Transformation of Fujairah’s National Park Expects More Volunteers

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The cleaning has started to bring Wadi Wurayah back to its natural state. Graffiti has beenFujairah National Park brushed and cleaned. Garbage and rubbish has been removed as well.

This will take much more to transform it into what the emirate wants it to be – the country’s first visitor-friendly national park, equipped international standards.

According to the Wadi Wurayah National Park conservation and operations manager, a national park should have a functional ecosystem that is respected and maintained.

Park managers have now begun training rangers and setting up evaluation studies to look into plans for recreational amenities, camping areas and eco-lodges. They aim for low impact, enjoyable, pleasurable and educational. Another main goal of the trek was to train rangers in planning field routes and meeting the challenges of each other.

The director general of Fujairah Municipality said he hoped and expected the volunteers from around the region working with the national park program would help to enhance the emirate’s profile and endorse tourism.

Park officials completed a two-day operation to set up and maintain camera traps around the park. This is a step towards restoring endangered species to the wadi. These devices will monitor the animals or any illegal activities that could be happening in the park. They had installed two new camera traps and changed the batteries of another six during the trek, 32 kilometres distance.

A goat like-animal endemic only to the mountains of the UAE and Oman, the Arabian tahr is particularly important because it is considered as endangered, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said.

The developing of the park expect to map for farms in the vicinity, associate with locals and try to be aware of whether there are pouching activities to be able to propose a park patrol system. He stated also that it is about public awareness, monitoring and trying to change mentality according to the head of the park and conservation adviser for the Emirates Wildlife Society.

In 2006, the Wadi Wurayah project started and was named a protected area in 2009. The environmental organisation Ramsar named it one of five UAE sites on its List of Wetlands of International Importance in 2010. Wadi is the home for the hard to find Arabian toad and an unusual orchid, the only one in the UAE, in addition to the 22 of 34 dragonfly species found in the country.

The park project is sponsored by the Fujairah government and HSBC Middle East

Mohamed Dekkak