Arabian Oryx

Nine key biodiversity areas have been identified in the UAE, according to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).

MOCCAE announced the nine globally important Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) which are approved by the “Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat”. These areas are of strategic biological importance globally and are home to many endangered plants and animals.

The nine newly designated KBAs include the Arabian Oryx Protected Area in Abu Dhabi; the Marawah marine area in Abu Dhabi; Al Yasat Marine Area in Abu Dhabi; Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai; Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve; Wadi Al-Helo in Sharjah; Khor Fakan and Shark Island in Sharjah; Wadi Al-Bih in Ras Al Khaimah; and Siniyah Island and Khor Al Beidah in Umm Al Qaiwain.

This achievement highlights the UAE’s global position in identifying practical solutions to improve biodiversity by implementing nature-based solutions.

It is the result of a collaboration between MOCCAE and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This important milestone also highlights the active participation of relevant authorities from the UAE government and private sector, as well as the dedicated efforts of a team comprising 75 national and resident staff, both men and women. The teams attended training sessions by international experts and were guided by the ministry to effectively execute the project.

The designation of the nine KBAs was completed last year, in line with the global standard for identifying these areas. These sites have been officially published in the global database of key biodiversity areas.

The United Arab Emirates is home to the largest number of Arabian oryx in the world, having been on the brink of extinction in the 1970s. The Arabian oryx is found in both the Desert Conservation Reserve and Al Marmoom in Dubai and the Arabian Oryx Protected Area in Abu Dhabi.

Additionally, two globally significant KBAs have been identified for the Dugong, also known as sea cows. These sites are the first KBAs of global importance for sea cows in the Middle East.

The UAE is home to the second largest gathering of sea cows in the world, found in the Al Yasat and Marawah marine areas.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *