Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss


The UAE’s major terrestrial habitat is a sandy desert that supports different amounts of sparse seasonal

vegetation and animals. In line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, of pursuing economic growth whilst preserving the environment, MOCCAE seeks to promote the sustainable use of vital resources through the adoption of plans, strategies and policies. The target is to combat desertification and preserve the UAE’s biodiversity in the interest of our future generations.


Policies and Initiatives

  • The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Project (2018) aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of sites critical for the conservation of the world’s birds and other wildlife
  • The National Ecotourism Project (2018) will raise awareness about the 43 protected areas in the UAE and encourage sustainable tourism to minimise impact on biodiversity
  • The CITES e-permitting program (2017) is an electronic service designed to regulate the international trade in endangered animals and plants covered by the CITES convention in a more effective manner




  • Limited valuable historic data on biodiversity may cause implications when developing projects specific to terrestrial biodiversity, hence MOCCAE adopted several projects which utilize today’s expertise to track historical knowledge on biodiversity through back casting exercises
  • Limited awareness concerning the importance of biodiversity can lead to misinformation about species and their habitats. A national awareness strategy has been developed to increase public awareness on environment & biodiversity
  • Invasive species are recognized as one of five most important direct drivers of biodiversity loss and change in ecosystem services globally. Invasive species can impact in a number of ways, including competition, predation, hybridisation, and disease transmission, parasitism, herbivory and trampling and rooting. The outcomes of these impacts lead to biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and loss of ecosystem services.

Achievement Progress