environment

Sharjah centre marks World Wetlands Day

Crowds gather at Wasit Wetland Centre to celebrate natural marshland reserves in UAE and around the globe

Staff Report
20:26 February 1, 2018

Sharjah: Ecological officials staged a celebration for all things wetlands at the Wasit Wetland Centre on Wednesday ahead of World Wetlands Day on February 2, said organisers Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA).

The event was held under the theme ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Civilization’ and hosted by Department of Scientific Research and Environmental Education and Guidance Department in Wasit Wetland Centre, with the participation of Al Nakhilat Girls School and Al Ramakia Boys School.

Wasit Wetlands Centre visitors, school and university students and environmental specialists and bodies were invited to join in the celebrations.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA chairperson, said: “The World Wetlands Day celebration was held to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of conserving wetlands in residential areas, and to elevate the environmental education for biodiversity in Wasit Nature Reserve. February 2 each year was adopted to celebrate World Wetlands Day globally and to raise awareness of the importance of wetland conservation, reduce the risks of environmental pollution and to conserve the biodiversity of species living in wetlands through the development and implementation of awareness programs such as hands-on workshops and educational seminars.”

The celebration included several activities and workshops such as the World Corner in the Educational Centre, which showcased creativity and biodiversity corners with painting and art workshops about wetlands.

A tour was offered at the educational center and leading outside to the nature reserve that included a competition in which four teams competed to form a food chain in the Wasit Nature Reserve. There was also a wet laboratory corner where swamp waters are detected and soil samples were analyzed.

Aisha Al Midfa, director of Wasit Wetlands Centre, said: “The biodiversity corner featured a game that presents the uses of wetland plants and demonstrates their usefulness for biodiversity. The Cane Maze Corner in the outer reserve is a game where the visitors try to reach the finish line as they recognise the benefits of the cane plant for living organisms. The Wet Tour Corner in the outer reserve included two tours: the Wet Tour, a hiking exploration tour in the outer reserve, where visitors follow the wetlands story from a rain drop, and the Propagation Corner”.

The celebration highlighted the importance and status of Wasit Wetland Centre, which was established in 2015 in Wasit Nature Reserve. Extending over 4,500 square meters, it is an educational, tourist, and recreational destination and part of the eco-tourism system in Sharjah and the UAE.