding coastal areas.

Now in it’s 11th year, the Clean Up the World campaign mobilises over 40 million volunteers from more than 100 countries each year to make their local environment and the world in general a cleaner, healthier place to live. "I encourage individuals and communities in the Middle East to register for free as a Member of Clean Up the World and join the millions of people that are working together to look after our planet",said Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up the World.

"Many communities throughout the Middle East have faced uncertainty over the past year. Clean up the World is an opportunity to break down geographical, religious and political barriers by working together to improve our world."

The 2003 Clean Up the World weekend, 19-21 September, will be an opportunity for volunteers from around the world to celebrate year round environmental achievements and will be a time of action as volunteers get physical and clean up their local area. Throughout the Middle East volunteers are cleaning up, fixing up and conserving the environment through activities such as:

Bahrain: Over 500 volunteers from the Scouts, Guides Fellowship, and the Girl Guides will remove rubbish from Al Jazaer Beach, clean up neighbourhoods and beautify local gardens.

Cyprus: One thousand volunteers will unite in the Clean Up the Mediterranean campaign in Cyprus, focussing on ten coastal areas. In Nicosia the American International School runs a year round environmental club and recycles plastic bottles.

Israel - Three main organising groups have co-ordinated the campaign in Israel involving school children, soldiers and more than 5,000 community members cleaning up coastal areas, schools and forests.

Palestine: -Representing eight environmental non government organisations, the General Union of Non Government Environmental Organisation, is the key organiser of Clean Up activities in Palestine.

More than 200 of their volunteer members have signed up to clean up the beach on the Gaza Strip and the surrounding coastal area. The group also runs environmental workshops and summer camps focussing on protecting water resources and tree planting campaigns.

Jordan: Focussing on environmental issues such as plastic bags and the negative impact they have on the environment, the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society will be holding a Beach Clean Up campaign. The weeklong community wide action and awareness campaign is expected to attract 1,500 volunteers and will include the launch of the first Mobile Marine exhibit to educate school children about the environment.

Pakistan: Ninety thousand volunteers are expected in nearby Pakistan with activities being organised by the Women Awareness and Development Organisation and Human Resource Social Welfare Society International.

An awareness campaign about environmental pollution will involve 15,000 people in the cities of Karak, Peshawar, Hayatabad, Shabqadar and Charsadda. In Karak City over 5000 households will be involved in a greenery contest between local residents.

United Arab Emirates: In Dubai, over 1000 volunteers will take part in a marine sanctuary Clean Up, removing rubbish and noxious weeds from creek sanctuaries organised by the Emirates Diving Association.

An ongoing coastline and coral monitoring project, focussing on the areas of Ie Khor Fakkan, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf will be held as part of Arab Environment Day celebrations on 17 October.

Additional information on environmental activities in your local area can be found on the Clean Up the World website.

Individuals, groups and communities can register for free as a Member of Clean up the World by visiting

Clean Up the World is a project held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme.

Globally, Clean Up the World’s Major Sponsor is Duskin, the Global Media Partner is National Geographic Channels International, the Internet Partner is Secure Interactive and Supporting Sponsors are Qantas and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.