Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: ME NewsWire: The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) received an honorary award at the Fes Meknes Economic Forum that was held for the first time this year between May 10th to 12th in Fes, Morocco and organized by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Fes Meknes.
The Fund was recognized for all its efforts in contributing to the economic boost of the local Moroccan community through its sustainability efforts in conserving the Houbara bustard. Representing the Fund at the award ceremony was H.E. Majid Al Mansouri, Board Member, Rapporteur of IFHC Governing Board and Managing Director, who received the award at the Forum that gathered national and international decision-makers that are concerned with economic issues and encouraging investment and trade.
The IFHC was also recognized for its significant work in the development of communities surrounding the two Houbara breeding centres that are located in Missour and Enjil and for its dedication to offering infrastructural, social and economic support in these key areas. Through the provision of employment to local residents in the Houbara breeding centres, the IFHC has proven to be a prime socio-economic partner in Morocco as 92 percent of the workforce are Moroccan. The Fund was also acknowledged for its use of the latest technology that has helped the employees of the Fund with their professional development.
Specifically, the IFHC has contributed greatly to the surrounding infrastructure next to the two centres through the building of roads and bridges by the UAE government that has always been a supporter of the IFHC and its projects in Morocco. Additionally, the Fund has supported the building of dams in more than one location, an airport in Bouarfa, and sanitary programmes in three hospitals. The Fund has also contributed to the development of the community through supporting the building of houses and mosques and providing water and electricity in the villages of Tendrara and Ain Echchair.
On the occasion of the award, H.E. Majid Al Mansouri said, “It is a great honour for us to be here today at the Fes Meknes Economic Forum and to receive this award for the work that we have done in Morocco. Our relationship with the local communities remains strong and is a priority for us, as part of our collaborative efforts with the Moroccan government that has always supported us in all our initiatives. We are committed to the people of Morocco and will continue to ensure that socio-economically they find consistent cooperation from the Fund that could not have achieved as much without their hard work. There has always been a long-standing relationship and historical bond between the UAE and Morocco and we are very grateful for the efforts made by the government and the people.”
He also said, “The International Fund for Houbara Conservation works towards the successful fulfillment of the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which began in the 1970s and the strategy of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, to restore the Houbara bustard in the UAE, the Arabian Peninsula and other countries of the bird’s range. This is in addition to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the IFHC Board, of sustainability for these birds, their captive-breeding and release into the wild.”
He added that looking forward the Fund will continue its sustainability efforts in breeding and conserving the Houbara with the assistance of the local communities in Morocco that over the years have always been dedicated to this significant project that is the largest in the world for the Houbara bustard.
The IFHC oversees an extensive network of affiliated global Houbara bustard conservation projects and Houbara captive breeding programmes. It is considered to be the leading authority on understanding and protecting this noble bird, which is so significant to Arabian heritage and culture.