Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi Screens its Wild Abu Dhabi: Turtles of Al Dharfa Documentary at Expo 2020

Abu Dhabi, 4th 2022:

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) yesterday screened one of its most significant documentaries, entitled “Wild Abu Dhabi: Turtles of Al Dhafra” at Expo 2020. Displayed at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, the documentary highlights the trailblazing work of the EAD team who study turtles in the Arabian Gulf.
Attendees of the event included the Biodiversity Executive Management team from EAD, alongside several stakeholders and partners from government and non-governmental organisations.
The enlightening documentary, which took two years to film, unveils the remarkable journey the EAD Team Turtle take to monitor both Hawksbills and Green Turtles.
The documentary follows the EAD team as they move across various islands through the scenic Al Dhafra region, leading thought-provoking scientific research, such as recording the movement of Green Turtles for the first time in the region
The film also outlines how EAD is working towards mitigating the main threats to turtles, including climate change, plastics, and abandoned fishing gear. The successful documentary also has an important call to action, highlighting how the community can be part of the solution.
Ahmed Alhashmi, Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD said on the occasion: “It is always a pleasure to share EAD’s work at events as large and as important as Expo 2020. We are excited for people to see the work EAD has undertaken through a medium as impactful as our documentary. Visual content is always appealing, especially for environmental work, as it requires the community to take a pro-active approach and join forces with us to initiate change in behaviour for a sustainable future”.
Wild Abu Dhabi: Turtles of Al Dhafra allowed us to document our scientific research and share it in an educational yet entertaining manner for everyone to view and enjoy. It is a testament to the conservation efforts of our team who have been studying and monitoring turtles for years. The information gathered during the two years of creating the documentary, has helped lay the foundation for us to concoct future projects which involve saving endangered turtles in Abu Dhabi and we are proud to share this with the public.”
Abu Dhabi is home to two of the seven species of turtles found on the planet – both of which are threatened – the critically endangered Hawksbills, and the endangered giant Green Turtles. EAD has been working on the preservation of sea turtles since its inception 26 years ago, which is part of The Agency’s strategic priority and commitment towards the protection of biodiversity and endangered species in Abu Dhabi.
In 2005, EAD, in collaboration with its partners, began rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles and since then, more than 1,000 turtles have been returned to their natural habitat in the sea.
Abu Dhabi has a stable population of around 5,500 sea turtles, including 1,500 critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles. The Emirate is also home to 3,500 endangered Green Turtles, which feed on Abu Dhabi’s seagrass rich waters, as well as a key location in the Marawah Protected Area.
This is the third film that EAD has screened at Expo 2020, including the award winning Zayed’s Antarctic Lights, which chronicles the adventures of the agencies Team Zayed to Antarctica in the Year of Zayed and Our Sea Our Heritage, which tells the story of the UAE’s fisheries recovery plan. The documentary was also aired by Abu Dhabi media and is part of the entertainment system on major UAE airlines.

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