Below is a profile from one of our previous interns where you can find out why they chose to intern at CMS Office – Abu Dhabi, where they are now and the advice they would give to those considering applying for a similar internship.
Zayed's Antarctic Lights Premiere (Photo courtesy of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi)
On Tuesday 20 November the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots hosted a world premiere of the documentary Zayed’s Antarctic Lights at Vox Cinemas Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The documentary follows Team Zayed – EAD staff members Mariam Al Qassimi, Rashed Al Zaabi and Winston Cowie – on their two-week expedition to Antarctica in March 2018.
CMS and its Family set the course for developing their contributions to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework which is expected to provide a "New Deal for Nature" for the entire international community. Two years away from its adoption, the post-2020 framework presents the opportunity to raise the visibility of migratory wildlife and promote its conservation. Last week, the CMS Standing Committee (Bonn, 23-24 October 2018) endorsed the establishment of a Working Group (WG) on the development of CMS Family contributions to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
During the 13th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP13) to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar) held in Dubai, the Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit was demonstrated and discussed in a side-event organized by the Dugong MoU Secretariat and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). With the theme, ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’, COP13 provided the perfect forum to learn about the most appropriate tools and techniques to use in researching dugong and seagrass conservation.
Voting is now open for the 2018 Google Impact Challenge and a project from Murdoch University, led by two members of the Dugong Technical Group Dr Amanda Hodgson and Dr Christophe Cleguer, has made it to the Top 10!
The Dugong MOU Secretariat is deeply saddened to advise that our very good friend and colleague, Edwin Grandcourt, Section Manager - Marine Assessment and Conservation at Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi passed away on 8 October 2018. Edwin has long been a true friend and passionate supporter of the Dugong MOU and the Secretariat will miss his guidance, positive and generous spirit and relentless passion for marine conservation. In so many ways on countless occasions, Edwin’s boundless energy and good humour would shine through and we will all miss having his help in the work ahead of us. A memorial service will be held here in Abu Dhabi at 10:00 on Sunday 14 October 2018 where we will pass on the Dugong MOU family’s deepest condolences to his family.
A set of guidelines for interacting with dugongs was launched last week by the Vanuatu Environmental Science Society (VESS) and is now available online. The guidelines are intended to facilitate a friendly environment to interact with dugongs for anyone in and around dugong habitats. The launch event was attended by the Vanuatu Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Director of Tourism along with diving and tour operators, hoteliers, sporting groups, NGO and other members of the public.
Good news for dugongs in the Solomon Islands, it is now against the law to fish, retain, be in possession of, buy, sell or export dugongs in the Solomon Islands. Any violation of this law is punishable by four months in prison and/or SI$40,000 fine (USD 5,000).
Timor-Leste has confirmed its support towards the protection of dugongs and their vital seagrass habitats by becoming the 27th Signatory to the CMS Dugong MOU. The Secretary of State for the Environment, H.E. Demétrio do Amaral de Carvalho signed the MOU earlier today at a signing ceremony in Dili, Timor-Leste.
CMS has become a member of UN-Oceans as BBNJ meetings start at UN Headquarters in New York this week. The new membership became official just before the start of the First Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an International Legally Binding Instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).