Director's message

H. E. Majed Ali Al Mansouri's

Dear teachers

More often than not, human activities are cited as the most responsible factors for the sixth mass extinction of species. What goes unnoticed in the face of this bleak scenario are the valiant and successful human efforts to avert this impact and conserve our species.

Conservation is important if we have to ensure that our children and theirs are able to enjoy living sustainably in a healthy planet with the natural resources that we enjoy today.

The IFHC, which began its efforts four decades ago, can look back with pride at its achievements in conserving one species, the Houbara Bustard. Our late visionary leader and Father of the nation, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, understood the importance of conservation while surging ahead with development. When he noticed the decline in Houbara Bustard numbers, he set in motion a breeding programme to prevent its extinction across territories of distribution from China to Morocco. From the success of the first Asian Houbara chick hatching in the Al Ain Zoo breeding programme in 1982, we have come a long way with more than 50,000 Houbara hatched in captivity in 2016. Many thousands have been released in the wild and reports of some of these birds breeding in the wild are testimony of our great success in conservation.

We need to convey the story of our efforts and success in conserving the Houbara Bustard to our young, to elevate conservation education above the narrow confines of the books or disciplines and help them relate to the spectacular efforts that have been made at home here in the harsh desert environment. The conservation of the Houbara will inspire them to think positively and equip themselves to strive to conserve our species with love and dedication.

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