Strategic Planning for a new Center for Plant Conservation, Abu Dhabi

CASE STUDY: Policy, Plans and Operations

On 2008 the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi in the UAE proposed the establishment of a Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) for the integrated conservation of arid land plant resources and the restoration of arid ecosystems.

The major goals envisaged for the CPC were:

  • Conserving all aspects of plant diversity in the Abu Dhabi/UAE
  • Carrying out research and development actions to ensure the continued survival of extant plant diversity and its habitats
  • Restoring degraded habitats in Abu Dhabi/UAE through integrated conservation and developing habitat restoration as a key component of national environmental planning
  • Studying and recording the Abu Dhabi/UAE’s ethnobotanical heritage.
  • Assisting in deriving economic benefits from Abu Dhabi/UAE plants (e.g. medicinals and environmental)
  • Contributing to national, regional and international environmental initiatives through the provision of data, indices, technical guidelines, and direct conservation actions.
  • Assisting in achieving the conservation of the Abu Dhabi/UAE’s flora by reinforcing the respect people have for it through the effective interpretation of botanic garden displays and the development of other formal education and training programs.
  • Building the national capacity in plant conservation.

As a part of this I was contracted to assist with the development of 1) a Strategic Plan outlining the Center’s institutional mission, vision, positioning statement, priority issues and strategies, and; 2) a phase-wise Business Plan with the program of activities and tasks and a listing of activities/tasks for costing and implementation based on the Strategic Plan.

I also assisted in the development of: 1) the terms of reference for consultancy firms to design facilities and cost the project, and; 2) guidelines on establishing linkages with IUCN/SSC/Arabian Plant Specialists Group and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.