Home Nature preserves Al Bithnah nature and heritage trail inaugurated in Fujairah

Al Bithnah nature and heritage trail inaugurated in Fujairah

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FUJAIRAH- Etihad Rail, Emirates Nature-WWF, Fujairah Municipality, Fujairah Environment Authority and Fujairah Adventures Center, supported by Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority, inaugurated the Al Bithnah Historic Nature and Heritage Trail in the emirate of Fujairah, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.

The 50th Emirate Nature Trail, which marks the UAE’s 50th anniversary, is the country’s first-ever community-built tourist trail and represents a pioneering model of “inclusive development”.

The nature trail, located in Wadi Ham, was created as part of a larger Al Bithnah conservation project. The inauguration of the trail took place in the presence of Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, Director General of the Municipality of Fujairah; Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail; Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Managing Director of Emirates Nature-WWF; Aseela Al Moalla, Managing Director of the Fujairah Environmental Authority; Saeed Al Memari, Managing Director of Fujairah Adventures, as well as members of the local community.

During the inauguration, the delegation visited the first section of the trail and its surroundings, rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage. The trail is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022 and will open as an ecotourism destination for tourists.

The development of the trail marks an important step in the framework of the historic agreement between Etihad Rail, Emirates Nature-WWF, the Fujairah Environment Authority and the Fujairah Adventures Center signed in March 2021. The agreement supports sustainable development within the local community, provides valuable opportunities for ecotourism, protects the environment and biodiversity, and preserves the UAE’s natural heritage.

The project is part of Etihad Rail’s vision for sustainability and its commitment to be a ‘good neighbor’ to the local communities through which the UAE’s national rail network passes. Etihad Rail continues to take the lead in projects that minimize the environmental impacts of railway construction and improve sustainable development by opening up new opportunities for economic growth and increased ecotourism.

On the occasion, Al Afkham said: “Etihad Rail is playing a vital role in consolidating the UAE’s position as a global and regional center of transport and logistics services. The UAE’s national rail network is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country and serves as a major contributor to the national economy, which will play a central role in enhancing the economic development of the UAE and the Emirate of Fujairah. I would like to thank all of you the parties who have contributed to the completion of the Al Bithnah Natural Trail and Heritage, as well as the people of the Emirate of Fujairah for their cooperation. “

Commenting on this milestone, Mohamed Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations at Etihad Rail, said: “As a good neighbor, Etihad Rail is committed to protecting the livelihoods of local communities surrounding the Etihad Rail project. This will provide unique opportunities for sustainable development. economic and social development and will play a strategic role in continuing the UAE’s journey to excellence and success over the next fifty years. We are truly happy to partner with residents of the Al Bithnah area in the development of this trail and look forward to seeing its impact on enhancing tourist attractiveness, supporting biodiversity and protecting the environment. The joint environmental conservation and habitat rehabilitation project is one of a series of projects that Etihad Rail is undertaking in collaboration with the government, private stakeholders and NGOs. After the completion of the nature trail, an in-depth study of the biodiversity of the wider Al Bithnah region will be conducted to determine water quality, identify habitats important to the environment, while seeking to enable the preservation of local biodiversity. This will be accompanied by a socio-economic survey to identify areas, which can further empower the local community and foster sustainable economic growth.

For her part, Laila Abdullatif said: “We launched this project with our esteemed partners just a few months ago, and we have seen enormous enthusiasm from the inhabitants of the village of Al Bithnah, as well as from the wider UAE community.There is still an opportunity for the community to get involved in building the rest of the nature trail, and they can participate by joining our “Leaders of Change” program. of creating a solid foundation to activate civil society to create a greener, more sustainable nation for our next 50. “

Aseela Al Moalla said: “The distinguished mountains of Fujairah are an example of the enduring treasures of the United Arab Emirates, and one of our goals is to conserve them and show them to the world, and the Al Nature Trail. Bithnah is one of the steps to introduce this unique biodiversity to people. Meanwhile, Saeed Al Memari said, “We are proud to be part of the cooperation to protect the natural heritage of Al Bithnah. The trail combines the magic of scenic nature, archaeological sites and beautiful stories inherited from our ancestors – which we must teach our children and future generations. “

The Al Bithnah Conservation Project aims to help the community adapt to rapid changes in the socio-economic world. The agreement signed between the project partners involves three key pillars, namely: supporting the growth of the local community, protecting the environment and biodiversity and preserving the natural heritage of the United Arab Emirates.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.