The United Arab Emirates has become the first country in the Middle East to sign a Declaration of Intent for ‘World Falcon Day’ during the participation of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates in the first forum of the Day of the “Girhalcón” Falcon, held in Vladivostok, Russia.
Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Deputy Undersecretary for the Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, saying,
“The UAE is a pioneer in global efforts to protect biodiversity and enhance natural habitats. Being the first Middle Eastern country to sign the Declaration of Intent for World Falcon Day reflects the UAE’s commitment to protecting “the endangered species. The falcon has had strong ties to our cultural identity for centuries, and raising and breeding falcons is part of our heritage.”
“The signing of the declaration comes before the UAE hosts COP28 in November, underlining our efforts to promote endangered species and protect their natural habitats. We will work with other signatories to mobilize international efforts under the COP28 umbrella, as well as other events to adopt “World Falcon. Day”. This will help increase efforts to protect falcons. “We also look forward to announcing more initiatives to promote biodiversity in the UAE, especially those related to the protection of falcons.”
The Declaration of Intent of “World Falcon Day aims to support the efforts of several nations to preserve the gyrfalcon population. This requires intergovernmental cooperation and the implementation of global agreements. The Declaration also aims to monitor gyrfalcon chicks and their food sources, as well as prevent illegal hunting, smuggling and trafficking of falcons. The goal is to strengthen the work of organizations involved in scientific research and education, and develop funding mechanisms for the long-term preservation of falcons.
The file gyrfalcon is one of the rarest species in the family Falconidae, found in polar, subpolar, and cold temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. There is serious concern about the decline in their numbers, due to the loss, degradation and fragmentation of their natural habitats, the depletion of their food sources, illegal hunting and trafficking. Furthermore, gyrfalcons, as a predator at the top of the food pyramid, are important indicators of the biodiversity and sustainability of Arctic ecosystems.
The United Arab Emirates was one of the first countries to promote specific initiatives to protect falcons. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan provided support for the protection of migratory animals and birds and also launched the “Falcon Release Program” in 1995 to ensure that they are not endangered.
The program supports the release of falcons into the wild and is carried out annually in several countries to rehabilitate confiscated falcons and other birds of prey. The most common types of falcons in the UAE are the gyrfalcon, saker falcon and peregrine falcon.
The UAE is a signatory to international conventions aimed at protecting falcons from extinction, including the 1990 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates international trade in falcons. Falconers may travel with falcons across international borders only after all necessary conditions have been met. The United Arab Emirates also enacted Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 that regulates and controls international trade in endangered animals and plants.
News source: Emirates News Agency