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Emirati women share their success stories in environmental conservation

by Dubai Forum
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ABU DHABI, 28th August, 2022 (WAM) — The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has created a motivating environment for female citizens, who are honourable models embodying the UAE’s women’s empowerment process.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Muzna Al Motawa, who works as a veterinarian at EAD’s Land and Marine Biodiversity Sector, stressed that her key achievements include participating in a programme to protect the African Oryx (Abu Harab) in the Wadi Rim Reserve in Wadi Achim, Chad, adding that the authority’s conservation team that supports the species outside their natural habitat plays a key role in this programme.

“It all started in 2000, when this species was declared extinct in the wild in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. But after a long period of time, we managed to successfully begin the programme in March 2016. I am thrilled to be part of this talented team,” she said.

“From this experience, I learnt that cooperation is extremely inspiring and confirms our ability to make a change. As a female scientist, I am proud to have played a critical role in protecting the environment,” she said.

An assistant scientist specialising in fisheries at EAD’s Land and Marine Biodiversity Sector, Shamsa Mohammed Al Hamli, also stressed that she is proud to work for the EAD’s team, which launched a DNA coding programme for marine species.

The programme was launched in 2017 and is still up and running, she added, noting that it has successfully collected over 600 samples of fish DNA, which are stored at the authority’s laboratories.

DNA bar coding depends on the sequence variation within a short and uniform region of the genome, enabling the accurate identification of a species, she further added, noting that some 25 percent of the fish species monitored in Abu Dhabi waters have been encoded and accurately identified.

“I am also a PhD student at UAE University, and my field of study focuses on sharks at risk of extinction living around Abu Dhabi’s islands. The results of the study could offer a basis for future work in this area, as well as support the drafting of national shark protection strategies,” Al Hamli explained.

Aisha Al Suwaidi, Head of the Planning Department at EAD, told WAM that she is working on drafting Abu Dhabi’s environmental and climate change policies, underscoring the emirate’s pioneering role in protecting the environment and addressing climate change, through cooperating with its partners in strengthening the regional and global sustainable development process.

Her work includes highlighting the emirate’s pivotal role in protecting the environment by organising international conferences, such as the World Ocean Summit, she added, noting that she is also a negotiator working as part of the UAE delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

She then stressed that Emirati women have always played a key role in protecting the environment, highlighting the country’s approach to investing in human resources without discrimination based on gender, as well as to supporting women’s empowerment as part of the process to ensure sustainable development, and encouraging women’s participation in the decision-making processes, thanks to the significant efforts of the country’s leadership.

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