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UAE to host next Ramsar COP13 in 2018

posted on 10/06/2015: 1628 views

PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY: The United Arab Emirates was officially accepted as the host for the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) to take place in Dubai in 2018.

The announcement was made on 8th June 2015 during a plenary session attended by over 800 delegates from 160 countries meeting in Uruguay, who are attending the 12th Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP12).

The UAE delegation was headed by Mohammed Saif Al Afkham, Director General of Fujairah Municipality.

The Contracting Parties are meeting in Punta Del Este from 1 to 9 June 2015 to approve a new Strategic Plan to guide national and international actions to conserve and wisely use wetlands in the next triennium, 2016 to 2024.

"The UAE's decision to host COP13 confirms our support to the Convention at the regional and international level," said Eng. Mariam Mohammed Saeed Hareb, Acting Assistant under Secretary, Water Resource and Nature Conservation Affairs.

"Wetlands have received the attention of the government and the UAE vision 2024 confirms the importance of conserving our rich natural environment and protecting these fragile ecosystems from urbanisation and human activities."

The United Arab Emirates has been a party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands since 2007 and has designated 5 wetland sites onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (‘Ramsar Sites'), considered to be of high value to the country and the world because of the ecosystem services they provide. Although the United Arab Emirates is better known for being situated in one of the most arid regions of the world, the wetland ecosystem in the country is one of the most unique and diverse in the Arabian Peninsula.

It includes marshes, vast tidal flats, fresh water aquifers, mangroves and coral reefs. Ramsar Sites in the country include the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai which is a stop for thousands of migratory waterbirds and the Al Wathba Ramsar Site in Abu Dhabi, which is important for its ecological and touristic value. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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