Ramsar Secretariat Recognizes Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary as Wetland of International Importance

Second in Dubai and Eighth Nationwide

Ramsar Secretariat Recognizes Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary as Wetland of International Importance

Dubai-UAE: On the sidelines of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of Contracting Parties to Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13), hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in collaboration with Dubai Municipality, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat declared the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary as a Ramsar Site of International Importance.

The announcement was made at a press conference held in the presence of His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, and Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Speaking on the prestigious accolade, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE's environmental efforts have led to the designation of 43 protected areas that are internationally-acclaimed to provide shelter to many of the species considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Thanks to Dubai’s commitment to preserving its wetlands, the emirate now holds two Ramsar Sites of International Importance: the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and the Jebel Ali Sanctuary. We are proud to say that the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary is the second protected area in Dubai and the eighth in the UAE to make it to the Ramsar List.”

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi reiterated the commitment of the UAE’s public and private sector to cooperate in protecting the environment and its natural resources, in line with the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021.

For his part, His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri said: "We are extremely pleased with the new recognition. The Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary has unique ecological features and supports several endangered and threatened species, making it ideal to gain a mention on the Ramsar List. Dubai Municipality’s commitment to preserving wildlife has always been solid and internationally recognized.”

Located between Jebel Ali and Ras Ghantoot, the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary spans over ​​21.85 square kilometers. It was established in 1998 and is recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as one of the Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the Arabian Gulf.

With its diverse habitats that comprise coral reef, mangrove, shallow lagoons, seagrass, oyster beds and sandy shorelines, the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary provides a shelter to around 539 species of marine fauna and flora. The area supports the survival of two other threatened species of marine reptiles, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle. Both species use the area as a feeding ground. The sandy beaches of Jebel Ali are one of the main breeding sites for the critically endangered hawksbill turtle in the UAE and the only one in Dubai.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national events and global cooperation for the conservation of wetlands and the rational use of their resources.


About the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment:

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. The Ministry acquired its new name following the UAE Cabinet reshuffle in February 2016 and the subsequent integration of the climate change function.

Under its redefined scope, the Ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, the Ministry aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is working collaboratively with international stakeholders in combating climate change and highlighting the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.

For further details, please contact us: Media@moccae.gov.ae

About Dubai Municipality:

Established in 1954, Dubai Municipality core was established with a staff of no more than seven employees and simple tasks in the cleanliness of the city. The first decree was issued on February 28, 1957, under which the country's dignitaries and merchants were appointed members of the municipal council and numbered twenty-three members. The council was given limited powers, the most important being the city's health and urban affairs.

Dubai Municipality has undergone a number of developmental stages during its years of operation. The Municipality has continued its development and growth. The number of employees has exceeded 11,000 working in 34 departments. Dubai Municipality is one of the largest governmental institutions in terms of services it provides and projects it carries out. Leading and driving the growth and development of Dubai.

For further information or inquiries, please contact:

Suad Al Za’abi

Leading Arab media journalist

Department of Media

Institutional Marketing and Relationships

Dubai Municipality

Phone: 04-2064658

Mobile: 050-6858852

E-mail: skzaabi@dm.gov.ae

© Press Release 2018

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