UPC unveils guidelines for Abu Dhabi national park

The Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park to be first of five in the capital.

Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council (UPC), together with the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD), has announced guidelines for the first of five planned national parks in the Emirate.

The parks are to be developed to ensure protection of the wetland area in Abu Dhabi as part of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. The national parks are a 'cornerstone' of the plan, a spokesperson for the UPC told Commercial Outdoor Design.

The Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park will be the first of the parks to be built in the city.

The planning guidelines require that native vegetation and supporting hydrology be retained with the park area, while allowing for adjustments to the changing climate, sea level and other conditions, the UPC stated. The guidelines also provide guidance for areas adjacent to the park.

"The mangroves surrounding the city are the most important ecological source in the country and contain more biodiversities than any other area in Abu Dhabi," said Falah Al Ahbabi, UPC general manager. "The environmental framework policies ensure the long-term protection of the mangrove area for future generations of citizens and visitors to Abu Dhabi."

The move by the UPC and EAD is part of an effort to ensure the conservation of the wetlands, which are situated along the coastline of Abu Dhabi.

While many mangroves around the world are declining, those in Abu Dhabi are increasing due to protection and a major plantation program, the UPC noted in its report on Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, an urban framework to guide the evolution of Abu Dhabi to the year 2030.

The other four national parks will be located along the coast in the Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Region, with three to the northeast and one to the southwest of Abu Dhabi Island.

Guidelines on the other parks are expected in the coming weeks.

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