Thursday, September 17, 2015

Can man prevail?

ABU DHABI - The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, is hosting the third Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN-SSC, Leaders Group Meeting in Abu Dhabi, which will run until September 18th. 

Established over 60 years ago, the IUCN-SSC has only convened twice in the course of its history, with both conferences being supported and hosted by Abu Dhabi in 2008 and 2012. For the third consecutive time, EAD is bringing together over 300 international species conservation experts from different fields to tackle conservation issues related to terrestrial, marine flora, fauna and invertebrates.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the EAD, said, "The migratory nature of many of the species that we are striving to protect, and the global nature of the environmental challenges that we are trying to combat, indicate that knowledge-sharing and following best practices are critical ingredients for success."

The IUCN-SCC also looks to provide the participating conservation organisations, government agencies and IUCN members, to share their experiences and discuss ways forward on key conservation issues.

As host, EAD will be highlighting some of its globally-recognised terrestrial and marine biodiversity conservation programmes, such as The ‘Habitat Mapping Project' - an innovative 20-month project which will provide data for more informed, more objective and quantifiable environmental decision-making, EAD's role in the Scimitar Horned Oryx reintroduction programme in collaboration with the Government of Chad and the Sahara Conservation Fund, and the Dolphin Research Programme which began in 2014 and included a variety of monitoring mediums including using aerial and field methods, and the study of migration by satellite tagging, and EAD's two-year Terrestrial Baseline Survey, which provided a snapshot of Abu Dhabi's biodiversity during 2013-2014.

With delegates from Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, East and Southern Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, Oceana, Southern Europe, the conference is pooling expertise to address conservation challenges and build on work from previous years to shape the commission's conservation agenda.

The IUCN-SSC is a science-based network of more than 9,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world. Most members are deployed in more than 130 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities and Task Forces. Some groups address conservation issues related to particular groups of plants, fungi or animals while others focus on topical issues, such as reintroduction of species into former habitats or wildlife health.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is widely recognised as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species. From its small beginning, the IUCN Red List has grown in size and complexity and now plays an increasingly prominent role in guiding conservation activities of governments, NGOs, scientific institutions and individual scientists. - end-

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