“Liwa” and “Al Ain” oases at the GIAHS International Conference in Japan

Under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabrak Al Nahayan, Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, presents the UAE’s efforts to preserve the date palm oases

The date palm oases in the historic city of Al Ain and Liwa have agricultural heritage systems of global importance

As part of the UAE’s preparation to participate in the International Conference on Agricultural Systems with a Global Heritage of Humanity (GIAHS), which will be hosted by Nono City, Ishikawa, Japan, during the period from 25th–27th of November, 2021. Where Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, is participating in this conference to present Al Ain and Liwa oases, in the United Arab Emirates, which have been recognized since 2015 by the GIAHS Program of the United Nations, and what has been achieved so far in cooperation with several organizations in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, added that this participation comes under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabrak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Zaid, emphasized that the oasis is an authentic agricultural ecosystem that has been patiently developed by men and women over thousands of years in the arid lands. Where in the MENA region date palm oases have been playing for millennia an important role to combat desertification, to conserve agro-biodiversity and to feed oasis population. Date palm agro-ecosystems have been a rich source of nutrition, biodiversity and culture for millennia.

These oasis ecosystems comprise a rich genetic diversity of date palms, in addition to over a hundred species of plants, crops and other organisms. The genetic diversity of date palms has been key to their successful cultivation, as it has created locally-adapted varieties of date palms that are resistant to extreme heat, drought, salinity.
Therefore, the dynamic conservation of oasis ecosystems will play an important role, in maintaining local irrigation systems and in conserving biological diversity and to maintain the different exosystemic services provided by the oases.

Promoting oases in UAE and beyond Contacts
Khalifa international award for date palm and agricultural innovation continue to promote GIAHS oases in UAE and MENA region by supporting the fairs of dates in Al Ain, Liwa and also Siwa (Egypt).
Al Ain and Liwa oases are intensive agro-ecosystem in arid land that contribute to food and livelihood security. These oases are characterized by 3 floors of cultivation: Upper floor with different varieties of date palm trees, middle floor with different species and varieties of fruit trees and lower floor with different species and varieties of vegetables and fodder with integration of livestock
Falaj’ is an ingenious system of groundwater collection in arid land for the needs of families and the irrigation of oases. ‘Afalaj’ (plural of ‘falaj’) are created and maintained by oasis farmers for centuries
The oases represent a shared culture in UAE. Its dynamic conservation is ensured through the organisation each year of important exhibitions and on farm activities at Liwa and Al Ain oases, as Liwa landscape covers 70 km of oases in a desert of sandy dunes up to 300 m high.

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