A core value of the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s was environmentalism. Our late ruler was famous for his love of nature and conservation, which has since inspired many of the environmental projects underway in the nation.
In step with the late Sheikh Zayed, our leadership has always given particular importance to the environment, as it is a major part of our national heritage, which includes our wetlands.
This year, we are proud to host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13), under the theme Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future. Through this convention, we hope to highlight the importance of wetlands, impart best practises on wetland management and to encourage international cooperation on related issues.
The need for an event such as COP13 is particularly relevant, especially as countries around the globe grapple with a sharp decline in biodiversity due to land use changes and climate change. Wetland ecosystems hold an important part of the world’s biodiversity and are some of the most productive environments. Its ecosystem provides humanity with a range of benefits, from freshwater supply to climate change mitigation.
With almost 90 percent of all UN member states gathering in Dubai this October, I am certain that together, we will undoubtedly shed light on the significance of the earth’s wetlands and its preservation for posterity.
His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi