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Sharjah: The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah seized 379 dangerous predatory animals, besides 1,052 prohibited devices used to lure birds last year, according to Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson.

“EPAA’s teams carry out regular inspections to ensure that the Executive Council’s decisions – issued to prevent environmental deterioration and preserve wildlife – are implemented. They also apply Federal Law No. (11) of 2002, which regulates and controls the international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and Federal Law No (22) of 2016, which regulates the possession of dangerous animals,” the official said.

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Snakes were among the dangerous animals seized Image Credit: Supplied

She said the External Inspection Department recorded several violations by companies operating in the wilderness areas. Thanks to periodic inspections, it was able to identify and act on 37 cases in which illegal activities had resulted in soil erosion. EPAA’s External Inspection Department also recorded 102 violations by companies operating in the wilderness areas.

She said waste from barbecues was a big problem, with a total of 975 violations being recorded.

Al Suwaidi said the fines for those found violating the law ranged from Dh1,000 to Dh50,000 for a set of nine violations. The violations include dumping, burying, storing or disposal of hazardous waste by visitors and residents in the wilderness areas; the pollution of these areas; acts that threaten the health and safety of individuals or the community; soil erosion; damaging vegetation; and cutting down perennial and non-perennial trees of national and environmental importance for logging or other purposes.

EPAA’s agenda and strategy are based on the vision of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Monitoring campaigns and fines help to ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe and clean environment. The fines, which are issued as deterrents rather than for financial reasons, help to remind people of the importance of complying with regulations. Wilderness areas belong to all and should be respected, said Al Suwaidi, adding that the campaigns have been well-received by visitors and residents.