The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with its stakeholders launched an awareness campaign under the theme "Seal a Well to Save a Life" to put an end to the digging of illegal domestic groundwater wells due to health and safety concerns. The campaign urges community members to cooperate with the concerned parties and to report any incidents of illegal groundwater wells in order for them to be sealed for the safety of residents.

ANOTHER 25 SCIMITAR-HORNED ORYX ARRIVED SAFELY TO THEIR NEW HOME CHAD

AS PART OF THE REINTRODUCTION OF SCIMITAR-HORNED ORYX IN CHAD ANOTHER 25 SCIMITAR-HORNED ORYX ARRIVED SAFELY TO THEIR NEW HOME CHAD

Under the theme “Together to Improve Air Quality”, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) along with BP, sponsor of the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI), organised a plantation campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of UAE National tree, The Ghaf. The campaign was organised at Al Salamat Forests affiliated with the Bararri Forest Management in Al Ain due to its important role in ensuring environmental sustainability, which is a habitat for many of the local plant species, such as Ghaf trees, Seder and a number of acacia trees.

The Emirates Environmental Group held  the 15th edition of the Clean Up UAE in the capital Abu Dhabi and the city of Al Ain, on 12th December 2016 which saw a collection of over 11 tonnes of trash from a total of 9 sites across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain which included the Al Samha area - the Al Samah in Abu Dhabi.

5 CREATURES ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN EXISTENCE

The earth, its ecosystems, and its creatures are all deeply connected. Thus, the existence of many species depends on the survival of others, and don’t think human beings are an exception. As disconnected from nature as many of us humans have become, there are many animals we rely on for our benefit and wellbeing.

By now, you may have heard about the buzz about bees, as concerns about their disappearance have heightened in recent years. But are you aware of how the following unique organisms could be crucial to human survival?

1. Ants

Over 12,000 species of ants have been scientifically identified and they are abundant in most ecosystems. Stirring Up Soil Ants aid in decomposition and turn up more soil than earthworms! When ants dig tunnels, they aerate the soil and recycle nutrients. This activity is ecologically crucial in maintaining healthy soil for plant (food) growth. Ants even help reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and the need for irrigation. Passing on the Plants Seed-harvesting ants transport seeds to their nutrient rich nests, where plants can safely grow, free of harm from herbivores. Ants sometimes travel far distances with seeds, granting plants their desired dispersal goal for less light, space, nutrition, and water competition with other plants. Why would ants be so kind? Ants enjoy consuming elaiosomes, small structures on the outer surface of seeds, without harming the plant.

2. Termites

Though they destroy our homes and are responsible for billions of dollars needed for annual repairs, termites are far more beneficial than harmful to humans. Devouring Decomposing Materials Termites are detritivores and decomposers, meaning they consume decomposing plant matter and play vital roles in recycling ecosystem energy, as well as in balancing biogeochemical cycles. Think about it … what would we do without termites to clean up all the decomposing material?

3. Bats

Bats are exceptionally important to our ecosystem. Biological Pest Police Insectivorous bats, which make up 70 percent of bat species, perform nocturnal insect control services by consuming millions of pest insects each year. Farmers are grateful to bats because they save billions of dollars of crops each year, while reducing the need for chemical pesticides. In many places of the world, mosquitoes are vectors of deadly diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. A single brown bat can eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in one hour! Mmmm Guano! That’s right. Guano, or bat droppings have significant roles for plant dispersal. Unlike other seed-dispersing animals, fruitivorous bats travel far distances, helping plants to grow and survive in a variety of locations. Due to their effective seed dispersing of plants such as avocados, figs, cashews, and dates, and their aid in restoring forests, bats have been called “farmers of the tropics.” They are also considered keystone species in many tropical and desert ecosystems, meaning the survival of other species (perhaps even humans) depends on bats! Pollinating Plants Nectar-eating bats are crucial pollinators for over 500 plant species, many of which are ecologically significant. Most flowering plants do not have the ability to produce seeds without being pollinated.

4. Frogs

Contamination Control Frogs act as bio-indicators, which means they indicate the health of their ecosystems. How? Frog skin is very porous and permeable, allowing substances present in the environment to be absorbed within their fatty tissues. Since these amphibians have the ability to live terrestrially and aquatically, they can indicate contamination dilemmas for both habitats. Since frogs will most often be the first animals to react to biological hazards, they are helpful for warning humans to take action. Cycle of Life Though not as effective as bats, frogs do help in insect control. They are also a food source to many carnivorous species and are needed for maintaining balanced ecosystems.

5. Birds

Ecological Jack of all Trades Birds perform a broad variety of ecological roles, including forest decomposition, insect pest control, nutrient recycling, bio-indication of ecosystem health, plant pollination, and seed dispersal. Some ground-dwelling birds even help aerate and turn up soil with their claws. Though ant, termite, bat, and frog species might be the masters of their trades, birds certainly seem like the jack of them all!

Balanced Beauties

Birds keep systems in balance, but they are not only ecologically significant to humans; they provide inspiration to people with their aesthetic magnificence. Could you imagine a world without the visual and acoustic beauty of avian creatures?

A delegation from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), led by Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD’s Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector, joined thought leaders in the world of conservation at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress 2016 which was held in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii in the United States of America from 1st to 10th September.

TWO NEW SPECIES ADDED TO THE GLOBAL LIST OF INVERTEBRATES

Two new species have been added to the global list of invertebrates after they were unexpectedly discovered on Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

The Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD) has recently been informed by the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (IOSEA) MoU secretariat of the inclusion of Bu Tinah shoal in the “IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network as an important site for Marine Turtles”. The Secretariat is part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand.

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