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Voices of Dubai Unite for Migratory Birds

© Dubai Municipality

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17 October 2018 - Dubai Municipality officially celebrated the annual World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in the month of October to bring various voices together for conservation of migratory birds. The activities organized by the Environment Department proved to be a momentous development in the campaign as the celebration was extended twice in a year, May and October, for the first time since the inaugural celebration in 2006 when World Migratory Bird Day was commemorated in the Emirate of Dubai.

Migratory birds play a vital role in connecting people, cultures and nature by undertaking breathtaking journey across borders. This year, the theme “Unifying our voices for bird conservation” gave the campaign a new dimension by bringing together the world’s major migration corridors, also known as fly-ways. Dubai Municipality’s Environment Department extended its reach to different stakeholders and paved way for infusion of knowledge from various information providers at all different levels.

The activities included a symposium of local and international experts in the field of ornithology and conservation, held on 11th October 2018. The Section Manager of Natural Resources Conservation Section, Ms Aisha Almurr Al Muhery, commenced the celebrations welcoming the audience and applauding their commitment towards conservation of birds in the United Arab Emirates. The invited speakers shared experiences from different aspects, showcasing interesting perspectives and unique blend of knowledge in the conservation of migratory birds.  Dr. Sabir Muzzafar, from UAE University, presented his findings on the movement of Socotra Cormorant in the Arabian Gulf, while Ms Nisha Purushothaman, co-founder of Paws Trails Explorer,  enlightened the audience by using nature photography as a tool to promote conservation of birds. Mr. Esmat ElHassan, from Dubai Municipality presented the Avifauna Satellite Tagging programmme in the Emirates of Dubai which revealed interesting facts on the journey of the Greater-Spotted Eagle tagged in Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. The event was followed by a comprehensive workshop facilitated by Dr. Junid Shah which introduced the concept of monitoring of water birds. Additionally, a photo exhibition in partnership with Paws Trails Explorers was organized as a side event which displayed an assortment of stunning pictures of the birds that visit the United Arab Emirates.

World Migratory Bird Day - © Dubai MunicipalityWorld Migratory Bird Day - © Dubai Municipality
World Migratory Bird Day - © Dubai MunicipalityWorld Migratory Bird Day - © Dubai Municipality

Around 180 children from different schools were also engaged in bird watching activity at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve to instill environmental consciousness among younger generations and provide them an opportunity to understand bird behaviors from a closer view.

Migratory birds cross international borders and require stopovers, like Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, to rejuvenate during their perilous journey. Dubai Municipality has made conservation efforts to maintain the quality of habitat at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a Ramsar Site, and other protected areas which support migratory birds during their migration. Several monitoring programs are conducted in the sanctuary to ensure healthy functioning of the wetland ecosystem and the environment. Moreover, the Environment Department has spearheaded educational activities to educate the people about the importance of the migratory birds for Dubai’s sustainable development and prosperity.

Further information about the events can be found on Dubai Municipality’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Social Media accounts.