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Biology of UAE deserts an untapped fountain of wealth

(op-ed piece from a scientist in the United Arab Emerates)

When we think of vibrant biodiversity, the Amazonian jungles, the American Great Plains and the vast oceans come to mind.

And for good reason. They are a prime source of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals and biomass for energy products.

It is for that reason so many of us support efforts to prevent deforestation in the rainforests and overfishing in the oceans.

That global support has helped countries such as Brazil, the United States and Australia implement strict legislation to prevent the export and exploitation of their natural biodiversity by foreigners for commercial purposes.

India and many other developing nations have also set limits on which biodiversity samples can be exported.

But in our part of the world, there is still a perception that the desert is a barren place, and thus, does not need protection.
 
 

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