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Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and Sahara Forest Join Forces for Sustainable Farming in Desert of Jordan


MIAMI, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Corporation & plc ((NYSE/LSE: CCL, NYSE:CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced that its Costa Crociere Foundation has joined forces with the Sahara Forest Project Foundation to enlarge an innovative initiative to re-vegetate the desert in Jordan with sustainable technologies. The partnership became official August 12 during a signing ceremony with Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and Lars Myren, chairman of the Sahara Forest Project Foundation, onboard the historic sailing ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl at Arendalsuka in Norway.

The mission of the Sahara Forest Project – inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in September 2017 – is to vegetate desert areas and create local green jobs through production of food, freshwater and clean energy, using saltwater and sunlight as the main input factors.

The partnership between Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and the Sahara Forest Project Foundation represents a concrete step forward for the project in Jordan.

The support from Costa Group – through its two brands, Italy-based Costa Cruises and Germany-based AIDA Cruises – will allow the project to scale up to 20 hectares of commercial facility, with every vegetable produced removing CO₂ from the atmosphere and storing it in re-vegetated land. This initiative aligns with Costa Group's commitment to sustainable innovation and value creation, as well as with the Costa Crociere Foundation's mission to promote social and environmental improvement.

An important part of the agreement is represented by the involvement of guests sailing with Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. Guests cruising on Costa and AIDA ships calling at Aqaba will have the unique chance to taste, for the very first time, at least 10 different environmentally friendly vegetables produced by using solar power and saltwater in the Jordan desert, through special recipes created by the executive chefs of the two cruise companies to emphasize their taste and quality.

"The Sahara Forest Project is proud to join forces with a global leader within the tourism industry," said Myren of the Sahara Forest Project. "The new long-term agreement for the supply of vegetables to Costa and AIDA ships will pave the way for an expansion of our project in Jordan, while raising international awareness for the need to scale up innovative solutions to combat global warming and create local jobs in desert areas. In 2050 there will be almost 10 billion people on the planet who will need sustainably produced food, fresh water and clean energy. It is urgent to prove that it is possible to shift away from current agricultural practices traditionally using 80% of scarce freshwater resources and contributing to 25% of CO2 emissions in many dry countries and scale up concepts that are good for the environment, social development and business."

"We are proud to support this groundbreaking project that represents a model for future sustainable farming in desert areas," added Costa Group's Thamm. "By supporting the Sahara Forest Project, we serve our guests vegetables grown in a way that fights the spread of deserts and creates a sound livelihood for the local population, in line with our sustainable development strategy and our concrete commitment to creating a greener planet. Costa Group is leading the cruise industry when it comes to sustainability, as demonstrated by the introduction of the first-ever LNG-powered cruise ship less than a year ago and by the significant investments in shore power and innovative technologies for a zero-emission future."

Currently, the Sahara Forest Project operates a three-hectare commercial size facility 12 kilometers north of the Jordanian port of Aqaba, combining saltwater-cooled greenhouses, solar energy panels and different techniques for outdoor re-vegetation in dry areas. The governments of Jordan and Norway, the European Union Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been crucial in financing and supporting the unique facility.

From October 2019 to October 2020, four Costa ships (Costa Mediterranea, Costa Victoria, Costa Diadema and Costa Deliziosa) and four AIDA ships (AIDAvita, AIDAbella, AIDAprima and AIDAblu) will be visiting Aqaba, for a total of 20 calls, bringing more than 45,000 guests.

About Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc is the world's largest leisure travel company and among the most profitable and financially strong in the cruise and vacation industries, with a portfolio of nine of the world's leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, its portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

Together, the corporation's cruise lines operate 103 ships with 243,000 lower berths visiting over 700 ports around the world, with 19 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

With a long history of innovation and providing guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, Carnival Corporation has received thousands of industry awards – including recognition by the Consumer Technology Association™ as a CES® 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for the OceanMedallion™. A revolutionary wearable device that contains a proprietary blend of communication technologies, the OceanMedallion enables the world's first interactive guest experience platform transforming vacation travel on a large scale into a highly personalized level of customized service. The prestigious CES Innovation Awards honor outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products.

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About Costa Crociere Foundation
The Costa Crociere Foundation was established in 2014 and has funded 30 projects since then, costing over 4 million euros, which have benefited over 35,000 people. The Costa Crociere Foundation is an independent organization that aims to guarantee every individual's right to happiness by improving the social and environmental conditions. The Foundation is involved in many social and environmental projects that make use of the resources made available by the Company and its partners.

About The Sahara Forest Project
The Sahara Forest Project Foundation is a Norwegian non-profit established to enable sustainable and profitable innovation and deployment of environmental technologies within the food-, water- and energy-sectors. Core elements of the SFP technology are a saltwater infrastructure combined with solar energy, greenhouse-based cultivation and outdoor food and biomass production. The Sahara Forest Project is currently operating a small-scale facility in Aqaba, Jordan and is working toward realizing a large commercial-size desert farm.

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SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc

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