UN recognises UAE oases as agricultural heritage sites
The date palm oases of Al Ain and Liwa have been recognised as agricultural heritage sites by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The oases were given the designation due to their importance to culture, biodiversity and as a source of genetic resources, state news agency Wam said.
The oases are key centres for the nation’s date grove production in the UAE, and join a growing number of ecosystems formally recognised by the UN organisation.
Speaking at the annual Khalifa International Date Palm Award Ceremony, Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general, said, “Advancing towards the future while preserving your roots is not always an easy task, but the UAE have been able to do that with their sustainable date palm production.”
Currently, the FAO and the UAE are collaborating on two new projects, one relating to pest management and another to map water use and production.
In recent years, the UAE has implemented a conservation programme to revitalise these oases through measures such as protection from urban encroachment, restoration of ancient irrigation systems and the re-introduction of traditional agricultural management.