UAE Designates Wetland in Abu Dhabi as Fourth Ramsar Site
29 April 2013: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) has reported that the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has designated Al Wathba Wetland Reserve as its fourth Wetland of International Importance. It is also the first Ramsar Site designated in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. According to the Ramsar Secretariat, the site consists of natural and human-made surface water bodies located approximately 40 km southeast of Abu Dhabi city. The site is maintained by a regular supply of tertiary treated freshwater from a nearby sewage treatment plant.
The area was declared as a reserve after the first successful breeding of the Greater Flamingo, and supports some critically endangered and vulnerable bird species. Activities carried out on the site include education and bird watching. The UEA's designation contributes to one of the goals contained in the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Plan for 2009-2015, which is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015. [Ramsar Press Release]