UAE President pledges $40 million more towards 'species conservation'

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has pledged an additional $40 million to support grassroots species conservation programmes globally under the MBZ Fund. 

It will increase the Fund's endowment to over $70 million by 2028, and will support direct species conservation initiatives with up to $25,000 per project.

Making the announcement in Abu Dhabi, Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, said the decision to more than double the original endowment was motivated by a review of the work and achievements of the Fund. 

It "demonstrates the President's keen interest in the natural world and underscores the UAE's long-term commitment to nature and species conservation". 

Since its establishment in 2009, the MBZ Fund has supported grassroots species conservation programmes across 170 countries.

Describing the Fund's achievement as "impressive", Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes' Affairs highlighted how "it has supported more than 2,750 projects across the world for the conservation of 1,700 species and subspecies".

"This incredible impact on a truly global scale is what has motivated the increased support."

The programme funds initiatives that target the world's most vulnerable species – those listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which tracks the conservation status of 157,100 species across nine categories.

Mohammed Al Bowardi, Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of MBZ Fund, said that the contribution comes at a time when species and conservationists need more support than ever before. "Species are vanishing at an unprecedented and alarming rate. Addressing the extinction crisis is not just a moral imperative, but an act of self-interest and self-preservation as we all depend on nature for our well-being and continued prosperity," he added.

"The Fund and its small grants programme have served as a lifeline for conservationists who often work in challenging and, in some cases, dangerous conditions. The new contribution from His Highness will further ensure the perpetuity of the endowment, projecting its positive impact well into the future."

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