The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) will be launching the National Ecotourism Project that aims to position the country as a leading global ecotourism hub. The project will promote the UAE’s ecotourism attractions in three phases that focus on environmental, economic and social factors. MOCCAE is currently working on the pilot phase that includes making ample information and promotional footage available under the theme ‘The UAE’s Natural Wonders’ to showcase the rich biodiversity across the country’s 43 protected areas.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of Climate Change and Environment, noted that global travel and tourism trends in the last decade have indicated the emergence of ecotourism, a concept widely embraced by tourists who seek to leave no ecological footprint behind while travelling. Dr Al Zeyoudi listed some of the benefits the UAE stands to gain from focusing on ecotourism, including protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, safeguarding biodiversity habitats, implementing sustainable practices across multiple sectors and ensuring healthier ecosystems.
He added that ecotourism drives the wheel of the green economy through establishing green transportation infrastructure as well as eco-friendly hotels and other leisure amenities. As it promotes sustainable local agriculture, ecotourism also combats desertification and contributes to the growth of the GDP.
Protected areas currently make up 14 per cent of the UAE.
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