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Bridgestone backs environment project

Dubai, December 13, 2011

Bridgestone Middle East and Africa has strengthened its support for the Wadi Wurayah mountain protected area with Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), as part of its commitment to ensure a sustainable society.

The leading tyre manufacturer continued on its second year of support for the environmental project with sponsorships on educational field trips for local schools and colleges.

One of the recently sponsored educational field trips took place last week, with a group of 30 female students from the Higher Colleges of Technology Fujairah Women's College, a statement from the company said.

The students took part in three workshops facilitated by EWS-WWF on Hydro-geology, Terrestrial Wildlife and Freshwater Ecosystems of the area to discover what makes the environment and its conservation so important.

‘At Bridgestone we want to help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations,’ said Shoichi Sakuma, president of Bridgestone Middle East & Africa. ‘Wadi Wurayah is an important inheritance for the UAE, and more people need to understand what makes it so precious, and yet so vulnerable.”

“Young people, who are the future of this region, need to learn why they should respect this unique and vital area of the nation, and protect it for the benefit of generations to come. The importance of the work being carried out here by EWS-WWF cannot be underestimated,” Sakuma said.

Wadi Wurayah is a mountain area in Fujairah which was officially declared a protected area in 2009, a first in the UAE. In October 2010, it officially became site number 1,932 on the wetlands list of international importance for biodiversity conservation under the Ramsar Convention, the statement said.

It is an important area because of its environmental significance as well as cultural importance; with rare and endangered wildlife species, archaeological sites and a rich cultural heritage. The fragile and unique ecosystem is one of the few remaining catchments intact in the UAE, and its protection has become essential for the survival of many rare species.

“Those living in the UAE should understand the importance of Wadi Wurayah and the value of this exceptional place,” said Christophe Tourenq, senior conservation manager EWS-WWF, who led the Freshwater Ecosystems workshop. “Because of the freshwater available all year round, there is an ecosystem with unique species depending on it that we need to preserve.”

“We are looking forward to having an eco-friendly infrastructure in place which can serve the visitors and the nature equally,” said Maral Khaled Shuriqi, geologist from Fujairah Environment Protection Department who ran geology and hydrology workshop. “Education is the key for a better understanding to our local environment and it is important to spread the word about having and protecting such a valuable area.”

In 2010, Bridgestone also sponsored the installation of twenty camera traps in the area which allows EWS-WWF to observe the wildlife that resides within the area which is an integral part in the conservation efforts for the existing biological diversity.

Valuable images of various wildlife species in the area were captured in their natural habitat such as the caracal, red fox, Blanford’s fox, Gordon’s wildcat, Arabian tahr and Brandt’s hedgehog, providing critical data and insights into the animals’ behavior, the statement said.

Bridgestone also supports the marine turtle conservation project for the tagging and tracking of Hawksbill turtles, a critically endangered species of marine turtle in the Gulf, it said. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Emirates Wildlife Society | Bridgestone | Wadi Wurayah | Protected Area | Field Trip |

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