Regional companies align to form Diversity Council MENA

The Diversity Council was established in 2016 by the Above & Beyond Group in Copenhagen and has a strong presence in the Nordics.
Updated 30 June 2019

Regional companies align to form Diversity Council MENA

The Diversity Council, an inclusion and diversity accelerator bringing together leading companies in a cross-industry alliance, is expanding into the MENA region. Owned by the Nordic strategic consultancy Above & Beyond Group, the Diversity Council will enter the region in partnership with Mediaquest. Senior representatives of the Above & Beyond Group will be flying in from Denmark for the first HR meeting followed by a press reception at the Diversity Council MENA launch, which will be hosted on July 3 in Dubai. The Danish ambassadors of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE will also be present at the launch with other regional officials and distinguished guests. 

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said: “With the Saudi Vision 2030 and the UAE Vision 2021 reshaping the economic and business landscape in the region, governments and corporations are tackling ‘diversity in workplace’ with renewed energy. The presence of the Diversity Council MENA is a positive step toward ensuring that our boardrooms and executive suites are places of equal opportunity, and that we have a secure pipeline of high potential future female leaders.”

The Diversity Council was established in 2016 by the Above & Beyond Group in Copenhagen and has a strong presence in the Nordics. The Nordic council is comprised of 16 companies including McKinsey & Co. Denmark, PwC Denmark, Maersk Line, Maersk Tankers, Microsoft Denmark & Iceland, and the Danish Foreign Ministry, who have committed to the alliance.


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.