– A new Memorandum of Understanding creates a structured framework to protect critically endangered species and habitats
– Key species targeted by the programme include the scimitar-horned oryx and the unique mangrove forests of Abu Dhabi
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and ZSL have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize collaboration on safeguarding initiatives for endangered species and restoration schemes for critical marine and terrestrial habitats and ecosystems across the globe.
The MoU details a structured framework for cooperation between EAD and ZSL that will be implemented for mutually agreed conservation initiatives, which protect and restore important and threatened species, habitats, and ecosystems. Current initiatives include ZSL’s long-term partnership with EAD to restore endangered species in Chad, such as a scimitar-horned oryx reintroduction project, where ZSL actively monitors released animals in the Wadi Rime and Wadi Achime Game Reserve.
“Both EAD and ZSL are dedicated to achieving meaningful and lasting conservation change through this partnership, driving tangible outcomes for habitats and species that can be sustained into the future”, said HE Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General at EAD. “By formalizing the commitment to this shared vision, we are ready to significantly contribute to preserving our planet’s most precious and endangered resources.”
The agreement signing aligns with the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy launched in July 2023. The strategy offers a comprehensive five-year plan that will strengthen the emirate’s environmental resilience, achieve concrete progress toward achieving full climate neutrality, and further enhance Abu Dhabi’s contribution to the UAE’s global sustainability leadership.
A commitment to collective action against biodiversity threats is also outlined in the MoU. EAD and ZSL will collaborate on a portfolio of projects aligned with their respective establishing laws and mandates, including promoting species recovery and restoring degraded ecosystems. This builds on the strategic partnership begun when EAD officially recognized ZSL as its first international partner for the newly launched Abu Dhabi Mangroves Initiative (ADMI) in 2022. The scheme aims to enable mangrove recovery to address the climate crisis and safeguard precious biodiversity, with a state-of-the-art mangrove nursery and the creation of an innovative platform for research and collaboration.
Dr Andrew Terry, Director of Conservation and Policy at ZSL, said: “As the impacts of climate change on threatened species and habitat intensify, the need for collective action at scale to protect them grows. Our partnership with EAD builds on successful initiatives to preserve the scimitar-horned oryx and Abu Dhabi mangroves and will create a robust framework for similar schemes in the future. Together we will develop joint initiatives, drive forward the science of biodiversity recovery and find innovative ways to tackle the mounting challenges facing the natural world.”