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Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network: Key to unlocking UAE's biodiversity

Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network: Key to unlocking UAE's biodiversity
6 June 2024 18:54

AMEINAH ALZEYOUDI (ABU DHBAI)

Embracing its environmental diversity and making a commitment to natural preservation, the UAE's Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network is a pioneering model in wildlife and marine life protection.

Among the 19 protected terrestrial and marine areas that constitute the network, several are open for the public to enjoy.

The remaining areas are closed to protect their fragile biodiversity and ecosystems, and are only open to researchers with the proper permits, according to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

The network includes six marine protected areas and 13 terrestrial protected areas.

One of the network's marine protected areas, Saadiyat Marine National Park is distinguished by its biological diversity, being home to many rare marine creatures such as turtles and the endangered hawksbill.

Al Yasat Reserve, another marine protected area, is notable for its rich coral reefs and cultural importance.

The Marawah Biosphere Reserve, home to the second-largest population of dugongs in the world, has witnessed significant archaeological discoveries, including reminants of a village that was dated back to the Stone Age.

As for terrestrial reserves, Al-Badaa Natural Reserve and Delfawiyah Reserve are known for their diversity of plant life and their rolling sand dunes that give them a special beauty.

Jebel Hafeet National Reserve is an important sites for eco-tourism and wildlife protection, as they hosts many rare species such as the Arabian tahr and dwarf palm.

The Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network includes keys to understanding the richness of nature in the UAE, and spreads awareness of the importance of preserving this precious heritage for current and future generations.

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