UAE to host Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on October 21st

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DUBAI, 7th August, 2018 (WAM) -- The UAE will host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) on October 21st-29th, according to Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Themed ‘Wetlands for A Sustainable Urban Future’ and sponsored by Dubai Municipality, the upcoming 13th meeting of the countries that have adhered to the convention will review progress in implementation of the treaty, examine best practices for wetland management and discuss a range of ongoing and emerging environmental issues. More than 1,000 delegates representing governments and non-governmental organisations and academics will assemble in Dubai for the nine-day conference.

Wetlands of international importance in the UAE include seven Ramsar sites. These sites along with 2,316 sites across the world are designated by the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

"The need for an event such as COP13 is particularly relevant today as countries worldwide grapple with a sharp decline in biodiversity due to growing urbanisation and increased pressure on the land as well as due to climate change," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi.

The UAE joined the convention in 2007 with seven sites that cover 34,978 hectares and three more sites to come, said the minister.

Speaking at the announcement event, Martha Rojas Urrego, secretary-general of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, emphasised the significant benefits of wetlands on humanity.

Most of the fresh water comes directly or indirectly from wetlands, she said, noting that they are considered as a source of food such as fish and rice, and they protect cities from storms and even droughts.