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DUBAI: April 25, 2019. dnata, part of the Emirates Group, acknowledged Earth Day on April 22 after signing an MoU with the University of Pretoria, South Africa to support research and rehabilitation projects.

The partnership aims to safeguard wildlife and the environment by strengthening and enhancing research, veterinary training and awareness, increasing involvement through volunteer opportunities, and ensuring needed measures are taken to care for injured animals and rehabilitate them to go back into the wild. The initiative will be partially driven by employee participation to protect fragile biodiversity in South Africa and to maintain balanced ecosystems.

DDCROther Earth Day-related projects include funding the operations of a 225 square kilometre Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), an inland desert habitat that has been protected by government mandate since 2003. This is the largest piece of land the emirate has dedicated to a single project and aims to preserve Dubai’s unique desert environment for future generations. Last year it offered low-impact desert experiences to over 285,000 visitors.

The DDCR collaborates with both local and international universities to share research results of the desert ecosystem while it gathers scientific data of rare and endangered desert species in order to preserve their natural environment.

The reserve is also a focal point for conservation programmes aimed at restoring populations of some of the UAE’s wildlife such as the Arabian gazelle, sand gazelle and Arabian oryx. Since their reintroduction into the DDCR, the antelope species have significantly increased in number, triggering the process of relocating some oryx and gazelle to other protected areas in the region.

For the past decade Emirates has also been supporting the protection of Australia’s animal and plant life through the conservation-based Emirates ‘One&Only’ Wolgan Valley resort in New South Wales.

The property conducts regular research to identify opportunities and challenges for endangered species conservation and also helps restore vegetation and tree planting activities to re-establish habitats for bird populations.

Since 2015 the airline has continued its strong support for actions to stem the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. Last year it signed the Buenos Aires Declaration on Travel and Tourism and Illegal Wildlife Trade, an effort led by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to reach a billion travellers with messages to fight the illegal wildlife trade and work with communities to develop sustainable tourism that provides livelihoods and protects wildlife.

The group has also adopted a zero-tolerance policy to wildlife trafficking and now trains its Emirates SkyCargo employees to identify warning signs of smuggled wildlife including banned species, hunting trophies or any products associated with illegal wildlife activities.

Pictured: The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is also a focal point for conservation programmes aimed at restoring populations of some of the UAE’s wildlife, such as the Arabian gazelle, sand gazelle and Arabian oryx.

 

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