Khalifa Port Embraces Biohuts For Booming Marine Biodiversity

The collaboration centers around installing 48 Biohuts, innovative submerged structures designed to provide a safe and supportive habitat for a diverse range of marine species.

AD Ports Group, CMA CGM Group, and Ecocean have joined forces to implement a pioneering scientific cooperation framework aimed at biodiversity conservation and promoting marine life in Khalifa Port. The collaboration centers around installing 48 Biohuts, innovative submerged structures designed to provide a safe and supportive habitat for a diverse range of marine species.

The Biohut module, fashioned as modular cages from eco-friendly and non-toxic materials, offers a solid yet environmentally conscious structure to foster marine life, particularly in areas where ecosystems have been disturbed by human activity.

These structures are set to be deployed in specific zones of Khalifa Port, with a particular focus on supporting and regenerating marine life. The installation is slated for the first quarter of 2024 at the upcoming CMA CGM’s terminal within the port, accompanied by a comprehensive monitoring phase extending over five years.

This ambitious project reflects the long-term commitment of both AD Ports Group and CMA CGM Group to marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

The key pillars of this commitment encompass reducing the impact of industrial activities, restoring fragile ecosystems, protecting endangered species, and championing research and innovation. By seamlessly integrating responsible management practices, marine conservation, and environmental innovation, the initiative aims to preserve the fragile ecosystems of oceans and marine biodiversity.

David Gatward, Chief Engineering & Technical Services Officer at AD Ports Group, emphasized the dual importance of infrastructure development and biodiversity maintenance. He stated, “We understand that the infrastructure we develop serves our economy, industry, and community. Simultaneously, maintaining biodiversity is crucial for life-sustaining processes.”

AD Ports Group’s dedication to sustainability has earned them the Best Sustainability Initiative Award at the ADSG Awards 2023. Their innovative and strategic approach to preserving the Ras Ghanada Coral Reef has been recognized as a cornerstone of marine biodiversity in the UAE and the Gulf region.

Additionally, KEZAD Group, a part of AD Ports Group, received the United Nations Investment Promotion Awards 2023 for their role in attracting investment in renewable energy and clean technologies.

In sync with their commitment to environmental responsibility, CMA CGM Group has implemented measures to protect biodiversity and reduce their ecological footprint. Since 2022, the group has refrained from carrying any plastic waste on board its ships. Furthermore, they have redesigned shipping routes to consider cetacean breeding and migration areas, and in specific whale breeding grounds, ships are required to limit speed to a maximum of 10 knots.

Félix de Carpentier, Group Vice President – Sustainability at CMA CGM, highlighted the importance of preserving biodiversity within the group’s sustainability commitments. “We have been working for years with experts to better understand the mechanisms of its preservation and support protection and restoration projects which contribute to reducing human activities environmental footprint.”

The collaboration between AD Ports Group, CMA CGM Group, and Ecocean is a testament to the shared commitment to biodiversity preservation. Ahmad Al Khayat, Acting Senior Vice President – Innovation at AD Ports Group, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “By installing biohuts at Khalifa Port, we aim to mitigate the environmental effects of construction. This reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship and our focus on innovation to foster environments where natural flora and fauna can prosper.”

As this groundbreaking initiative unfolds, it not only exemplifies the importance of corporate responsibility but also serves as a model for future collaborations in environmental conservation on a global scale.

The installation of Biohuts in Khalifa Port stands as a beacon of hope for the restoration and sustainability of marine ecosystems, setting a precedent for similar initiatives worldwide.