Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fujairah to Host Workshop on Wetlands & Ramsar Convention for Region

A Workshop on Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention for countries in the West Asia region is being held next week, 23 to 26 May 2011, at Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah.


The workshop is being held under the patronage of the Fujairah Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

It is hosted by the Environment Protection and Development Department of Fujairah.

It is organized by the department, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the EWS-WWF.

It is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) of the UAE, the Secretariat of the League of Arab States and the UNEP-ROWA.

First for UAE

This will be the first workshop dedicated to the study and protection of wetlands to be conducted in the United Arab Emirates.

The purpose of the workshop is to develop the capacity and expertise of those who manage wetlands and increase their knowledge of this task as it is performed throughout the region.


Those expected to attend the workshop in Fujairah are the site managers and overseers of wetlands from the invited countries which include the GCC nations, Iran and the Arabic speaking countries of North Africa such as Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Topics and Themes

More than 30 scientific papers will be presented during the workshop and this will be supplemented by documentaries and displays in the way of case studies on wetlands of the region.

The main topics to be discussed will include:

  • The wise use of wetlands
  • The involvement of local communities in wetlands
  • The socio-economic benefits of wetlands
  • The importance of having national committees to oversee issues related to the conservation of natural resources
  • How to develop processes and legislation to support and protect bio-diversity
  • The Ramsar Convention and its role in directing and supporting various parties to encourage the development of legislation and practices relating to the wise use and management of wetlands.


On the side of the workshop will be photos and information that tell the story of Fujairah’s Wadi Wurayah as well as a focus on a Ramsar certified site in Jordan.

Field Visits

Built into the workshop will be field visits to the Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah and the Ras Al Khor reserve in Dubai which are the only two Ramsar certified sites in the UAE.

There are currently 1,932 Ramsar certified sites in the world.

Fujairah Developments

Hopefully this workshop sponsored by Fujairah might give an impetus to new local and national environmental initiatives.

Already Fujairah has four marine protected areas (declared by Emiri decree in 1995) and the one mountain site at Wadi Wurayah (declared a protected park in 2009 by the Fujairah Ruler and gaining Ramsar certification in 2010). One development that is envisaged is to form an over-arching network of Fujairah’s protected sites.

Beyond this is an idea to develop a network of protected sites across the UAE in order to encourage the effective protection and management and as a way of seeking common standards. Currently there is a national committee for biodiversity but as yet there is not a national committee with the focus on the wetlands of the UAE.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

According to its website:

“The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.”

“The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem.

Bad News

Unfortunately half of the world’s wetlands have already been destroyed.

Good News

Through the Ramsar movement there is a growing awareness about the precious resources of the wetlands and international support being given through such workshops as will be staged in Fujairah next week.

Take a Look

Check out this short video on the importance of wetlands or view this longer version.

Download the Programme

To get a more detailed look at the Draft [this may change!] Summary Program of the Workshop on Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention in West Asia (23-26 May 2011) at Fujairah’s Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort follow this link.


Photo Shooting Fujairah’s Wadi Wurayah, FIF, 19 April 2011.

Visiting Fujairah’s Wadi Wurayah During and After Storms and Floods, FIF, 18 April 2011.

Michel Roggo’s ‘Desert Water’ Photo Exhibition of Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah, UAE, FIF, 13 April 2011.

Swedish Princess and Emirati Prince Make a Right Royal Visit in Fujairah, FIF, 20 January 2011.

The Royal Treatment for Wadi Wurayah, Fujairah, FIF, 19 January 2011.

Resources for Visiting Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah, UAE, FIF, 17 May 2010.

How Do We Get to Wadi Wurayah? FIF, 19 May 2009.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Image: A shallow pool teeming with life at Fujairah’s Wadi Wurayah.

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