One of the UAE’s most popular golfing destinations, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, managed by Troon Golf, has received recognition in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP). Administered by Audubon International, the program is designed to help landowners preserve and enhance the environmental quality of their property. The plan was developed by Corey Finn, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, who is also recognised for his efforts in planning for environmental stewardship.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses provides an educational service to help existing golf courses develop effective conservation and wildlife enhancement programs, and achieve recognition for their efforts. After the environmental plan is approved, properties in the program may apply for recognition in Wildlife and Habitat Management, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, Water Quality Management, and Outreach and Education by demonstrating that they have met minimum requirements for each category. Once the course has been recognised in all categories, they are designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

“The open space of a golf course is utilised not only by golfers, but is a habitat for a variety of wildlife species,” explained Christine Kane, Executive Director at Audubon International. “We welcome Saadiyat Beach Golf Club’s commitment to the environment and to managing the golf course with wildlife in mind.”

Owned by Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the Gary Player-designed course and its surrounding areas are home to various species of wildlife, including mountain gazelle, humpback dolphins, green and hawksbill turtles, as well as a range of different birds.

By joining and participating in the ACSP, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club will be involved in projects that enhance habitat for wildlife and preserve natural resources for the benefit of the local community. These projects may include: placing nesting boxes for cavity-nesting birds such as bluebirds and swallows, utilising integrated pest management techniques, conserving water, and maintaining food and cover for wildlife.

Of the club’s enrolment in the scheme, Group General Manager, Ed Edwards, remarked: “We take great pride and feel a real sense of duty for preserving the environment in everything we do here at Saadiyat Beach. To join Audubon’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program is testament to our continued desire to keep making a difference.”

“The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program benefits both people and wildlife,” added Kane. “It’s a great way for the managers of developed properties and environmental organisations to work together to become better stewards of land and natural resources.”

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