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Preparations begun to set up Abu Dhabi Plant Genetic Resources Centre

posted on 25/11/2014: 2375 views


After the approval of its Board of Directors of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, to establish the Abu Dhabi Plant Genetic Resources Centre, preparations has begun to set up the centre which aims to document the genetic resources of local bio-diverse plant species, and studying and conserving them by utilising an integrated approach that includes internal and external conservational methods for these species to sustain biodiversity.

The project is the first of its kind in the region aiming to utilise and restore the botanical heritage of the United Arab Emirates and help re-acquaint people with the beauty of plants that are natural to arid climates and their habitats.

EAD is implementing the project in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates University, UAEU, the Ministry of Environment and Water, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, ADFCA, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority - Sharjah, EPPA, the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, ICBA, and the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD Secretary-General, emphasised the importance of this project which focuses on preserving plant species across the U.A.E. and the Arabian Peninsula, and positioning the U.A.E. as a global leader in environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Al Mubarak also stressed the importance of the project that is implemented within the U.A.E. University's experimental farm in Al Ain, in strengthening the partnership between the EAD and the university, and ensuring the participation of students in conducting scientific research and receiving university degrees. The project will also help in building Emirati talent specialised in environmental conservation and resources management, as well as implementing scientific research activities using the latest technologies, and reflects the agency and the university's commitment to working together in utilising the community's skills to contribute to the country's development.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD's Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector said, "Recent studies conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Water in collaboration with EAD, estimated the number of plant species scattered across the United Arab Emirates at 755 plant species belonging to 81 different families, with 401 species belonging to 255 different genus of 62 plant families found in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi." EAD is working on implementing the project in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, which is providing technical and scientific support and consultations for the project's design preparation stages, reviewing and evaluating the seed collections as well as reviewing and evaluating the herbarium of wild plants in EAD. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395272896681.html

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