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The violators who infiltrated Sharjah’s nature reserves after their arrest. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The External Inspection teams at the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA) has arrested 17 violators who infiltrated Sharjah’s nature reserves. The incident took place after the Executive Council formed Resolution No. 5 of 2021 to put an end to violations of biodiversity conservation at the emirate’s reserves.

The External Inspection teams of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority have intensified their inspection and monitoring campaigns on the reserves around the clock. Stringent measures have been put in place to prohibit intrusions into the nature reserves as it violates the Executive Council’s decision and can potentially harm wildlife found within the reserves.

The Resolution No. 5 of 2021, regarding violations of the conservation of biological diversity in the nature reserves in Sharjah, which was issued by Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Sharjah.

Protecting biodiversity and wildlife

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, said: “The decision aims to protect land and marine biodiversity and wildlife in the natural reserves. We want to prohibit any action or activity that would potentially harm the wildlife. Violators will face administrative fines and some of these fines amount to Dh50,000. In total, there are nine types of violations and a fine for each type.”

Al Suwaidi expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the teams working round-the-clock to protect the nature reserves and help wildlife thrive. She also said that the teams will continue to remain vigilant to ensure that the decision of the Executive Council is fully implemented. “The plan is to monitor the natural reserves strictly and reduce the number of violations. Strict measures are in place against violators and we aim to stop the intrusions.”

Most notable violations

The most common violations include entering the nature reserves without an official permit from the Environment and Protected Areas Authority which amounts to Dh5,000. Other violations include hunting, transporting or killing wild or marine creatures in the nature reserves, or the reserve’s surrounding areas, or carrying out works that would harm them unless this is done in accordance with the rules determined by the environmental laws, regulations and decisions issued by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority. The violators will be penalised for an amount of Dh10,000.

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Crabs caught by the infiltrators. Image Credit: Supplied

The last main violation is the practice of any activities or actions by companies or individuals in the nature reserves or the areas surrounding them, which would affect the environment of the natural reserves or natural phenomena without an official permit from the authority. The penalty for this violation is Dh10,000.

The EPAA in Sharjah seeks to protect the environment, natural reserves, wildlife and their biodiversity through scientific studies and research. The authority publishes educational awareness material, implements policies for environmental awareness and programmes, and has launched specialised campaigns on environmental awareness and education.