UAE celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity

0 commentsViews: 13

Dubai to host 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from October 21 to 30

Dubai, May 23- The UAE on Tuesday joined the international community in celebrating World Biodiversity Day, which is observed annually on May 22.

This year’s celebration is being held under the theme ‘Celebrating 25 years of action for biodiversity’ to mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by the UAE in 1992 and acceded in 2000.

The UAE will host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13), in Dubai from October 21 to 30.

The conference will be hosted in cooperation between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Dubai Municipality and is expected to draw participation from over 1,200 representatives of the governments of the 168 Contracting Parties, in addition to representatives of non-member states and non-governmental organisations.

Speaking on the occasion, Hiba Al Shehi, acting director, biodiversity department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said that biodiversity is a key component of environment conservation policies in the UAE.

She stated that the UAE Vision 2021 underscores the importance of the conservation of the rich natural environment of the homeland from the risks of human activities through preventive measures such as reducing carbon emissions and through regulatory measures that protect the fragile ecosystems from urban expansion.

She added that the UAE’s leading standing in wildlife conservation is further cemented by the National Programme for the Sustainability of Wildlife, an initiative of the Government Innovation Laboratory. The programme aims to ensure the sustainability of the rich local biodiversity through an array of integrated legislations, policies, researches, and initiatives that protect indigenous species, regulate the trade in flora and fauna, and identify invasive species and mechanisms to eradicate and control them.

Al Shehi stressed that the UAE has rich experience in protected areas and habitat conservation. Its efforts to preserve habitats and provide safe havens for threatened and endangered species have enabled the country to occupy the top position in the Marine Protected Areas criterion in the Global Environmental Performance Index (GDI) according to the 2016 report.

She added that the UAE is committed to expanding and increasing its protected areas, as the number of protected areas declared in the UAE is 43, occupying 14.35 per cent of the UAE’s area — estimated at a total area of 18,000 square kilometres. The number of protected areas already exceeds the objective of the National Biodiversity Strategy.

Al Shehi further detailed that the UAE has joined and ratified the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and has listed seven areas as wetland sites of international importance. These include: Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai, Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sir Bu Nair Island Protected Area in Sharjah, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Bul Syayeef Marine Protected Area in Abu Dhabi, and Al Zora Protected Area in Ajman.

Courtesy: Gulf News

Leave a Reply