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Constitution of Emirates Natural History Group (Al Ain)

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Constitution, adopted by ad hoc working party 20/10/02, approved by Committee 5/11/02, and adopted by the membership at the Annual General Meeting held November, 2002.

  1. Authority issuing the Constitution
  2. Name
  3. Status
  4. Purpose of the Group
  5. Membership of the Group
  6. Governance of the Group
  7. Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting
  8. Finance
  9. Bye-laws
  10. Amendments to the Constitution
  11. Dissolution of the Group

1. Authority issuing the Constitution

The authority for issuing this Constitution consists of the Chairperson, Committee and Members of the Group in consequence of the Annual General Meeting held on 4 December 1984, as amended at the Annual General Meeting on 26 November 2002.

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2. Name

The name of the Group shall be: The Emirates Natural History Group (Al Ain), referred to forthwith as the Group.

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3. Status

The Group shall be affiliated to the Emirates Natural History Group (Abu Dhabi), but it shall be an independent unit as regards administration and finance.

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4. Purpose of the Group

The purpose of the Group shall be to give encouragement and assistance towards the appreciation and study of the natural history, natural sciences and history of the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring states. It shall endeavour to exchange findings with other natural history organisations in the Gulf, and to publish recordings and other information through its Newsletter, Email Bulletins and Website.

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5. Membership of the Group

Membership shall be open to any person who shares the interests of the Group as stated above (Clause 4). There shall be Individual, Family and Honorary Membership. Each category shall be entitled to one vote in meetings (Clauses 7, 10, 11).

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6. Governance of the Group

The Group shall be governed by a Committee elected yearly at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee shall consist of the following members;

  • Chairperson
  • Vice-Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Membership Secretary
  • Environment Officer
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Librarian
  • Ordinary Members

Members are able to attend Committee meetings as non-voting members.

A quorum of the Committee shall be five Members, one of whom must be the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, or their designated replacements.

The responsibilities and powers of the Committee shall be specified by the Constitution and Bye-Laws.

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7. Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in November each year. Notice of an AGM shall be given to members by email at least thirty days in advance. The AGM shall include the following items:

  • Chairperson's Report
  • Treasurer's Report

Election of Committee members shall be by majority vote (see Clause 5). Voting on other matters, except amendments to the Constitution (see Clause 10) or dissolution (Clause 11), shall also be by majority vote. Voting by proxy shall be allowed.

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by the Committee at any time or upon the request in writing of not less than twenty Members. The minimum period of notice to Members of an EGM shall be fourteen days.

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8. Finance

Accounts of income and expenditure shall be maintained by the Treasurer and audited each year within four weeks preceding each AGM.

Cheques issued by the Group must be signed by two Committee Members who have been specifically designated by the Committee.

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9. Bye-laws

Bye-laws may be adopted, amended and revoked from time to time by majority vote of the Committee, or by the Membership through an AGM or EGM. In the event of such amendment, the Membership shall be informed in the next Newsletter.

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10. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by the Membership or the Committee, through an AGM or an EGM, and always with fourteen days notice. Decisions will be made by a two-thirds majority of the total Membership in attendance at the meeting (see Clause 5).

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11. Dissolution of the Group

The Group can only be dissolved by decision of an AGM or EGM, by a two-thirds majority of the total Membership (see Clause 5).

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Bye-laws

  1. Fees
  2. Honorary Membership
  3. Newsletter
  4. Activities
  5. Dress code
  6. Photography
  7. Collection of specimens
  8. Library
  9. Health and Safety
  10. Behaviour code on field trips and activities
  11. Infractions

1. Fees

Annual membership fees shall be payable as follows:

  • Family membership: Dh150
  • Individual membership: Dh100

Fees may be modified from time to time by the Committee.

Membership is for one year beginning from September 1 each year. Membership does not automatically carry over to the next year. All dues must be paid in order for members to be eligible to stand for the committee and to vote at the AGM and EGM’s.

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2. Honorary membership

Honorary Membership may be awarded at the discretion of the Committee to people who have made a significant contribution to natural history in the Gulf region.

Any Member may nominate a person for Honorary Membership accompanied by a written submission outlining the justification for the honour. A Special Interest Group shall be formed from members of the committee to review and make a recommendation to the committee.

Such Honorary Membership shall be reported at the AGM or in the Newsletter.

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3. Newsletter

The Group shall aim to publish a monthly Newsletter to inform Members of forthcoming events and to report on previous ones. It shall attempt to promote knowledge of the natural history of the Gulf region. Any Member or non-member may contribute, at the Editor's discretion. The Editor reserves the right to amend or abridge articles at his/her discretion.

The Newsletter shall be distributed free to Members by email and posted on the Website.

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4. Activities

The Group shall aim to provide evening meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, except in July, August and December, when one meeting on the last Tuesday shall be held, and at least one field trip per month. Events and competitions may be organised at the Committee's discretion and may be suggested by Members. All meetings and field trips should conform to the Purpose of the Group.

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5. Dress code

Members shall normally observe the following dress code during field trips:

Men: Top which covers the shoulders and upper arms and long shorts or trousers.
Women: Top which covers the shoulders and upper arms, and trousers or skirts which cover the knees.

Field trip leaders and organizers have the right to refuse members to attend activities if they fail to comply with the dress code.

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6. Photography

Members shall exercise care not to offend when taking photographs of people and ask permission beforehand.

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7. Collection of specimens

Members shall exercise care not to disturb the environment or national patrimony by removal of plants, artifacts including pottery, or other specimens, even when the aim is to establish an identity. In case of doubt, especially on genuine scientific grounds, the decision of the field trip leader shall be final.

The group may keep and maintain any collections previously made as required. From time to time these may be loaned or donated to museums or oganisations who can make better use of their contents. Collections that are kept by the group may be used from time to time for educating members about relevant subjects.

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8. Library

The Group may maintain a library when resources permit. Books may be acquired either by donation or purchase by the committee of specific relevant texts. A committee member shall be appointed to act as Librarian who shall maintain the collection and monitor loans. An online catalogue should be maintained where possible to allow members to browse the collection.

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9. Health and Safety

The primary responsibility for personal health and safety on all field trips and activities lies with the individual. The Committee and field trip and activity organizers cannot be held responsible for occurrences of recklessness and negligence by participants.

Health and safety, however, is a primary concern with respect to organizing field trips and activities and all steps shall be taken by field trip and activity organizers to ensure participants are appraised of all reasonable, expected risks where possible. This is to be done in the following ways:

• Maintaining an up-to-date document recording safety procedures and precautions.
• Reminding members of risks and issues when notifying of upcoming events.
• Conducting reconnaissance trips where possible.
• Considered and careful reminders to field trip and activity participants during trips.


Any field trip or activity organizer maintains the right to cancel any outing at any time if the health and safety of participants is compromised. Any Group members or trip participants who are considered to be contributing to an unsafe situation may be subject to the measures outlined under the provisions of Clause 11.

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10. Behaviour code on field trips and activities

The Committee or a field trip leader may restrict the number of people on trips. The Committee or a field trip leader may deny any person from joining a trip in the event of concern over dress or behaviour. In any case, the decision of the trip leader shall be final.

Members shall not act in any way that might offend or interfere with the comfort of local people or others on field trips. Members shall be responsible for removing their litter and leaving camp and picnic sites tidy.

Alcoholic beverages are not acceptable on any field trips or activities.

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11. Infractions

In the event of infraction of the codes described in Clauses 5 to 8, a trip leader will report the case to the Committee, who may decide to suspend the offending Member(s) from further trips, suspend their Membership, or take other appropriate action.

This course of action can be taken for any other incidents that the committee is made aware of.

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Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan