Sharjah: Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Emirates Nature-WWF and the Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG) are working together to introduce a new era of conservation management with a project that focuses on Sir Bu Nair Island.

A community launch event for the project will be held at Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah from 5-9pm on January 4. Members of the community are invited to shine a spotlight on Sir Bu Nair island by helping create a digital photography mosaic of this beautiful pearl shaped island displaying its precious wildlife on a 4-metre screen.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “Recognising the importance of working towards the long-term protection of marine ecosystems, EPAA is collaborating with Emirates Nature-WWF and EMEG on the 3-year Sir Bu Nair Project. The new approach involves a scalable model of sustainable marine conservation management that adheres to Marine Protected Area legislation under the jurisdiction of Sharjah’s government. The project will benefit the environment, society and future generations of Emiratis.”

His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, declared Sir Bu Nair Island a protected nature reserve in 2000. Recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, the island was added to the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in 2012. A haven for fisherman and pearl divers in the early 20th century, Sir Bu Nair Island is now home to rich and diverse habitats and species including turtles, birds and coral reefs. In addition to its ecological importance, the island has historical, cultural and political significance.

“The project’s objectives include conserving the coastal and marine ecosystems and biodiversity of Sir Bu Nair Island, strengthening existing management, developing robust long-term scientific monitoring programmes and implementing scientifically-based measures to protect and improve the resilience of the ecosystem in light of increasing anthropogenic and climate-related pressures,” Al Suwaidi explained.