Biodiversity and Environment

The state of biodiversity in the United Arab Emirates reflects its desert environment and its maritime location on one hand, and the rapid pace of development and high population density on the other.

Biodiversity is the foundation of life on the planet, a key component of ecosystems that provide many goods and services that support the social and economic welfare of the community, such as food, fuel and building materials, it contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster mitigation, soil fertility regeneration, disease control, and sustainability of genetic resources; biodiversity is therefore the foundation of human well-being, livelihoods and culture.

The UAE has a relatively rich biological diversity that includes a range of ecosystems, and terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Many species are characterized by their unique adaptations to the UAE environment and special climatic conditions. Accordingly, the UAE has taken several measures to conserve biodiversity; many studies have been carried out on species and habitats. The UAE  has conducted many studies, most notably the study of large flamingos, and raptors, surveys of vertebrates, the study of alien species and field surveys of reptiles. The UAE has also established natural protected areas. The number of protected areas declared in the UAE increased from 19 in 2010 to 43 in 2016.

The state of biodiversity in the United Arab Emirates reflects its desert environment and its maritime location on one hand, and the rapid pace of development and high population density on the other. The UAE's terrestrial and marine environments faces a variety of pressures and threats, including: economic and urban development, Land use and increased consumption of groundwater resources, as well as overgrazing, over-exploitation of living marine resources, pollution from land and marine sources, invasive alien species and climate change.

Living marine and terrestrial species in the UAE have adapted to harsh environmental conditions, but normal adaptation to warm temperatures may not be sufficient to withstand increasingly warm temperatures resulting from climate change. As the coastal area is predominantly sandy and low-lying, their vulnerability to climate change is very high. Expected impacts from high temperature and sea level rise include: erosion, direct immersion, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion. These impacts involve risks to existing and new infrastructure and important coastal ecosystems. And are likely to result in significant economic costs through impact on fisheries and aquaculture.