Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) won the bid to host the Ramsar Convention on wetlands in 2018, seeing off China's challenge in the process.
The UAE's winning bid was presented during the Ramsar Convention's 48th Meeting of the Standing Committee, which concluded Jan 30 in Gland, Switzerland.
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90 percent of the UN member states, across all the world's geographic regions, have acceded to become "contracting parties" to the convention.
The parties to the convention meet every three years and Uruguay was slated to host the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) this year.
In a letter to the UAE Minister of Environment and Water, Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, the Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention, Christopher Briggs, thanked the UAE for its support and for its international presence.
Briggs expected the 2018 meeting to be a success given the UAE's good reputation and leadership in the Arab region and the rest of the world.