DUBAI, 13th February 2018 (WAM) – The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Dubai Municipality (DM) held a press conference today at the World Government Summit (WGS), to jointly announce that the UAE will host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13), in Dubai from October 21st to 30th, 2018.
To be held under the theme “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”, the conference will be organized with the sponsorship of DM, and in cooperation with MOCCAE, and is expected to draw participation from over 1,200 representatives from the governments of the 165 Contracting Parties.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The UAE’s regional and international efforts in supporting high biodiversity and maintaining sustainable natural resources have secured it a prominent position in this field worldwide. Wetlands have received the attention of our government, and the UAE Vision 2021 confirms the importance of conserving our rich natural environment and protecting these fragile ecosystems from urbanization and human activities. To that end, we always seek to increase the percentage of officially designated protected natural areas.”
Dr. Al Zeyoudi continued: “I would also like to announce that we have developed a series of videos on the biodiversity and protected areas here in the UAE, which we have offered to the public to ensure that everyone can explore the beautiful nature of our beloved country.”
Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, thanked MOCCAE for their collaboration in hosting the Ramsar Conference. “This will be the first time to hold the conference in an Arab city, and Dubai is ready to host this important event which will see the participation of 169 countries. Sponsoring the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands affirms Dubai Municipality’s vision towards developing a happy and sustainable city.
The theme for this year ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable urban future’ shows our commitment to living in harmony with the environment and maintaining our natural resources, even as our nation undergoes rapid urbanization.”
The UAE joined and ratified the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands pursuant to the Federal Decree No. 11/2007, and at the same time listed wetland sites of international importance: 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.
The Contracting Parties meet every three years at a Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP) to agree on a work program and budgetary arrangements for the next triennium and consider guidance on a range of ongoing and emerging environmental issues. Each meeting of the COP includes a number of technical sessions on wetland conservation and responsible use issues, to update Convention concepts, and draft guidance for the Parties. The last Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP12) was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015.
Held annually in Dubai, WGS provides a global platform where leading voices from the private, public and non-profit sectors meet to discuss and showcase innovations, best practice and smart solutions to shape the future of governments – inspiring creativity to overcome challenges facing people and communities around the world.