The beauty of nature is a gift we can all appreciate. The golden sandy beaches, the gentle sound of the waves, the smell of the sea - these are natural treasures that constantly remind us of the importance of preserving our environment. It is precisely this awareness that Global Ismaili CIVIC Day (GICD) 2023 aims to promote.

Global Ismaili CIVIC Day is a global initiative in which the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community unites around its centuries-old commitment to serve humanity by volunteering to improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live. This year, the event centres on a crucial action: cleaning beaches, with a special focus on Praia do Dafundo and Cruz Quebrada in Portugal.

Why is beach cleaning so important? Here are a few reasons:

1. Protecting Marine Life: Clean beaches contribute to less pollution in the oceans. This is essential for marine life, which often mistakes plastics and debris for food, leading to serious health problems and deaths.

2. Conservation of Coastal Ecosystems: Beaches are delicate coastal ecosystems that provide habitat for a variety of species. Pollution affects not only marine life, but also the systems that sustain these beaches, such as mangroves and dunes.

3. Protecting Human Health: Polluted beaches pose a risk to human health. Exposure to contaminated waters can cause various illnesses. By cleaning up beaches, we protect our health.

4. Contributing to a Cleaner Planet: Beaches are just one part of the problem of plastic pollution around the world. By acting locally, we contribute to a global effort to reduce the pollution that threatens our planet.

This year, we're celebrating Global Ismaili CIVIC Day 2023 on 24 September with a beach clean-up at Praia do Dafundo and Cruz Quebrada, in partnership with the League for the Protection of Nature (LPN) and Oeiras City Council, starting at 10am.
The event isn't just about physically cleaning the beaches; it's also about cleaning up our environmental conscience. Every piece of rubbish removed from the beach is a reminder of how our daily behaviour affects the environment. It's a reminder to reduce our use of single-use plastics, recycle and adopt more sustainable practices in our daily lives.

By joining forces, we can make a difference. By joining this cause on 24 September, you are writing an important chapter in the history of environmental conservation and community service.
Together, we can be the agents of change that our planet so desperately needs.

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