SHARJAH, 30th January, 2018 (WAM) — Local species of plants that are under threat will be the focus of the upcoming 19th Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity taking place in Sharjah’s Desert Park from the 5th – 8th February. The Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Natrure, IUCN, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species and IUCN experts will be participating in the forum to document and update information on threatened species of plants in the Arabian Peninsula.
Organised by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, workshops during the forum will focus on the protection and documentation of endangered species according to the specifics of each plant and its location, how to accurately identify, name and document new species as well as examining the differences between the International and the Regional Red List.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “The EPAA updates the Regional Red List of endemic plants in the Arabian Peninsula, including local and regional uses of this list, with a view to obtaining and keeping relevant information necessary for the preservation of biodiversity, and to study the challenges to biodiversity protection as well as to raise awareness and develop a relationship among stakeholders. This is our most important event of the year, bringing together experts in conservation and environmental protection from all over the world in order to safe guard our local treasures for generations to come.”
Al Suwaidi added that the forum will develop plans and strategies to protect endangered species in the Arab region based on the Protection Assessment and Management Plan developed by the IUCN Expert Group on Protection and Reproduction of Animals. She said that Sharjah takes environmental protection and biodiversity conservation very seriously and that the EPAA is highly proactive in this field.
“We welcome this opportunity to review environmental issues and share ideas and information in order to promote awareness on biodiversity issues and to find solutions that will advance international efforts in this field. This is in line with the directives of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity.
Among participants in the forum will be experts, specialists, researchers and academicians from around the world. They will focus on three main topics, taxonomy, focusing on the Regional Red List; protected areas, which will present the IUCN Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas; and the veterinary topic, which discusses in-house diagnostics. There will be an added technical topic this year which looks at the increasing use of drones in the conservation of biodiversity.
The 19th Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity will be attended by Saudi Wildlife Authority, the Environment Public Authority in Kuwait, Supreme Council for Environment – Kingdom of Bahrain, Environment Protection office – Ministry of Environment And Climate Affairs, the National Field Research Centre for Environmental Conservation in Oman, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and the Ministry of Environment – from Jordan, the Yemen Environment Protection Authority in Yemen, Iraq’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife, IUCN and Birdlife International, in addition to a number of International and regional organisations, local and Arab universities, research institutes, scientific centres, local, Arab and international zoos, nature reserve departments, municipalities and municipal councils and graduate students specialising in the environment.