Dubai Municipality celebrates World Migratory Birds Day

الهرمودي مدير إدارة البيئة

As part of the World Migratory Birds Day celebrations, Dubai Municipality’s Environment Department organized workshops, symposiums, exhibitions, field visits, competitions and other awareness-raising events.

These programs were aimed at decision-makers and the society in order to educate them and school students to raise their level of awareness about the topic of migratory birds, and to encourage and educate the public about the importance of protecting birds, and the extent of their relevance to the protection of the environment and reserves. It was done within the framework of the Municipality’s role and its endeavor to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems in the emirate and its leadership in raising the level of environmental awareness among community members.

The theme of the World Migratory Birds Day 2020 was “Birds Connect Our World,” which focused on modern tracking systems and methodologies used to track birds during their migration around the world and take advantage of this data to be an aid to provide protection and stability to them.

The awareness programs and workshops organized by Dubai Municipality dealt with the extent of importance of migratory birds, their different types, the threats they face and how they can be mitigated. The programs were handled in a simple, interesting and attractive way for school students, with the aim of increasing awareness.

In order to protect migratory species of birds, the Environment Department implements many activities and programs such as a satellite tracking of wild birds, which aims to determine the migration paths of birds to understand their behavior to protect them during their movement between different countries.

To mark the World Migratory Birds Day, Dubai Municipality held a virtual symposium with the participation of speakers from different countries of the world focusing on different topics such as local bird tracking systems and the systems used in other countries of the world, sharing the methods for tracking birds and monitoring their migration line, human relationship with birds and etiquette to deal with them, challenges and risks that birds face during their migration, and the contribution of the society in protecting migratory birds.

The symposium witnessed the participation of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, represented by Maitha Al Muhairi from its Biology Section, who highlighted the ministry’s efforts to protect migratory birds and birds that fall within the Red List and the important areas in the country for migratory birds, and the Fujairah Municipality, represented by Dr. Ali Hassan Al Hamoudi, Director of Wadi Al Wurayah National Reserve, who talked about bird watching methods – a mechanism to overcome the challenges facing the migratory bird sector.

Dibba Al Fujairah Municipality was represented by Eng. Fatima Al Hantoubi, Head of Environmental Protection and Natural Reserves Section, who talked about the human relationship with birds – the types of migratory birds that reach Fujairah.

The symposium was attended by more than 350 people from various government and private institutions around the world and students of Dubai National School, the only one in Dubai, which had an attendance of 150 students.

All cities that are frequented by migratory bird species come to bear the responsibility to host them, provide a safe environment for them and protect them, as the future of birds is important, not only for wildlife but also that it contributes to achieving sustainable development goals for cities, because it can severely affect tourism, health, agriculture and other resources that support the livelihoods and well-being of our community.

The bird migration maps that were monitored via satellite revealed the size of the extent covered by birds at the local, regional and global levels to reflect the interconnectedness between these components and environments to show the world as a small village in which birds move freely and connect all its aspects in a wonderful scene. The Environment Department counts the birds periodically in the natural reserves and important sites in the Emirate of Dubai to be evaluated later on the numbers, types and potential impacts of developing protection methods and precautionary measures.

The nature reserves play an important role in providing safe and suitable environments for migratory birds that fulfill the life requirements such as water, food and shelter in addition to protection, as the nature reserves receive annually during the winter thousands of migratory birds of various kinds. In addition to that the shallow coastal waters, inland waterways, mangroves and salt marshes are essential elements important for birds escaping from the frozen glaciers of both north and south poles and Siberia during their quest to search for a warmer climate southward in the Middle East and Africa.

It should be noted that Dubai Municipality has developed tracking programs for birds of importance at the regional and international level through remote sensing technology via satellite, in order to track the migration path of these species that pass through the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary during the migration seasons, and among these the big Spotted Eagle is an endangered species that spends the winter in the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary while migrating north in the breeding season in the summer to reach Russia and Kazakhstan in the far north.