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Director of New 7 Wonders Foundation urges people to support Bu Tinah

posted on 19/06/2011: 2281 views



The Director of the Switzerland-based New 7 Wonders (N7W) Foundation met with senior managers of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) yesterday to discuss the UAE's campaign for Bu Tinah Island to be voted as one of the seven winners of the global ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature' contest.

Bu Tinah Island, part of the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve in Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi, has been shortlisted as one of the finalists in the international competition to find the world's seven most outstanding natural areas.

There are 28 other candidates, including the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, and the global vote ends in November this year. Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director of the New 7 Wonders Foundation, was in the UAE to hear how the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi is managing the protected area in which Bu Tinah Island is located, and which hosts the world's densest dugong population as well as the endangered hawksbill turtle.

Dr. Jaber Al Jaberi, Deputy Secretary General of EAD, said: "Bu Tinah Island has earned its place in the final of this competition because of the way that we in this country have chosen to protect it. Bu Tinah reminds us that the UAE's natural heritage is unique, and through this competition and campaign people everywhere can help ensure our natural environment continues to be recognised and protected." Bu Tinah Island is a vital nesting ground for the endangered hawksbill turtle. The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi revealed yesterday that it estimated over 600 hawksbill turtles were born on Bu Tinah Island this year.

Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director of the New 7 Wonders Foundation, said that the competition to find the seven winners was ‘wide open', and called on people in the UAE to support Bu Tinah: "The goal of the New7Wonders of Nature is to bring global appreciation for our natural heritage to the same level as that we hold for our cultural world. It is encouraging to see how the Bu Tinah campaign is spearheading efforts to promote and protect the natural beauty of the UAE and indeed the Arabian Gulf region. We encourage all the community, from individuals to organisations to companies, to get behind the campaign and vote for Bu Tinah." As well as hosting vital populations of dugongs and hawksbill turtles, Bu Tinah is home to unique coral reefs, mangroves, dolphins, ospreys and Socotra cormorants. Bu Tinah is the only candidate from the Arabian Gulf to have reached the finals of the New 7 Wonders contest.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature competition was created to celebrate the planet's natural beauty and foster greater appreciation of the earth's fragile environment. Bu Tinah Island was announced as one of 28 global finalists in the contest in March 2010, shortlisted from a list of 447 natural sites around the world. From these 28, seven will be declared the New 7 Wonders of Nature on November 11, 2011.

Since the launch of the campaign, Bu Tinah voting booths have toured the UAE, including universities, schools, public exhibitions and events, encouraging residents to vote for Bu Tinah. Among those who have shown their support include members of the ruling families, ministers, local celebrities, marine enthusiasts, students and school children. Anyone living in the UAE can vote for Bu Tinah by sending a SMS message to 3888 with the word "Butinah" in the message. In addition, people can also vote for the UAE island via the campaign website http://www.butinah.ae. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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