Home » Nine Key Biodiversity Areas of Global Significance Identified in the UAE

Nine Key Biodiversity Areas of Global Significance Identified in the UAE

by Dubaiforum

The UAE has officially designated nine key biodiversity areas (KBA) of global importance, underscoring its steadfast commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts. Endorsed by the Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat, these KBAs play a crucial role in safeguarding numerous endangered species.

This significant announcement, approved by President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, coincided with World Environment Day and featured insightful dialogues with young innovators and environmental leaders about sustainability initiatives.

The newly appointed KBAs encompass a range of diverse ecosystems across the UAE, including sites such as the Arabian Oryx Protected Area in Abu Dhabi, the Marawah Marine Area, and the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai. These areas are integral in protecting wildlife and fostering biodiversity.

The collaboration between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has been pivotal in identifying and designating these KBAs. The joint efforts of a dedicated team of 75 personnel, trained by international experts, culminated in adhering to global standards and listing these sites on the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas.

Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, emphasized the UAE’s unwavering commitment to biodiversity conservation. She stated that the designation of these nine globally significant KBAs signifies the nation’s dedication to nature protection and conservation initiatives.

The recognition of key biodiversity areas in the UAE underscores the country’s leadership in sustainability. By expanding reserves, addressing climate change, and promoting conservation projects, the UAE is paving the way for a more sustainable future.

The minister extended her gratitude to both local and international stakeholders for their contributions to this milestone achievement. She highlighted the significance of enhancing conservation efforts and protecting rare species, marking a groundbreaking Emirati initiative in global biodiversity conservation.

The nine KBAs in the UAE feature various biodiversity sites that rank among the most significant globally. Notably, two of these sites are crucial habitats for the Arabian Gazelle, the Arabian Sand Gazelle, and the Arabian Oryx, with the latter being a conservation success story after facing extinction in the 1970s.

Additionally, two KBAs were identified for the Dugong (sea cows), marking the first globally significant sites for this species in the Middle East. The UAE is home to the second-largest population of sea cows globally, highlighting the importance of marine conservation efforts.

Furthermore, three KBAs were designated for endemic species of Geckos, marking the first KBAs for reptiles in the UAE. The protection of these key sites contributes significantly to the overall preservation of biodiversity in the region.

The designation of these KBAs underscores the crucial role they play in protecting species, maintaining ecological balance, and providing essential conservation benefits. These areas serve as genetic resources for plants and animals, while also promoting air and water purification, soil improvement, and carbon storage.

Overall, the UAE’s commitment to biodiversity conservation and sustainability initiatives showcases its dedication to protecting the environment and preserving its natural heritage for future generations.

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