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Environment 2005 Exhibition opens

posted on 31/01/2005: 1778 views

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, opened here yesterday the Environment Exhibition and Conference, ENVIRONMENT 2005, which is being organised jointly by the General Exhibitions Corporation and the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA), under the patronage of President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Delivering the UAE's address during the opening ceremony, Minister of Health Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfa, said that the UAE had pledged to join forces with the international community efforts to work out sustainable solutions to key environmental issues and concerns including sustainable transportation, and called for a true partnership between the advanced countries and the least developing countries to achieve sustainable development.

'Aware of the strategic role of the transport sector in the socio-economic development, the UAE has taken a series of measures, the most important of them was the introduction of the unleaded fuel. We are now finalising plans to reduce sulphur in diesel and to study the possibility of using natural fuel,' Al Midfa said.

The event, which ends on February 2, attracts 25 ministers for environment and health and 338 exhibitors from 41 countries across the world. The gathering observed a minute silence in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

'We are also giving attention to the safety of road networks to ensure smooth flow of traffic and therefore reduce pollutants generated by vehicles,' read the minister, who is also the Chairman of the Federal Environmental Agency (FEA).

The UAE, he said had struck, in a short span of time, a high level of balance between the requirements of development and the environmental considerations through its serious drive to develop its legislative and institutional frameworks, draw environmental strategies and develop human resources.

'The UAE has also forged a fruitful public-private sector partnership and tapped international expertise and modern technology to conserve and develop its environment,' he said.

Outlining UAE's international effort to push drive for sustainable development worldwide ahead, Al Madfa said the country had launched the Abu Dhabi Global Initiative for Environmental Data during the world summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002.

'The UAE sustainable development success story is a fruit of prudent policy and firm commitment toward development and environment. We hope this story will be a model for other countries seeking a balanced development,' Al Madfa added.

To achieve sustainable development, Al Madfa said, strong international cooperation and partnership were needed to create a favourable climate for exchanging expertise and building technical and human capabilities under a world order that based on equality, solidarity and respect for peoples' aspirations for development and progress.

'Many advanced nations have succeeded in narrowing the gap between development and environment through laying down the effective frameworks to strike a balance between the two key sectors. But unfortunately, many others have so far failed to achieve a sustainable development that caters for requirements of the present generation without affecting those of the future generation,' he said.

Al Madfa blamed lack of funds as well as absence of technical and human resources for the failure of these countries to achieve sustainable development. 'To fill the gap between advanced nations and developing nations, we need more efforts to forge a true partnership and launch joint cooperation programmes taking into consideration the special features of each region and its financial and human resources.

'Advanced nations should exchange expertise with developing nations and offer technology and finance while the latter are demanded to reschedule their environmental priorities and make better use of assistance extended by international donors.

Later, Sheikh Mansour inaugurated an exhibition running in parallel with the conference. He was accompanied by a number of Sheikhs, ministers, diplomats, dignitaries and heads of participating delegations. Sheikh Mansour toured various pavilions and heard briefing on technologies and services on display. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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