Call to protect coastal habitats

ABU DHABI — A symposium on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the UAE concluded here on Tuesday, calling for efforts to push for the sustainable development and conservation of the UAE’s coastal and marine environment as well as the protection of critical habitats including beaches, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 16 Jun 2005, 11:03 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:01 PM

Organised by the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (Erwda), the symposium attracted a number of national and international experts in the field and concluded with a series of recommendations to advance the ICZM initiative in the UAE.

The symposium welcomed the working paper “A Framework for the Future”, which was submitted with the objective of pushing for the sustainable development and conservation of the country’s coastal and marine environment.

The coastal and marine resources of the UAE are of great importance to the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the people of the UAE and the wider world. The symposium highlighted that this environment is subject to multiple and often conflicting uses and it was therefore recommended that ICZM in the UAE should optimise the compatible use of resources, manage conflicting uses of the marine and coastal resources, and adopt ecosystem-based management for managing coastal and marine resources, and ensuring widespread participation of all stakeholders, both public and private.

The symposium set several detailed recommendations concerning Integrated Planning, Consolidated Legal Instruments, Coordinated Conservation and Management and Capacity Building.

It was recommended that the UAE should enact federal legislation (the Federal Law) for ICZM and that a review should be conducted on all components of existing coastal and marine management systems in the UAE to include the present capacity of human resources and current scientific knowledge. Other recommendations included the coordination of education and awareness-raising programmes in order to support the implementation of ICZM.

The symposium also called for action plans for ICZM to make use of strategic environmental and economic planning and sustainable development plans. In regards to implementation, it was recommended that the Federal Law should provide for an ongoing review and possible revision of its provisions.

The symposium set these recommendations with the vision of having a healthy and thriving coastal and marine environment in the UAE balancing human needs and the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of biological diversity, leading to sustainable economic, social and environmental use.

More news from