SHARJAH, 12th December, 2017 (WAM) — Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre in Kalba, an affiliate of Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, celebrated International Mountain Day on 11th December by organising an event to highlight the importance of mountains in the UAE. This included entertainment, competitions and a video presentation on the types and significance of mountains in the UAE.
There was also a tour of the centre with explanations of the mountains in Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre. Partner organisations such as the Sharjah Economic Development Department, Kalba Municipality, Sharjah Institute for Heritage and Bee’ah, the Sharjah Environment Company, also made presentations on the role they play in conservation of the mountain environment.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, the EPAA Chairperson, commented that, “Mountains have enormous global diversity, providing fresh water to nearly half of the world’s population,. They also have a major impact on climate and weather conditions, They deserve more attention and to be protected, along with those that live in them. We celebrate events such as International Mountain Day to draw attention to the vital role mountains play in preserving life on the planet. This is in keeping with the directives of our wise leadership and the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, with regard to areas of environmental protection and preservation and biodiversity conservation.”
Al Suwaidi added that educating the public about the preservation of the mountain environment was of major importance to Sharjah’s leadership and was part of the work regularly undertaken at the EPAA.
More than one billion people around the world live in mountain areas and more than half of the world’s population relies on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Mountains account for a quarter of the world’s land area and are early indicators of climate change. Some mountain inhabitants are among the world’s poorest people with the highest hunger rates those who struggle the most for survival.
In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly designated 11th December, with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO, being assigned the responsibility for organising international activities to mark the day.