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Hamdan bin Zayed: Sustainable development full steam ahead

posted on 29/01/2005: 1728 views

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affair and Chairman of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA) said that the third edition of Environment Exhibition and Conference (Environment 2005), was considered a great opportunity for the GCC countries to identify best means and options to enhance sustainable transportation.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency on the event, which will be opened tomorrow, Sheikh Hamdan said that the strong foundation for UAE's achievements in the environmental fields was laid by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was possible thanks to the continuous support of President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates and the close following up by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"The UAE has committed itself to sustainable development in order to achieve economic progress and comprehensive development while making sure that its environment, heritage and culture are well preserved," Sheikh Hamdan said.

"In that regard," he added, "the country sought to launch important initiatives and projects that have extended beyond the national boundaries. The country has asserted its commitment to global environmental efforts by signing and ratifying all international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting global environment." The latest was Kyoto Protocol on the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate change which "proved UAE's firm stand and commitment to all international accords." The country, Sheikh Hamdan added, is effectively implementing other accords, including Convention on Biological Diversity, Desertification and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

On the sustainable transportation, which is the them of Environment 2005, Sheikh Hamdan said the exhibition and conference will build on the success of the two previous editions during which declarations on sustainable development an declaration on environment and energy where made respectively.

"We expect that a similar declaration on sustainable transportation will be issued to set basis for policies on sustainable transport and to spread awareness on its importance," he said.

On the pioneering Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), launched in 2002 in Johannesburg, Sheikh Hamdan said it was considered one of the most important initiatives aimed at assessing environmental data quality, data gaps between developing and developed countries, and data availability at the national, regional and global levels.

He revealed that during their last summit in Manama, the GCC leaders reviewed results of preliminary feasibility studies of constructing an intra-GCC rail link and directed completion of necessary studies.

"The UAE has made remarkable progress on sustainable transport front including emissions specifications, banning the use of leaded fuel, setting up projects for air quality management, adopting more strict legislations to ban unsafe ships in the country's waters, warning factories of dumping industrial waste in the sea and setting air navigation standards," said Sheikh Hamden "We are entering a stage where we will increase efforts to confront challenges posed by sustainable development and to intensify cooperation on local, regional and international levels," he added.

Sheikh Hamdan called on both governmental and non-governmental environmental organisations in the UAE and the GCC countries to draw up strategies and joint plans to build capabilities and to acquire the technologies necessary for achieving sustainable transport. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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