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AUS and Emirates Nature-WWF sign MoU to collaborate in conservation research and student opportunities
American University of Sharjah (AUS) and Emirates Nature-WWF will collaborate closely in research, student training and employment, and aim to bridge the gap between academia, government decision-makers and industry, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two institutions recently.
The agreement aims to formalize more than five years of work between the two institutions. Among other things, the collaborations have included multiple ongoing conservation research projects and student training opportunities on a variety of marine and terrestrial focused conservation issues, such as climate change, coral reefs, fisheries and marine megafauna (sharks, rays and turtles), and oyster beds.
Professor Kevin Mitchell, Chancellor of AUS, and Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, General Director of Emirates Nature-WWF, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
The objective of the MoU is to actively explore research collaboration opportunities addressing key issues related to biodiversity, ecosystems, climate change and sustainability; support future employment of AUS students and alumni by providing internship placement opportunities; collaborate in organizing mutual events such as workshops, symposiums, seminars and conferences; and work on projects that implement real-life solutions utilizing the expertise of AUS faculty members and applying the skills of AUS students, such as awareness campaigns, events, fellowships, citizen science, consultations, practicum workshops and site visits.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Mitchell said: “AUS has benefited from the long-standing collaboration with Emirates Nature-WWF. We are pleased to sign the MoU, and look forward to continuing to work together on issues related to the conservation of natural resources in the UAE.”
Commenting on the agreement, Abdullatif, an AUS alumna, said: “On behalf of the organization, I am honored to have officially signed an MoU with our long-standing partner AUS. Having studied at AUS myself, I am personally invested in paying it forward and empowering youth to create a sustainable UAE. We need to invest in upskilling our youth so that they are ready for the green recovery which is set to shape the next 50 years of the UAE. Looking back at our partnership so far, I am specifically proud of the first coastal habitat map of the Northern Emirates, which we released in 2019, that is being used by researchers and managers to continue working in the efficient conservation and management of these important ecosystems. I have no doubt that we will continue to shape the face of conversation in the UAE together.”