MOCCAE signs MoU with Ramsar Convention Secretariat

DUBAI, 28th January, 2018 (WAM) — The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, as the UAE is gearing up to host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, COP13.

The conference will be hosted in cooperation with Dubai Municipality, the official sponsor, and will take place from the 21st – 30th October 2018.

The MoU was signed by Sultan Alwan, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Regions Sector at MOCCAE, and Jonathan Barzdo, Deputy Secretary-General of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.


The UAE has joined and ratified the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands pursuant to the Federal Decree No. 11 of 2007, and has listed in the same year Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, Mangrove and Alhafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sir Bu Nair Island Protected Area in Sharjah, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Bul Syayeef Marine Protected Area in Abu Dhabi, and Al-Zora Protected Area in Ajman, as wetland sites of international importance.

Commenting on the MoU, Alwan said, “The UAE’s regional and international efforts in supporting high biodiversity and maintaining sustainable natural resources have secured it a prominent position as a world-class hub for environmental conferences and major events, such as 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Under the MoU, the UAE will organise and host the COP13, and is expected to draw participation from over 1200 representatives of the governments of the Contracting Parties.

Alwan pointed out that the MOCCAE will carry out awareness campaigns six months before the conference commences, to educate the public about wetlands, their environmental significance, and the best ways to conserve them.

“Wetlands have received the attention of the government, and the UAE vision 2021 confirms the importance of conserving our rich natural environment and protecting these fragile ecosystems from urbanisation and human activities. We always seek to increase the percentage of officially announced natural protected areas, as per specified world ratios. The national strategies for biodiversity and sustainability of the marine and coastal environments will play important roles in preserving the said environments and enhancing their ability to cope with human and natural challenges,” he added.

Highlighting Dubai Municipality’s role in hosting the conference, Alia Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department at Dubai Municipality, said, “Sponsoring the COP13 affirms the municipality’s vision towards developing a happy and sustainable city. Dubai is ready to host such an important event that will see the participation of 169 countries. This will be the first time to hold this conference in an Arab country. Dubai has always spearheaded the environmental ventures in the UAE. This is evident in Dubai’s listing of Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary as wetland site of international importance in 2007.”

Barzdo said, “We appreciate the generosity of the UAE Government for hosting the conference. The theme of this meeting is ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable urban future’, and Dubai will serve as an excellent host city given its commitment to the conservation and the wise use of Wetlands. It is especially relevant in this year of Zayed to recognise the commitment to nature and Wetlands of the founder of the UAE. We are looking forward to working with the UAE to make COP13 a great success.”

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