Conservation Overview (HH Sheikh Zayed)

In 1999 Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (formerly ERWDA) published its Global Strategy Plan where the global outlook and the major principles for the conservation of the Saker Falcon and Houbara Bustard are given in line with the Arab traditions and constraints of the modern world. The Strategy Plan has a foreword by the President of UAE.

Foreword by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,
Former Ruler of the United Arab Emirates.

“Twenty-one years ago we hosted our first international gathering of brother falconers from all over the world. Now, as this millennium draws to a close and we prepare ourselves for a new one, it is even more important that we come together to secure the future for our children and the world that they will inherit from us. It is truly said that we borrow the world from our children and hold it in trust for them. 

The traditional sport of falconry was passed down to us from our fathers, from a time when we were closer to nature and life was more simple. It is a constant reminder to us of the forces of nature, of the inter-relationships between living things and the land they share, and of our own dependence on nature. Falconry depends on healthy populations of the quarry, such as the Houbara, and they in turn depend on the continuing health of their breeding and wintering grounds. Falconers thus have a concern for natural habitats and for the sustainable use of resources. During my own lifetime I have seen many remarkable changes and achievements occur in the Middle East. Oil has brought immense benefits for the welfare of our people. But progress can also pose problems for nature – pollution of land and sea, unwanted development and spoiling of natural areas, and disturbance of quiet places which once gave refuge to wildlife. 

Some of the prey species have suffered from loss of habitat, and from persecution or over-hunting. It is important for us to take steps to turn the tide before it is too late, in order to safeguard the future. This plan is essential in helping us to recognise how these complex systems interrelate and depend on each other. It helps us to see clearly our way forward and our priorities for action. So much is already being achieved by many organisations in many countries. We will reach our goals by working together, hand-in-hand, in cooperation, not by confrontation. All of us share a common goal: the sustainable, balanced use of resources. We wish to leave the Earth as good, or better, than we found it.” 

You can get the complete EAD (ERWDA) strategy plan, which you can download here. It is in Arabic and in English.

The Saker Falcon

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