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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - The majority of the tickets were issued for leaving food and waste from barbecues in wilderness areas.
Teams from the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (Epaa) issued visitors to wilderness areas with more than 800 tickets during the last quarter of 2019. The majority of the tickets were issued for leaving food and waste from barbecues in wilderness areas, moving rocks and harming the environment, changing the features of the area, and damaging plants in the area.
Based on Executive Council Resolution No. 9 of 2012, which prohibits the degradation of the environment in Sharjah’s wilderness areas, Epaa continues to raise awareness with programmes and activities for visitors, focusing on the importance of preserving wilderness areas. Epaa is redoubling its efforts during this period because the good weather is conducive to hiking and visits to wilderness areas.
Increasingly, people visit these areas in their cars, which can destroy wild herbs and plants and kill wild animals. Visitors may be unaware that the area is part of a nature reserve or that it contributes to the conservation of biodiversity.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Epaa Chairperson, said, “Epaa is keen to implement the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, with regards to the environment and its protection, conservation, cleanliness and sustainability. Specialised teams work to achieve Epaa’s plans and strategies, carrying out multiple campaigns throughout the year, including campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the environment and leaving it clean. In light of the lower temperatures, nice weather and the public’s interest in visiting wilderness areas on weekends and holidays, Epaa has introduced more campaigns to raise awareness about practices that are harmful to the environment and to sustainability in the wilderness.”
Al Suwaidi pointed out that the law prohibits activities that violate federal and local legislation concerning environmental protection by harming the ecosystem and impacting visitors and residents negatively. Activities that are prohibited in wilderness areas include dumping, burying, storing or disposing of hazardous waste, polluting the environment, disturbing the health and safety of individuals or the community, soil erosion, damaging vegetation and cutting down perennial and non-perennial trees of national and environmental importance.
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