Population of endangered species in UAE totals 5,800 animals, 30,000 plants
Dubai-UAE: 21, December 2017 – The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has launched an electronic service on its website to regulate domestic and international trade in endangered and threatened animals and plants covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The population of endangered species in the UAE totals 5,800 animals and 30,000 plants. The country joined CITES under the Federal Decree No. 86 of 1989 and issued the Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 to enforce the application of the agreement.
In line with the UAE's strategy to make all government services available in an electronic and smart format, the new two-track service allows customers to complete all relevant procedures through the website without visiting the customer service offices of the Ministry.
The first track offers registration, licensing and issuance of passports for international trade in endangered animals and plants – covering import, export and re-export – in accordance with the terms of CITES. Meanwhile, the second track targets domestic trade by individuals and entities, including registration and ownership change.
Engineer Muna Omran Majed Al Shamsi, Acting Director of the Biodiversity Department at MOCCAE, said: “The move aligns with the Ministry's drive to increase customer satisfaction and happiness through transforming all its services into e-services and mobile applications. The main objective of the service is to monitor and regulate trade in endangered and threatened species in line with CITES to avoid random abandonment by owners causing a proliferation of stray animals that may pose a risk to public health and safety.”
She added: 'The e-service website contains information about CITES and the full list of endangered and threatened animals and plants with the aim of educating the public about species that are prohibited to acquire without registration.'
Engineer Al Shamsi noted that the new service replaces the previous website www.cites.ae, run by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), that was handling the registration of falcons, issuance of passports, and procedures for import, export and re-export.
She said: 'Every member of the community is responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of CITES. Buyers should verify the availability of the required certificates when purchasing any of the animals or plants listed in the agreement, or their parts and derivatives. They also need to obtain the necessary import certificates, and register the sale and transfer of ownership. Establishments engaging in trade in endangered species should be registered with MOCCAE, and ensure that the animals or plants are free from any diseases with the assistance of the concerned authorities.”
The Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 concerning regulating and controlling the international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora sets out penalties for the violation of its provisions, including imprisonment for up to six months and fines up to AED50,000 in addition to confiscation of the illegally traded or possessed specimens.