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The Ras Al Khaimah Environment promotes sustainable biodiversity in the Khor Al-Muzahmi Protected Area

22 July 2020

Khor Al-Muzahmi coastal protected area is 14 kilometers south of Ras Al-Khaimah and extends over 3 km and is the habitat for many species of high environmental importance, including flamingo and fish eagle. Besides that the reserve is considered one of the nesting areas and feeding of green turtles threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List for the presence of seaweed in its waters, which enhances the presence of multiple types of fish and other living aquatic resources.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, issued an Emiri Decree in October 2018 to establish a nature reserve in the “Khor Al Muzahmi” area, to be the first natural reserve and wetland reserve in the emirate. The announcement of this reserve came in conjunction with the State hosting the thirteenth conference of the Ramsar Convention to confirm the concern and keenness of His Highness the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah to protect the environment, preserve its quality and natural balance, develop its natural resources, preserve the biological diversity in the emirate and make the best use of it for the benefit of present and future generations. . In addition to affirming the emirate’s keenness to actively contribute to implementing the obligations regulated by international or regional agreements related to environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources that the state ratifies or accedes to.

Dr. Saif Mohamed Al-Ghais, Director General of the Environmental Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al-Khaimah said that there are a number of goals that the authority seeks to achieve by declaring the Khor Al-Muzahimi Reserve in the form of protecting areas representing various environmental systems, habitats and species in the emirate, noting that this effort comes within the framework of achieving the goals of the Declaration Reserves in general, such as protecting biological diversity, protecting threatened or rare species, as well as protecting fragile and environmentally sensitive ecosystems, as coastal areas are within this type of ecosystem.

Dr. Al-Ghais added that the authority and during the past years conducted many scientific studies in the reserve that included studies on the types of birds, fish and plant species, the most important of which is the mangroves covering the estimated percentage of the area of the reserve, noting that the results of those studies confirmed the region's need to rehabilitate Degraded ecosystems and ensuring the restoration of threatened and sensitive species, including the cultivation of Crimea, and the initiation of a fish eagle restoration program to enhance environmental balance and biodiversity in the reserve, leading to ensuring the sustainability of ecosystem services and the sustainable use of natural resources in the Khor Al-Muzahmi area, thus contributing to human, social and economic development And cultural in the emirate by adding a distinct attraction in the emirate's eco-tourism map.

The Director General of the Environmental Protection and Development Authority pointed out that the authority's priorities related to biodiversity are the need to protect local species and that habitats have priority as well as promoting the multiple use of protected areas, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management based on the best international standards in alignment with relevant local and federal strategies and plans from Through adopting the sustainable approach, achieving balance and a comprehensive view of the economic, social and environmental aspects and raising the degree of environmental and societal awareness of issues related to the protection of species and habitats in light of urban development and the risks of climate change.

The Khor Al-Muzahmi reserve is characterized as being a shallow area, as it is an incubating environment for many commercial fish that protect in the environment of the reserve before it is transferred to the fish stock. The launch of Khor Al-Muzahimi as a natural reserve helped to complete the project of numbering the green turtles threatened with extinction. Numbering 475 green turtle type turtles as part of the project to track and study sea turtles in the emirate’s coasts, where cooperation has been made with the Emirates Wildlife Group, within the framework of the authority’s endeavor to achieve its strategic goal related to protecting biological diversity and natural habitats in the emirate’s coasts and within the framework of sustainable fish wealth in terms of environmental protection Seaweed as a vital resource for turtles.

Where the program contributes to the protection of endangered marine turtles and the identification of vital marine areas in the United Arab Emirates and the surrounding region with a view to knowing their maturity levels to preserve them and protect the ecosystems and marine species from overfishing activities and leaving fishing nets that represent a threat to many turtles during their migration in the waters of the Arabian Gulf And to protect them from negative activities in their nesting sites and influence the sustainability of fish wealth and the provision of marine habitats that feed on them.

The program provides scientific data that is analyzed and studied to determine the places and dates of green turtle migration and mating patterns among them with a view to identifying marine habitats that need to be protected. The program includes marking of turtles with the installation of transmitters via satellites to track the migration path and areas of grazing and mating and to protect these places and make decisions on the basis Scientific to determine future strategic plans and marine life conservation policies and the role that turtles play in the biological balance in the marine environment in Ras Al Khaimah in particular and the Emirates in general.

In conjunction with the declaration of the Khor Mazahi Reserve as a natural reserve, the authority organized the Leaders Forum in support of the marine environment under the slogan "Our fish wealth and happiness of the fishermen" within the reserve as the first initiative of its kind at the emirate level in the presence of a number of officials who planted about 640 Crimea trees in the reserve in the framework of initiatives to support sustainability Fisheries and in line with the Ras Al Khaimah Government 2030 strategy aimed at achieving sustainability and enhancing the goals of the strategic body that includes the protection of biodiversity and natural habitats in the emirate.

The authority launched a project to resettle the fish eagle in the Khor Muzahmi reserve early in 2019 by establishing and erecting wooden columns that represent an incubator for mothers of the fish eagle by providing an environment that is closer to nature, where 4 columns were erected in different areas of the reserve and you may notice the frequency of the fish eagle on these columns and work continues Continuing with this project according to a plan that aims to resettle this endangered bird.

The authority also established a nursery for the cultivation of mangroves in the Khor Muzahimi Reserve and work began on this project in conjunction with the announcement of the Khor Muzahimi Reserve as a natural reserve in 2018 with a production capacity of 800 seedlings and during 2019 the number of seedlings that were planted 1525 seedlings is expected to grow 2000 seedlings during the year 2020 where These seedlings are distributed on the various coasts of the emirate as well as increasing the area of vegetation in the reserve. This project is implemented annually during the period between August and September, which is one of the most prominent projects of the authority in the reserve because mangroves represent a safe environment for young fish.

The authority has used solar powered searchlights in the reserve, as it was installed in 3 different locations in the Khor Muzahimi Reserve, with the aim of protecting the reserve from infiltration at night from some of the visitors. Work is also underway to install surveillance cameras on the searchlights columns so that the park is easy to monitor and secure around the clock.

- Quoted from WAM -


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