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DUBAI, 17th September, 2023 (WAM) -- Ministry of Climate Change and Environment led the UAE delegation at the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee of Ramsar Convention, held at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) headquarters in Gland, Switzerland .
The meeting was held under the presidency of the People's Republic of China marking the conclusion of the UAE’s four-year presidency, which commenced in 2018 and was underpinned by significant achievements.
Asilah Abdullah Al Mualla, Director-General of the Fujairah Environment Authority, took part in the meeting, with officials from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Fujairah Environment Authority, Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), and the Dubai Municipality.
The meeting covered the strategic plans of Ramsar Convention Parties and discussed their future projects and approach to strengthening measures to protect wetlands and biodiversity. It also addressed the current financials and next year’s budget. Several meetings of the sub- and regional working groups of the committee, were held earlier, and recommendations of these meetings were also discussed.
Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said: “UAE’s wetlands are among the most biodiverse and we are committed to enhancing efforts to preserve them. Several measures have already been initiated to protect and nurture these ecosystems. During the UAE’s Presidency of the Ramsar Convention, we facilitated a conducive environment for cooperation among member states which helped advance measures for preserving and developing natural environments worldwide. With China holding the current presidency, we look forward to strengthening our cooperation. We will work with all our partners during COP28 to be hosted by the UAE in November to explore additional opportunities for cooperation to achieve our shared objectives”.
Asilah Abdullah Al Mualla said: “The Fujairah Environment Authority works in line with the national strategy to protect biodiversity and preserve natural water resources in the Emirate of Fujairah to enhance wetland sites. We do this through joint efforts with the community to achieve a balanced relationship between nature and human activities. Since the inclusion of the Wadi Wurayah National Park among the wetlands in the UAE, the Authority has implemented several initiatives that have assisted in preserving the reserve's natural resource. We have also drawn out a roadmap for the future with a focus on ensuring the sustainability of our rich biodiversity.”
The meeting also discussed plans and initiatives to engage youth in wetland conservation. This reflects the commitment of the participating countries to empower and involve youth in sustainability endeavours to create a greener future.
The Emirati delegation's participation included a review of the country's efforts to maintain wetlands through systematic planning and innovative initiatives announced at the previous conference. These complement the UAE marking 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, when the UAE hosts COP28. The UAE believes in enhancing biodiversity as a framework for addressing the impact of climate change.
Zimbabwe will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the next meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention has been scheduled for June 2024.
The UAE ratified the Ramsar Convention, under Federal Decree No. (11) of 2007. In the same year Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai was included under it followed by 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 Zorah Protected Area in Ajman, in the following years.
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