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EAD removes over 800 Kgs of waste from Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

As part of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)’s intensive campaign launched earlier this year under the theme ‘Together We Make the Difference’, more than 100 of EAD’s employees cleaned the area outside the boundaries of Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, the only site in the UAE that the Greater Flamingo breeds regularly. The reserve is also an internationally recognised wetland around the world and a popular tourism destination locally.

The campaign is the third in a series launched by EAD in January to mark The Year of Zayed with an aim to engage the community in environmental conservation across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The four-hour clean-up resulted in the removal of 864 Kgs of waste, mainly construction waste and plastic and glass from the nearby labour camp.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD’s Secretary-General and one of the volunteers in this campaign, said, "The commitment of our employees to this campaign reflects the passion and vision the late Sheikh Zayed had for the environment. He valued the importance of positive action to protect and conserve the environment and always stressed that the environment should not be seen as a matter only for Government, but something that should concern us all".

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at EAD, said, "Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was designated as a reserve in 1998 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan".

"Since then EAD has been managing the reserve, and keeping the area inside and outside the boundaries of the reserve clean. This will positively reflect on preserving the environment of this important nature reserve, which supports a rich variety of wildlife, including 320 species of invertebrates, 10 mammals, 16 reptiles, 260 species of birds, and 35 species of plants," Dr. Shaikha added.

She also said, "The reserve, which consists of several different habitats, including a fresh water lake, saline lakes, tall reed marshes, gravel plains, sand dunes and Sabkha, was designated in 2013 as the first Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Abu Dhabi Emirate, gaining international recognition and protection".

Al Dhaheri added that EAD plans to organise more clean-up campaigns throughout the year to give more members of the community the opportunity to participate.



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