The UAE will join the international community in observing the World Wetlands Day on Monday.
This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The World Wetlands Day 2015 is being held under the theme “Wetlands for Our Future – Join us!”
Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said in a statement that the UAE were making tremendous efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity in general and terrestrial and marine protected areas, and wetlands in particular, reported Wam, the state news agency.
The minister said that collective national plans would have a positive impact on these ecosystems and their economic value and services as well as their economic, social and environmental benefits.
He said that these efforts had paid off and helped the UAE’s biodiversity and habitat to advance in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings from 33rd to 15th place between 2012 and 2014.
Five wetlands in the UAE have been designated as sites of international importance by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) since it became a member in 2007. The five wetlands have a total surface area of more than 20,000 hectares.
The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai became the first UAE wetland to be named by Ramsar as a site of international importance. Later, Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi and the Mangrove Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sharjah, were added to the Ramsar list.