DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 24, 2015 - Ahmed Al Hashmi, Director of the Ministry of Environment and Water’s Biodiversity Department, received a delegation from the International Fund for Animal Welfare – China Office headed by its Director Ms Chris Gabriel at the Ministry’s headquarters in Dubai. The session discussed issues such as combating illegal trade in wildlife in addition to the exchange of experiences in conservation of biodiversity and the reduction of illegal environmental crimes.
During the meeting, Al Hashmi mentioned that the UAE is keen to combat illegal wildlife trade and the Ministry lends great attention to this issue while supporting international efforts to eliminate it from the regional and global level. He added that the Ministry, in this regard, may take a series of important measures to combat crimes against wildlife such as upgrading the institutional and legislative frameworks under which stricter penalties are granted for poaching and illegal trafficking of endangered species.
This includes the Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 on the Regulation and Control of the International Trade in Animals and Plants Threatened with Extinction along with the amendments to the Federal Law No. 24 of 1999 for the Protection and Development of the Environment and Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 Concerning the Exploitation, Protection and Development of Living Aquatic Resources. In addition, the National Biodiversity Strategy aims to develop and implement programs to improve the conservation status of more than 70 per cent of the threatened and endangered species.
Ms. Gabriel praised the UAE’s efforts in this area, particularly in the fight against the illicit trade in ivory. She emphasized on the country’s clear mechanism to preserve wild species, especially elephants and protect them from extinction.
During the session, the International Fund for Animal Welfare demonstrated their efforts in China, which aims to raise public awareness in their fight against trade in ivory and challenges in the area. Gabriel noted the importance of cooperation between the UAE and the International Fund for Animal Welfare in supporting global efforts to combat the illicit trade and eliminate the demand for wildlife products.
The UAE has joined the Convention on the Regulation of International Trade Animal and Plant Endangered Species (CITES) under a federal decree No. 86 of 1989, which was signed in 1990 and was issued by Federal Law No. (11) of 2002. It guarantees the application of the Convention in the country, and therefore, the UAE has sought to regulate the trade in terms of innate certification for entry and exit of these species, and tighten control over transit trips life.