EWS-WWF and Fujairah Municipality lead 150 volunteers to cleanup Wadi Wurayah National Park
Fujairah, May 2, 2013: 150 volunteers, led by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) and Fujairah Municipality carried out a cleanup campaign in the mountain protected Wadi Wurayah on May 1st. H.E. Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkham, Managing Director of Fujairah Municipality, Mr. Anada Tiéga, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands and Dr. Lew Young the senior advisor of Ramsar convention for Asia-Oceania, attended the event.
The cleanup day is considered a necessary step to prevent further degradation of the wadi’s wildlife and freshwater and will be followed by temporarily limiting access to the area to minimise further pressure on its ecosystem. Meanwhile details of the National Park’s management plan are being put in place by EWS-WWF.
H.E. Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkham of Fujairah Municipality said: “We are honored to join hands with EWS-WWF, the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands, and volunteers from across the emirates on this cleanup day and beyond. It is crucial to protect this naturally rich area from further degradation and identify its biodiversity as an integral and unique part of the United Arab Emirates’ nature. We would like to thank all partners and volunteers for their continuous collaboration and support, and welcome this activity as a further step in establishing Wadi Wurayah National Park.”
In January of this year, the Government of Fujairah appointed EWS-WWF to spearhead the development of Wadi Wurayah National Park and implement the management plan for the park to be of international standards and high quality.
Ida Tillisch, Acting Director General said: “With a number of recent developments, such as the appointment of EWS-WWF to lead the development of the National Park in January, the establishment of the Middle East Water Research Centre in partnership with HSBC Middle East and Earthwatch as well as this community-led cleanup activity, important steps are being taken to realize the vision of the protected area and these actions serve to highlight the commitment of all parties involved to strengthen our efforts to conserve the beautiful and unique nature within Wadi Wurayah, recognized by Ramsar as a wetland of International Importance. We would also like to thank all the volunteers that came to help us with the cleanup.”
With the help of 150 volunteers, the cleanup activities focused on the graffiti and waste in certain zones in the wadi especially around the popular area of the waterfall. Mr. Anada Tiéga, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands said: “It is extremely important to raise awareness on the significance of conserving freshwater ecosystems around the world. The current conservation efforts in Wadi Wuaryah are a good way to drive collective action to find solutions on how to better manage water resources in the area for now and the future.”
In 2009, the wadi joined the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands as a site of international importance for biodiversity conservation, demonstrating yet again that this area remains an important stronghold for wildlife in the UAE.
All the waste collected from the cleanup day will be recycled by Dulsco. Other than waste management, Dulsco provided manpower and supply services for all volunteers. Post the cleanup day, Dulsco will continue working for the next few weeks till the graffiti cleaning is fully completed. Dulsco’s involvement in the cleanup day highlights their commitment as private entity that works on ensuring sustainability in what they do and how they operate.