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The issue of biodiversity (conservation and development of wildlife) has received considerable and early attention in the UAE, reflected in the tremendous efforts made by the country and its significant achievements in this area, from enacting legislation and monitoring its implementation, establishing and expanding protected areas, to protecting, breeding and reintroducing endangered species into their natural habitats.

Considering that land and sea diversity is an integral part of the UAE's heritage, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment continues to work, in collaboration with its partners, to strengthen efforts in this context through the implementation of a wide range of plans and initiatives in the framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy, the National Strategy to Combat Desertification and the Strategy for Sustainability of the Marine and Coastal Environment, among others.

Legislations

Reports & Studies

Bulletins / Guides

Terminology

A

Agenda 21

Programme of action on sustainable development adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, often referred to as the “Blueprint for Sustainable Development”.
Agenda 21 has 40 chapters dealing with all aspects of sustainable development including social and economic dimensions (combating poverty and promoting human health), conservation and resource management, major groups (e.g. women, indigenous people, business and unions) and means of implementation (e.g. financial resources, transfer of technology, public awareness and education).
B

Best available technique

Most effective and advanced technique, the environmental impacts of
which are limited.

Best environmental practice

The application of the most appropriate combination of environmental
control measures and strategies.

Biological Diversity

The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biological Resources

Genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity
D

Desertification

Land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities
E

Ecosystem services

Ecological processes or functions having monetary or non-monetary value to individuals or society at large. These are frequently classified as (1) supporting services such as productivity or biodiversity maintenance, (2) provisioning services such as food, fiber, or fish, (3) regulating services such as climate regulation or carbon sequestration, and (4) cultural services such as tourism or spiritual and aesthetic appreciation.

Ecosystem

A functional unit consisting of living organisms, their nonliving environment, and the interactions within and between them. The components included in a given ecosystem and its spatial boundaries depend on the purpose for which the ecosystem is defined: in some cases they are relatively sharp, while in others they are diffuse. Ecosystem boundaries can change over time. Ecosystems are nested within other ecosystems, and their scale can range from very small to the entire biosphere. In the current era, most ecosystems either contain people as key organisms, or are influenced by the effects of human activities in their environment.
Ecosystem services: Ecological processes or functions having monetary or non-monetary value to individuals or society at large. These are frequently classified as (1) supporting services such as productivity or biodiversity maintenance, (2) provisioning services such as food, fiber, or fish, (3) regulating services such as climate regulation or carbon sequestration, and (4) cultural services such as tourism or spiritual and aesthetic appreciation.

Ecosystem

Dynamic complex of plant, animal, micro-organism communities and their non-living environment, interacting as a functional unit (CBD). Ecosystems are irrespective of political boundaries.
H

Habitat

The place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs
M

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

A global assessment of the earth’s ecosystems supported by the UN Secretary General. The MA completed its work in 2005 with the publication of its report. The acronym MEA is often used wrongly for the MA.
P

Protected Area

A geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives
R

Rio Declaration

Shorthand for the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development adopted at the Rio Conference, the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Set of 27 Principles on sustainable development.
S

Sustainability

A dynamic process that guarantees the persistence of natural and human systems in an equitable manner. Sustainable development (SD): Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987)
W

Wetlands

areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters

Wildlife

Living things that are neither human nor domesticated

Wetlands

Areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters