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Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity to kick off in Sharjah

The 18th Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity will kick off on 5 February at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Organised by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), the four-day workshop will be attended by 100 international wildlife conservation experts and researchers from around the world. They will discuss the international wildlife conservation efforts, the protection programmes and biodiversity conservation strategies, which will help assess the regional and international red list of migratory birds and vultures.

They will also review the outcomes of the regional workshops in Africa, Europe and Asia, under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The renowned experts will also study the Red list of trees and the regional red list.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the EPPA in Sharjah, said, "Sharjah has a proven leading position in wildlife protection and environment efforts, in general, and supports a number of international initiatives. This forum will be organised by the EPAA for the 18th consecutive year, serving as a platform that will bring together over 100 biodiversity researchers and experts to share views about biodiversity and wildlife conservation."

She added, "Sharjah has dramatically progressed in wildlife protection in recent years, and was able to provide information about biodiversity on the Arabian Peninsula, thanks to the support of the Ruler of Sharjah. Under this relentless support, EPAA continues its efforts in raising environmental awareness, supporting international researches, achieving ecological balance and preventing natural resource destruction."

Al Suwaidi added that the UAE and Sharjah have played a pioneering role in developing the laws that help conserve the wildlife and ensure ecological balance. She said, "Last year, the Ruler of Sharjah launched a project to recover the animals which fled from the war zones and returned them to their natural habitats. Such projects show the Emirate s efforts in wildlife conservation."

The line-up of international speakers will include Dr. David Mallon, Dr. Philip Seddon, Dr Mike Knight, Dr. Gerhard Steenkamp, Dr. Nike P. Williams, Jose Tavarez and many more renowned experts.

The experts will present the IUCN Red List of threatened Species and the Regional Red List of Threatened Species. A vulture multi-species action plan will also be held under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Raptors Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey. The main threats facing flying birds in the Middle East will be presented and attendees will study the case of Egyptian vulture conservation in Oman and the UAE, and the status of lappet-faced vulture and griffon vulture in the KSA.

The veterinary topics will include worm detection, larval culture, methods to feed grazing animals among other topics. With regard to natural reserves, the protected area network in the UAE will be updated. The attendees will discuss the threats facing trees and will review the list of species of trees and shrubs in the region. 

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