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Wadi Wurayah Mountain Protected Area gets new eco-managers

New management board to be established,

Gulf News

Dubai. The government of Fujairah on Saturday appointed the Emirates Wildlife Society – WWF (EWS-WWF) to develop and manage a new plan for the Wadi Wurayah Mountain Protected Area.

His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, designated the 169-square kilometre National Park as a Protected Area in 2009, making it the UAE’s first Mountain Protected Area.

Mohammad Al Afkham, Managing Director of Fujairah Municipality, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Saturday with EWS-WWF Acting Director General Ida Tillisch in order to show Fujairah government’s commitment to provide the resources needed to realise the vision for the Protected Area.

“We are committed to establishing a sustainable Protected Area, integrating local tradition and lifestyle with the conservation of inimitable biodiversity and habitat,” Al Afkham said.

“It is important for us to protect this rich area in a way that aligns with our culture and developmental needs, while always keeping the environmental integrity of the natural ecosystems that supports its flora and fauna as the main focus and the cornerstone of our work,” he added.

“With this agreement, we aim to strengthen our efforts to ensure that this wonderful place of real nature is conserved and the species within it protected,” Tillisch said.

Following the agreement, a management board will be established to advise and assess the work plans for the National Park. The new management board will also conduct consultations with local, regional, and international experts on the conservation of the wadi’s biodiversity.

Continuous research has been carried out in the area since it being declared as the country’s first mountain protected area in 2009. As of September 2011, 56 new species have been found, including 26 species which are considered “new to science.”

The National Park is located between the towns of Khor Fakkan, Masafi, and Bidiyah in Fujairah.