Dugongs primary food is seagrass. Their constant browsing of seagrass encourages regrowth - ensuring critical habitat and feeding sites for a host of other marine species, including turtles, dolphins and sawfish. © Mandy Etpison
Abu Dhabi, 9 June 2021 - The Dugong and Seagrass Toolkit has been selected as one of the 25 most noteworthy innovations in the Government sector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation. The selection was determined after a rigorous screening and assessment process where several contenders showcased their projects over a period of one year.
The Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit is an initiative by the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS Dugong MOU) , Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the energy company Total. It provides an easily accessible online decision-making tool to guide the selection of specific dugong and seagrass research recommendations which can be adopted in specific circumstances.
The toolkit is available worldwide to members of universities, research institutes, and governmental and non-governmental organizations with mandates for coastal and marine research and conservation. It supports researchers in the process of setting and refining their objectives, while considering overall conservation management goals and budgetary restraints. It also factors in elements such as time scale, spatial scale, technical capacity and specific challenges on the ground. In addition to collecting information on dugongs and seagrass, the toolkit provides tools and techniques to understand the threats and human community factors that affect dugong and seagrass conservation.
The interactive approach of the toolkit makes it extremely efficient in providing the right kind of guidance, saving researchers, conservation practitioners and marine management agencies time and resources. It is designed to be easily accessible to researchers and practitioners working in developing countries who have limited access to scientific expertise, thus serving as an efficient and cost-effective method to ensure consistent, comparable, and standardized data sets across the dugong range.
Since launching in March 2017, the toolkit was reached by 3,200 users from 119 different countries, with a total of over 10,000 page views. It has now also been incorporated into the Dugong and Seagrass Hub.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation provides a world-class, multifunction space for testing, creating and spurring innovation locally, regionally, and internationally. With the aim of showcasing the region’s public sector innovation power to a global audience and shining a light on best practices to promote knowledge sharing, researchers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation spent over a year to assess 500+ innovations from 100+ federal and local government entities across the seven emirates to determine the top 25 innovators. The innovations were scored on criteria including novelty, replicability, and impact.
The CMS Dugong MOU aims to promote internationally coordinated actions to ensure the long-term survival of dugongs and their seagrass habitats throughout their extensive range.
Last updated on 13 July 2021