A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) to enhance efforts to save the bird from extinction. This was signed by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Mohamed Ahmed Al Bowardi, Deputy Chairman of IFHC.
The Asian houbara bustard, an emblematic species in the heritage of the UAE, covers a geographical range from the Arabian peninsula to India and further up to Kazakstan.
The MoU will boost regional and global cooperation to protect the species, highlight the UAE’s role in houbara conservation, execute laws and agreements combating houbara overhunting, aligning procedures and regulations related to countering the illegal trade of the species, and releasing wild houbaras into their natural habitat. MOCCAE and IFHC will also co-host conferences and forums as well as exchange scientific information and expertise on houbara conservation and rehabilitation.
MOCCAE has remained committed to safeguarding local biodiversity, particularly endangered species. It has made legislations for conservation of flora and fauna including laws banning wildlife hunting and trade. Initiatives to restore natural habitats, such as mangroves and coral reefs, are also in place.
IFHC is actively engaged in houbara conservation in more than 22 countries. Since the launch of its captive breeding program, the Fund has bred 480,000 birds and released over 285,000 birds into the wild across the migratory range of the species.