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The challenge of Sustainable Energy - the challenge for the UAE

posted on 01/02/2007: 1769 views

A leading UAE environmentalist has warned that the country's water resources in the UAE are being rapidly depleted.

Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, was quoted today in the latest issue of Capital Letter, the magazine of the British Business Group, Abu Dhabi, that conservation of water resources was receiving high priority.

"As part of our planning for conservation of these resources, we are re-evaluating the sustainability of Abu Dhabi's forestry and agriculture programme. If the thousands of tons of fodder that are required for domestic livestock can be more cheaply obtained from abroad, then it makes no sense for us to be using up our own water resources to grow it at home", he wrote.

Al Mansouri said that "the UAE needs a growing programme of water desalination in order to meet the demand from domestic, industrial and agricultural users. The associated production of electricity is also a key part of our development. Power generation and water desalination, though, involves the consumption of large supplies of our natural gas and it is important that we also look carefully at the way in which this depleting resource is used.”

Through the Al Masdar initiative, established by the Mubadala Development Company, in collaboration with a number of international partners, including British firms, Abu Dhabi is already looking closely at research into alternative sources of energy and at promoting the need for energy conservation, he noted.

Citing the launch in London in November of the Masdar Clean Tech Fund, jointly owned by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC), part of the Mubadala group, Credit Suisse and the London-based Consensus Business Group, Al Mansouri said that this was part of plans to focus on the need to promote sustainable energy uses at a global level.

At the UAE level, he added, "In collaboration with other Government bodies, EAD is working hard to promote conservation of our own resources. Through its educational programmes, the Agency seeks to teach the public about the need to conserve energy and water.”

"Through our Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines, we seek to ensure that, as far as possible, development is carried out sustainable, preserving for the future the resources that we have ourselves been bequeathed." "We have to take into account the fact that the UAE lies in one of the most arid regions of the world. Many of the options open to other countries, like hydro-electric power, are simply not available to us", Al Mansouri added. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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