UAE Safeguards Biodiversity with 9 Key Conservation Areas


9 Key Biodiversity areas unveiled on World Environment Day.

In a monumental stride towards environmental preservation, the United Arab Emirates has announced the designation of nine globally significant Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). 

Approved by the “Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat,” these strategic locations are home to numerous endangered plant and animal species, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s commitment to sustainability during the Year of Sustainability.

Unveiled on World Environment Day, this achievement underscores the UAE’s global leadership in identifying practical solutions to enhance biodiversity through nature-based solutions, effectively addressing a range of environmental and climatic challenges. The nine newly appointed KBAs are:

  1. The Arabian Oryx Protected Area in Abu Dhabi
  2. The Marawah Marine Area in Abu Dhabi
  3. Al Yasat Marine Area in Abu Dhabi
  4. Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve in Dubai
  5. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
  6. Wadi Al-Helo in Sharjah
  7. Khor Fakan and Shark Island in Sharjah
  8. Wadi Al-Bih in Ras Al Khaimah
  9. Siniyah Island and Khor Al Beidah in Umm Al Quwain

This initiative, a collaboration between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, highlights the UAE’s exceptional efforts in protecting living creatures from extinction, both locally and globally. Two of these KBAs have been identified for the Arabian Gazelle, Arabian Sand Gazelle, and Arabian Oryx, marking the first such designation for these mammals worldwide.

Additionally, two globally significant KBAs have been identified for the Dugong (sea cows), representing the first such sites for these marine mammals in the Middle East. Furthermore, three KBAs have been designated for three endemic species of Geckos, a first for reptiles in the UAE.

With an average of 98 percent of the KBA area covered by protected areas, the UAE has significantly raised the mean area protected in terrestrial and marine sites important to biodiversity, contributing to the conservation of key biodiversity areas.

This remarkable achievement underscores the UAE’s unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship, paving the way for future generations to appreciate the vital importance of nature in our lives.

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