EAD Highlights Scimitar-Horned Oryx Reintroduction Programme at UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Abu Dhabi-led species conservation initiative will see the Oryx transition to a self-sustaining population in Africa
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 12 March 2019: The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) yesterday screened ‘Back to the Wild’, its groundbreaking documentary depicting the Abu Dhabi-led Scimitar-horned Oryx Reintroduction Programme to its historical range in Chad, for an audience of 40 Foreign Ambassadors and Attachés at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFA) in Abu Dhabi in the presence of H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State.
Inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and efforts to protect endangered species and sustain them in their natural habitat, this programme was initiated on behalf of the UAE government in close collaboration with the Government of Chad and the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF). The five-year initiative launched in 2014 is considered the world’s most ambitious large mammal reintroduction programme.
The 30-minute film follows the journey of Nya, a Scimitar-Horned Oryx and the rest of her herd as they acclimatise to their new home at the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve in Chad. Each oryx is fitted with a GPS collar that will allow scientists to track its journey across the 78,000 square-kilometre reserve. Today over 146 Scimitar-Horned Oryx freely roam in their home in Chad’s Sahelian region.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion on the Scimitar Homed Oryx Reintroduction Programme and the significance of the preservation of the environment and biodiversity featuring H.E Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri - Acting Secretary General of EAD and Hana Makki - Head of Documentary at Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
‘Back to Wild’ premiered at Emirates Palace on Earth Day 2018. Since then, the documentary has been aired at UAE Embassies across the globe, including Sweden, Rome, Australia and Chad. The film was also featured at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York and Festival Film du Vert in Berlin and is part of the in-flight entertainment menu onboard Etihad Airways and Emirates.
The UAE is home to 3,000 Scimitar-Horned Oryx - the world’s largest single population as conservation breeding herd for species translocation and reintroduction.