Dugong, seagrass toolkit among top 25 UAE innovations

It provides an easily accessible online decision-making tool to guide the selection of specific dugong and seagrass research recommendations…reports Asian Lite News

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced that an online toolkit to support dugong and seagrass conservation has been selected as one of the 25 most noteworthy innovations in the UAE’s government sector by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation, in collaboration with Sia Partners.

The Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit is an initiative by EAD, the energy company Total and the MoU on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range (Dugong MOU) of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) based in Abu Dhabi.

It provides an easily accessible online decision-making tool to guide the selection of specific dugong and seagrass research recommendations which can be adopted in specific circumstances.

The toolkit is available worldwide to members of universities, research institutes, and governmental and non-governmental organisations with mandates for coastal and marine research and conservation.

It supports researchers in the process of setting and refining their objectives, while considering overall conservation management goals and budgetary restraints. It also factors in elements such as time scale, spatial scale, technical capacity and specific challenges on the ground.

In addition to collecting information on dugongs and seagrass, the toolkit provides tools and techniques to understand the threats and human community factors that affect dugong and seagrass conservation.

The interactive approach of the toolkit makes it extremely efficient in providing the right kind of guidance, saving researchers, conservation practitioners and marine management agencies time and resources.

It is designed to be easily accessible to researchers and practitioners working in developing countries who have limited access to scientific expertise, thus serving as an efficient and cost-effective method to ensure consistent, comparable, and standardized data sets across the dugong range.

To use the toolkit, a user opens the designated website, presses ‘Launch Toolkit’ and follows a simple process tree that leads to practical recommendations. Since launching in March 2017, the toolkit was reached by 3,200 users from 119 different countries, with a total of over 10,000 page views. It has now also been incorporated into the Dugong and Seagrass Hub. (WAM)

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