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First year freshwater conservation efforts at Wadi Wurayah hailed a success

posted on 17/07/2014: 2198 views

The Water Research and Learning Programme in Wadi Wurayah National Park, Fujairah, has announced the success of its inaugural fielding season, a programme which hosted eight main research activities inside the National Park.

The ongoing programme, which was launched in September 2013, was the first of its kind in the Middle East and is committed to researching the biodiversity of freshwater areas and spreading awareness on freshwater issues.

In December 2013, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, officially closed the gates of the wadi to the public in order to prevent further damage to the area's biodiversity and to allow for the development of an appropriate infrastructure to ensure the sustainable management of the park according to best international standards.

One such effort was establishing the Water Research Centre, which is home to the Water Research and Learning Programme. These initiatives were conceived by EWS-WWF and the international environmental charity Earthwatch, and sponsored by HSBC Bank Middle East and the Government of Fujairah.

EWS-WWF Director-General, Ida Tillisch, said, "Freshwater is a scarce yet important commodity, especially in the Middle East. It is important to better understand freshwater ecosystems, such as those inside Wadi Wurayah National Park, through gathering important data that will help us in proposing robust conservation measures.

"Thanks to continued research efforts in the wadi, we now know that by reducing the pressure on the wadi through measures such as preventing access to its pools, the quality of the water resources have increased as levels of E.coli and other coliform bacteria have dropped significantly," she concluded.

So far, EWS-WWF conservationists, with the help of the volunteer teams, have tagged more than 400 dragonflies, performed over 275 freshwater tests, explored 30 areas of water in the wadi and measured approximately 300 toads to help build a greater picture of the health of the area's ecosystem. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – Read more:


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