The awarding of official certification for the inclusion of sites in the IOSEA Network of Sites of Importance for Marine Turtles recently received high-level acknowledgement in both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
H.E. Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of Iranís Department of Environment, joined IOSEA Focal Point Mr. Asghar Mobaraki in a commemoration event to mark the inclusion of Sheedvar Island in the Site Network. Sheedvar is a small rocky island located about 9 km off the mainland coast of Iranís Hormozgan province. Already recognised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a significant nesting and resting area for migratory birds, the island is also important for hawksbill and green turtles. A comprehensive write-up appears on the DoE website (in Farsi).
Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, and Chairman of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), expressed his pleasure at the recognition given to Bu Tinah Shoal. The isolated area, situated about 130 km from Abu Dhabi, supports a high density of foraging green and hawksbill turtles, and has benefitted from intensive monitoring and research by EAD since 2000.
His Highness said in his congratulatory note, "I am extremely delighted to learn that Bu Tinah Shoal and its biodiversity is being recognised globally. It is a matter of pride for the country and its rich culture of preserving our natural resources. I congratulate the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and the U.A.E. Ministry of Climate Change and Environment for their endeavours in successfully showcasing Bu Tinah shoal in a global forum." The special commemoration of Bu Tinah received widespread media coverage both inside and outside of U.A.E., in both Arabic and English.
In recent weeks, representatives of six other IOSEA Network Sites – France (La Reunion), Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa, U.A.E (Sharjah), and United Republic of Tanzania – also received their beautiful certificates prepared by the IOSEA MoU Secretariat in Bangkok.
More details of all of these IOSEA Network Sites can be found on the dedicated pages of the IOSEA website