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MBZ Fund grants $5.8mn to rescue dugongs

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ABU DHABI / WAM

The Mohammad Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund) announced the launch of US$5.8 million grant to save the endangered dugong and its seagrass ecosystems in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.
The programme will implement 38 projects in Indonesia, East Timor, The Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Vanuatu. As part of its initiative, the MBZ Fund also announced that it would be partnering with students from Zayed University and 16 other international universities to help raise awareness on the subject. The announcement was made at the Global Communication Conference, and coincided with International Day for Biological Diversity.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, managing director of the MBZ Fund, said, “The presence of dugong and seagrass in a marine ecosystem is a good indication that the ecosystem is healthy. Protecting these species and their environment is good for local communities because a healthy marine environment provides plentiful food, protects coasts from storm erosion and ensures clean seawater.” “The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project, executed by the MBZ Fund, represents an unprecedented global investment in the conservation of these endangered species and contributes to Abu Dhabi’s already impressive track record of supporting environmental conservation efforts worldwide,”she added.

She added, “Working with Zayed University students and their counterparts from different universities across the world gives the Fund the opportunity to tap into the insights of a digitally connected and environmentally aware generation.”

The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees.

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