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09 December 2023

EAD announces grazing season in Abu Dhabi from May 1 to October 15 every year


ABU DHABI, 25th September, 2023 (WAM) -- The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced the grazing season in the emirate, as a part of its efforts to regulate grazing and provide protection for natural pastures in Abu Dhabi,

The season will be from 1st May to 15th October each year, in order to ensure the recovery of vegetation and enhancing and sustaining biodiversity. This gives the pastures an opportunity for natural regeneration and ensures their continuity for future generations.

This announcement is part of the Executive Regulations of Law No.11 of the 2020 framework regarding the regulation of grazing in Abu Dhabi. The regulations were issued by EAD, under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EAD, with EAD the competent authority for environmental affairs in Abu Dhabi.

EAD is implementing this law, which aims to regulate grazing to protect natural pastures and promote sustainable traditional practices in coordination with the concerned authorities. This is to secure protected areas and critical and sensitive natural habitats, according to balanced foundations that will protect plants of all kinds from overgrazing.

Based on this regulation, last July, EAD began issuing licences to owners and breeders of livestock to regulate grazing activity and all related activities in Abu Dhabi. To obtain a grazing licence, the applicant must be a citizen of the UAE and should not be less than 21 years old. The applicant must also have a valid livestock inventory certificate approved by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).

EAD looks forward to these measures as they contribute to allowing the natural pastures to recover, and protect the desert environment from the pressures caused by overgrazing.

Examples include the deterioration of desert vegetation cover and beneficial local plants, soil erosion and erosion which leads to a decline in the numbers of livestock that depend entirely on natural pastures and the emergence of signs of desertification that appear in selected areas of Abu Dhabi. This is in addition to its importance in giving the opportunity for desert habitats to recover naturally.

The Agency is also investing in research and rehabilitation, through its scheduled environmental pasture assessment programme, as well as the rehabilitation of key plant species, through its programme that aims to protect and rehabilitate local trees.

Livestock owners and breeders, who meet the requirements can apply for a licence to EAD after paying the application fees.

They must also submit a copy of their ID card and an approved and valid animal wealth inventory certificate which shows their ownership of the animal wealth. They must also be registered in the animal identification and registration system in the emirate by the relevant authorities. The applicant must also identify the individuals who will accompany and care for the livestock and provide a copy of their Emirates IDs.

Licence holders will be allowed to graze in open wild areas and should stay away from reserves, forests, residential, military, petroleum and private areas, and all prohibited roads and places that are not less than 2 km. They will also be required not to leave livestock grazing without accompaniment, and to adhere to the period specified for grazing in this licence, which is renewable after one year.

Those licenced to graze must comply with a number of environmental requirements, which include not introducing exotic plants, animals, or any harmful substances into the grazing areas. They must also not uproot, burn, transport, cut, destroy, log, remove, or collect pasture plants or any part thereof in grazing areas. They should also not damage or harm the biodiversity or cause any damage to the local environment in the grazing areas and adhere to the permitted grazing seasons.

Licensees must also consider the periods of suspension of grazing determined by the Agency in coordination with the concerned authorities to ensure the sustainability of grazing areas. It is also prohibited to use bicycles, cars, or any type of vehicle or machinery in grazing areas in a way that affects the vegetation cover. It is also prohibited to transfer their grazing licence to another person.

EAD in cooperation with the Majalis Abu Dhabi at the Presidential Court, also organised a series of 9 awareness lectures which were held in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Al Dhafra region. They covered the topic of “The practice of grazing within the framework of preserving and sustaining pastures”, in which more than 350 farm owners and livestock owners have participated so far. This aims to promote the education aspects and raise awareness of preserving and developing the wild environment.

The licence can be applied through the website of EAD www.ead.gov.ae. The applicant must choose the “Knowledge Centre”, and then select “Resources”, where they can download the “Grazing License Application Form.”

The applicant should fill out the application, attach the required documents, and send them to the email: Customerhappiness@ead.gov.ae. Upon completion, the customer will be sent a link to pay AED250, after which an electronic copy of the grazing license will be issued and sent to the customer through email.