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UAE, RAMSAR explore joint cooperation

WAM Dubai, 2nd May 2013 (WAM) — The UAE and the Ramsar (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat) discussed ways of improving sustainable management of wetlands according to international best practices, developing a national strategy for wetlands, compiling of the national report on wetlands and establishing a data base on wetlands in the UAE.

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, received today Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Mr. Anada Ti?ga, to explore technical cooperation between the two sides. The meeting also discussed the situation of the UAE’s four wet reserves on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.

Mr. Ti?ga lauded the UAE efforts for conserving and developing the environment locally, regionally and internationally.

The Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands,[1] i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

Number of Contracting Parties is 167, number of sites designated for the Ramsar List are 2,121 while the surface area totals 205,361,571 hectares.

The UAE joined the convention on 29 December 2007 has four designated Ramsar sites with a total combine area of 15,314 hectares: Al Wathba Wetland Reserve (Abu Dhabi), Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (Dubai), Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba (Sharjah) and Wadi Wurayah National Park (Fujairah).

The UAE is planning to announce more designated Ramsar sites.

WAM/TF