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Al Wathba Wetland Reserve Enhances Ecosystem with New Biodiversity Initiative

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve Bolsters Habitats with New Initiative

In a significant push towards ecological conservation, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) unveils the latest chapter in the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve’s rejuvenation story. This fresh advancement embarks on the third phase of the reserve’s habitat enhancement program, designed to cultivate biodiversity and wrap a natural shield around the vital wetland ecosystem.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, sprawling across a 5-square-kilometer area, operates as a sanctuary for a diverse tapestry of life. It is home to more than 4,000 greater flamingos, providing a unique breeding ground that’s pivotal for the species’ proliferation within the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, the reserve accommodates over 260 bird species, alongside a vibrant community of reptiles, small mammals, and an array of insects, underlining its importance as a biodiversity hotspot far exceeding its geographical confines.

Building on the solid foundation laid by the initial two phases, which primarily focused on the development and integration of an advanced irrigation system throughout the reserve, the new phase heralds the planting of 2,500 native trees. These are not just any trees, but species meticulously selected for their tenacity in the face of the UAE’s harsh climatic conditions. They are set to form a robust natural frontier, with the Tarfa tree (Tamarix aphylla), known locally as Ethel, leading the planting campaign. This species thrives under extreme heat, drought, and salinity, making it an impeccable choice for the reserve’s environmental context.

Complementing the Tarfa are other native trees including Ghada (Haloxylon persicum), Arak (Salvadora persica), and the Ghaf (Prosopis cineraria), all chosen for their low water and care requirements. This strategic selection underscores the initiative’s foresight in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the reserve’s ecosystems.

The commencement of this pivotal phase was celebrated with Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the EAD, and Adel Ahmed Albuainain, CEO of Dolphin Energy Limited, planting the first of the new seedlings. This moment celebrated the collaborative efforts between EAD and Dolphin Energy in stewarding Abu Dhabi’s natural landscapes.

The ongoing rehabilitation of the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve mirrors the UAE’s broader commitment to environmental preservation. This initiative not only nurtures the reserve’s ecological fabric but also reinforces its status as a beacon for scientific inquiry and migratory bird conservation. In creating a thriving habitat, the reserve is poised to continue its trajectory as a prime location for sustainable ecotourism, with future phases anticipated to further enhance its role in Abu Dhabi’s environmental conservation endeavors.

Ava Bloom

Ava Bloom is an eco-influencer and sustainability coach who has transformed her commitment to a zero-waste lifestyle into a catalyst for change. Through her engaging social media presence and hands-on workshops, Ava teaches the beauty and feasibility of sustainable living. Her journey is one of continuous learning and sharing, from eco-friendly home practices to advocating for sustainable fashion. Ava's articles are a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and motivational insights, empowering readers to make small changes that have a big impact on our planet.

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