Abu Dhabi: 1,900 violations occurred in 14 nature reserves in a year

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 22, 2021

Altogether, 29,700 field patrols were carried out in the past year, when 1,900 violations came to light.

The Abu Dhabi authorities have recorded 1,900 violations, including illegal hunting of some endangered species, in the emirate’s 14 nature reserves in the past year.

Most of the offences were detected in the Al Ain region of the country’s largest emirate and the violators were referred to the judicial authorities for legal action.

The annual report for the protection of wildlife 2021, which was issued by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) recently, showed that five animals such as antelopes and other endangered species had died due to accidents. Five more animals had also sustained injuries during the corresponding period and 104 trees were illegally felled.

The annual report highlighted the EAD’s success over the past five years in achieving remarkable progress in preserving biological diversity.

For instance, it had set up the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network, which preserves critical habitats and species and monitors their health and the environment.

The agency said it was keen on achieving its strategic priorities such as preserving biological diversity through meticulous environmental planning and bringing in new legislations.

The EAD also seeks to provide a suitable environment for endangered animals by further enhancing biodiversity in the nature reserves.

The agency said their patrols were monitoring the emirate’s natural reserves through 14 centres, of which six and eight are located in Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions, respectively.

Altogether, 29,700 field patrols were carried out in the past year, when 1,900 violations came to light.

The field patrols have been intensified to combat aggressive wild dogs that often threaten to kill endangered local species such as antelopes.

The EAD has proposed several remedies to eliminate the causes of environmental violations, including tightening control of these nature reserves especially during the seasons of hunting, breeding and landing of bustards and curlews.

Plans are afoot seeking amending laws on protection of nature reserves, increasing the number of monitors for the protection of the wild environment, cooperating with the Department of Municipalities and Transport to monitor outlets selling firewood, preventing the damage of wild plants, and safeguarding the sale of saffron and Ghaf trees.

The EAD is also working on a Dh43-million project to replace the fences of the Arabian Oryx, Delphia, Ramleh, and the eastern part of the Qasr Al Sarab Reserve.

Besides, the authorities are also training observers to monitor violations in these nature reserves.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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