May 23 , 2011
Fujairah, 23rd May 2011- Bridgestone Middle East & Africa FZE has been awarded for their support given to protect the mountain area of Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. The recognition was delivered during the ‘Ramsar Convention in West Asia’, which started today and will be held in the Emirate until 26th May. The ceremony was attended by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, HE Dr Rashed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, and HE Engineer Mohammad Saif Al Afkham, Director of Fujairah Municipality. Wadi Wurayah is a vast stretch of land, officially declared as the UAE’s first protected mountain area in 2009. It was recently designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the RAMSAR wetland Convention, which makes it the second RAMSAR site in the UAE. Many species of insects, mammals, fish and birds can be found in the mountain area, and some of which are of local and international concern such as the Arabian Tahr, Mountain Gazelle, Caracal Lynx, Blanford’s Fox and the Arabian Leopard. It is of crucial importance that the various species are constantly observed and monitored. Bridgestone’s sponsorship of the Wadi Wurayah Project has aided EWS-WWF with funding to purchase cameras to closely monitor and survey the Wadi and its rich biodiversity. “We are much honored to have received this outstanding acknowledgment,” said Takumi Kakara – Marketing Director of Bridgestone Middle East & Africa who collected the award. “Biodiversity protection is an important issue for us and we give our full support, not only to aiding, but also in spreading awareness about its importance for the sustainability of our current and future generations.” Camera traps are vital in the research development and surveying the area by giving a confirmation on the wildlife that exists there, their age, distribution, and moving patterns. The Bridgestone-purchased camera traps, setup by EWS-WWF, are digital cameras placed in weather proof housing and fitted with heat and motion sensors. The average sensing range of the camera is 60 feet, which means that when an animal passes through this range, the camera will automatically take photos. From June 2010 to February 2011, a total of 1,905 days of camera activity –over 5,000 photos were taken by the cameras placed around nine locations at the wadi. The camera traps provided success in the on-going research work of the nation’s first mountain-protected area wherein several photos of the Caracal, Red Fox, Blanford’s Fox, Gordon’s Wildcat, Arabian Tahr, Brandt’s Hedgehog, and several species of birds (e.g. Sand Partridge, Shrub Warbler, and Hume’s Wheater) were retrieved, adding incredible value to the findings of this project. In addition to the camera traps, Bridgestone sponsored educational field trips to four schools at the Wadi Wurayah: Al Bidyah Basic School of Fujairah, Al Qeian Basic School of Fujairah, Fujairah Basic School for Girls, and Dubai Greenwoods International of Dubai. The educational trips for these local schools and some university students aimed to educate and raise awareness for the mountain-protected area and its importance to UAE’s natural heritage. The educational trips provide an atmosphere which effectively helps the students understand the rich wildlife that exists in the area that needs human care and support for its protection and preservation.