SHARJAH, 6th January, 2019 — Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, Emirates Nature-WWF, and the Emirates Marine Environmental Group, EMEG, have launched the Pearl of Sharjah project on Sir Bu Nair Island, a three-year project aimed at preserving the island’s marine ecosystems, a natural biodiversity reserve to raise awareness about the environmental, cultural and heritage of the island.
This came during a community launch for Sir Bu Nair Project, and was well-attended, as it raised awareness about Sir Bu Nair’s environmental, cultural and traditional significance.
Regarding the project, Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, declared Sir Bu Nair Island a protected nature reserve in 2000. Formerly a haven for pearl divers and fishermen, this island is of ecological, historical, cultural and political significance.
“The goal is to use Sir Bu Nair Island as a model for the management of the UAE’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). We also plan to emphasise the socio-economic and ecological benefits of conserving marine environments. This project will benefit the environment, society and future generations of Emiratis,” explained Mrs. Al Suwaidi.
At the launch, the public was invited to upload images to Instagram using the hashtag #pearlofsharjah. These images were then used to create a digital mosaic of the pearl-shaped island. One of the participants was given an opportunity to win 2 tickets to Sir Bu Nair Festival to witness the natural legacy of the Pearl of Sharjah. The attendees thanked EPAA, Emirates Nature-WWF and EMEG for organising the event, which gave them an opportunity to learn about Sir Bu Nair Island and its ecosystems.
Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF, who was present on the day of the event, said, “We are thrilled to have joined the Sharjah community with EPAA and EMEG on Friday to shine the spotlight on Sir Bu Nair island and share details of our exciting new expedition. Our research in the field will commence in early 2019 with exploration and surveying of critical marine species and habitats, including sharks, rays, fish, birds and corals. Our aim is that our efforts on Sir Bu Nair will be showcased as a national blueprint for Marine Protected Area Management in the UAE”.
Recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, SBN Island has rich and diverse habitats and species, including turtles, birds and coral reefs.