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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - ENVIRONMENT


EPPA opens Botanical Garden in Sharjah


posted on 15/02/2015

In celebrations of the eighteenth National Environment day (green economy innovator — sustainability), the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPPA) has opened the Botanical Garden in the Natural History & Botanical Museum (Sharjah Desert Park).
Hana Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority Said: "Concurring with the national environment day celebration, Sharjah Environment opened the Botanical Garden, the first of its kind in the UAE with 3,000 local plants from 87 types like Al Ashkhar, Al Ghaf, Torfa, Seder, Remeth, Shoa, Ara and Arfaj, and the garden is a symbol of the important researches in the Emirate of Sharjah done by researchers interested in local plants.”
She added: "The Botanical Garden is equipped over three years where we've planted those plants in basins containing special soil, other types of local plants have been grown without basins where they can adapt in all kinds of environment and we provided soil types that help plants live.
"Salt and limestone soils and soil zones of silt and soil of the coastal plain have been taken from different areas in Sharjah such as Khor fakkan, Al dhaid, Al Mesnad and the coast of Al Hamriya.” – The Gulf Today - http://gulftoday.ae/portal/600e4b40-f55a-4d3d-bc37-832058e99a0d.aspx

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EAD - a sustainable effort


posted on 13/02/2015

Established in 1996 to promote a balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has since become an award-winning institution that is at the cutting-edge of global green initiatives, as envisioned by its pioneers, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed AI Nahyan, according to a publication of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, ADCED.
An article by Vishwas Kulkani in the latest issue of ADCED's journal, 'Economic Review', says that EAD, with the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed AI Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and EAD's Honorary Chairman of the EAD, is developing a framework that will provide the emirate, its institutions and its citizens with the legal and technical instruments to protect, develop and conserve its natural heritage.
In 2013, the EAD implemented a comprehensive groundwater and marine water quality monitoring programme and 440 groundwater wells were added to EAD's monitoring network resulting in a comprehensive, transnational system. In addition, the Marine Water Quality Index and Water Quality Portal were established reduce water pollution, the report said.
EAD's pioneering 'Blue Carbon' project has also provided environmentalists and regulators with an unprecedented understanding of how Abu Dhabi's coastal and marine ecosystems play a critical role in fighting climate change. In the same year, the EAD-managed AI Wathba Wetland Reserve was officially declared a Ramsar site by the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance. Currently, 13.5 per cent of Abu Dhabi Emirate's total area is included marine protected zones while 14.6 per cent comprises terrestrial protected areas.
The article noted that the federal Ministry of Environment and Water is working closely with EAD to protect marine life and ensure sustainable fishing industry. It quoted Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water, as saying that, "Gulf fish stocks are facing a decline due to human pressures. Hamour and cobia are some of the local fish that are most exploited in the region. " EAD, Bin Fahd said, " estimates that the rate at which hamour are caught is six to seven times in excess of sustainable levels. We are working on amending existing laws related to the exploitation of fish that we pIan on raising to the National Council. We are also working on the Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research hatcheries in Umm al-Qaiwain that will produce valuable local fish fingerlings and reintroduce them in lagoons and marine conservations." EAD has also taken steps to implement new environmentally-friendly policies in other areas, the article noted, mentioning the draft of a strategic plan on air quality and noise, submitted last year to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and commencement of work on the second phase of its waste strategy, focusing on nuclear waste and that from the oil and gas sector. Elsewhere in the industrial sector, EAD has successfully implemented the Eltezam campaign in the Ready-Mix sector to raise awareness of the importance of limiting the amount of Particulate Matter (PM) emitted into the atmosphere.
"As the Emirate of Abu Dhabi continues to develop, it becomes even more critical that EAD strengthen its regulatory and enforcement framework and continue to consolidate knowledge and data for more informed decisions," the article quoted Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi, Managing Director of EAD, as saying.
Reviewing the agency's 2013 activities, the article noted that during that year, EAD has issued a total of 3,992 permits relating to the environment, groundwater wells and chemical trading stores, had carried out 637 inspections of facilities and had inspected all groundwater wells to ensure compliance.
Water scarcity is high on EAD's agenda, the article said, with around 30 per cent of the water supply comes from desalination, a number that is set to rise due to economic and population growth. Abu Dhabi's total consumption of water resources reached up to 3.3 billion cubic metres in 2011 and it is expected that the demand for water will increase up to about five billion cubic metres by 2030.
"The demand for water is so high and the recharge rate so low that we know our use of groundwater is unsustainable. The issue of water scarcity and water security is only getting more urgent. Today we have less water in our aquifers than we did last year and we are therefore one year closer to running out," Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, was quoted as saying.
"Fortunately, in the UAE, we have the financial resources to desalinate water for drinking and sanitation, but our groundwater resources are critical for our agriculture as well as to support our natural ecosystem, on which new economic sectors such as tourism rely," Al Mubarak said. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395276451612.html

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Khalifa calls for positive contributions to shoulder responsibilities regarding environment conservation


posted on 04/02/2015

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has called on society to contribute positively in shouldering its responsibility to preserve the environment.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa affirmed, "National Environment Day, organised by the UAE for the 18th year in a row, is an important occasion when the UAE's government and people renew their national and moral commitment to preserve our environmental resources." In his speech on the occasion of the UAE's celebrations of the 18th National Environment Day, which falls on the 4th of February every year, the UAE President added, "We pay much interest to the National Environment Day when, through official and public efforts, we shed light on the environmental field and give ultimate importance to the issue." He added, "The organisers of the event have chosen the right slogan for it, which is, "Green Economy Innovation and Sustainability" for three years in a row. The management of the economy's green sustainability aims at preserving the environmental and heritage resources, protection of our daily lives and securing all factors that contribute to prosperity, health and stability of every individual, as well as ensuring protection of the rights of the coming generations." His Highness Sheikh Khalifa called upon officials dealing with environmental affairs to reform policies and legislation regarding the economic work which will result in monitoring human, urban and industrial activities that lead to an increase of carbon emissions and pollution, and, at the same time, they should encourage economic activities which depend on clean renewable energy that does not increase global warming risks or threaten the country's biodiversity.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa added, "This call is aimed to support the UAE's national initiative, launched in 2012, to make our country a pioneer in the green economy field and a hub for export and re-export of green products and technologies." At the end of his speech, Sheikh Khalifa praised the efforts exerted by the participating individuals, institutions and departments in organisation and success of the event, urging all segments of society to contribute effectively towards preserving and developing the environment and its components. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275988906.html

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Statement of Ministry of Environment and Water on 18th National Environment Day


posted on 04/02/2015

Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, confirmed that the strong commitment and continuous support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates, in preserving and developing the environment, have had a deep impact on the preservation of the environment as seen today across the public and private sectors; also on maximising the value of the environmental dimension within all our developmental plans and further improving our global position.
In a statement on occasion of the 18th National Environment Day, Bin Fahad expressed his deepest thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa for sponsoring this occasion which falls today (4th of February, 2015) under the theme ‘The Green Economy: Innovation and Sustainability'.
Bin Fahad added that the UAE National Environment Day is an important national occasion to recall the environmental monuments of the environment and development man, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE; a man who inspired us by his inimitable vision towards building a prosperous and sustainable future for present and future generations.
He continued, "The event's theme connecting Green Economy with Innovation underlines the importance of innovation in implementing this approach. The green economy is an innovative concept whose success largely depends on the use of innovative tools, practices and solutions to overcome the world's growing environmental and economic challenges.
The reliance of economic development on conventional means and the traditional methods of work as in the past decades have only led to creating more environmental and economic crises. The attempts made by the international community since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED – Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil more than 20 years ago to harmonise between environment and development, have not yet achieved the desired expectations.
As so, the UAE's adoption of the Green Economy concept as part of the UAE Green Growth Strategy and in line with the UAE Vision 2021, represents a new approach towards bringing environment and development into harmony and building a robust, stable, sustainable and environmentally friendly economy as well as establish a platform that supports economic growth by leveraging on the leading and innovative tools and policies which the UAE adopted few years ago across various developmental segments such as energy, water, transportation, environment and urban planning.
He added "The announcement of 2015 as the Year of Innovation by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, and the launch of the National Innovation Strategy by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, in October 2014 reflect how the UAE gives serious consideration to the subject of innovation and creativity, and at the same time represent a key driver for the national efforts towards the transformation into a green economy. Nonetheless, the UAE ranking first worldwide for stimulating innovation in the economy according to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer is a vital indicator of the promising opportunities we offer to facilitate and speed up efforts to transform our national economy into a green and sustainable economy through the use of current and future innovative technology tools and practices.
Bin Fahad explained that the UAE has already come a long way in setting the right ambiance to shift to a green economy, pointing out to the relevant annual conferences which the Ministry of Environment and Water has been organising since 2008, in addition to the leading policies and innovative options which the country adopted in the past years such as renewable energy, clean energy, green building, cleaner production, sustainable transportation, efficient use of resources and many more.
He also pointed out to the country's effective contributions to support the international efforts for promotion of this approach, having hosted the First Global Conference on UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) in March 2014 in Dubai in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other UN specialised agencies. The country also launched the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Regional Office. These efforts and policies formed a strong foundation to confidently move forward with the implementation of the green economy approach.
The Minister also talked about that the 2015 UAE State of Green Economy Report which was issued last month during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and documents the country's progress towards transformation into a green economy in line with the UAE Green Growth Strategy. The report provides a clear image of this approach and its pivotal role in driving sustainable development, also pointing out to the important steps that the country's public and private sectors have made in this regards to lift the UAE's leading international position which is highly evident through benchmarking based on the objective performance indicators used in the report.
Bin Fahad added that the Ministry of Environment and Water has worked throughout the past two years in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and in consultation with relevant entities from both the public and private sectors, to set up the necessary plans to implement the UAE Green Growth Strategy.
The Ministry set up the Green Agenda which offers an integrated framework to shift to a green economy. The Agenda focuses on five main guidelines that were determined based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa during his speech in the occasion of the 17th National Environment Day, as well as on the objectives of the UAE Green Growth Strategy and the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 and on the results of the economic, social and environmental studies which were conducted as part of this agenda.
The guidelines are competitive knowledge economy, social development and quality of life, sustainable environment and value of natural resources, clean energy and climate change, and green life and optimal use of resources. In addition to all that, the Agenda also suggests a variety of national programs to help achieve these strategic guidelines across the different economic and developmental sectors.
The Agenda further includes a framework for the necessary performance indicators to measure the progress of local transformation into a greener economy, and which were determined by taking into consideration the most important international references and reports of industry-related international organisations.
Bin Fahad concluded his statement by emphasising the importance of joining national efforts to implement the UAE Green Growth Strategy and optimise its role in reaching the objectives of sustainable development as the cornerstone of the UAE Vision 2021.
Bin Fahad finally commended the extensive efforts made by all relevant entities in the UAE to protect the environment and manage all environmental systems and natural resources in order to maintain a greener economy for the present and future generations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Wadi Wurayah, UAE’s rare natural beauty


posted on 02/02/2015

Wadi Wurayah National Park, a rare beauty and gem nestled on the Hajar Mountain range and crafted by nature for millions of years, now boasts 860 recorded species, including 19 mammals, 17 reptiles, 3 fishes, 94 birds and other invertebrates.
"The Hajar Mountains have been recognised as a specific habitat which has a group of species living together. This is the Arabian highlands and shrub lands ecosystem, so this is rare, and it's well representative of this particular ecosystem, with different species that are well adapted to the aridity of the region because you have low rainfall," Dr. Jacky Judas, Research Manager at the park told Gulf News daily.
Wadi Wurayah, which derived its name from ‘wurayah', the Arabic word for reeds, is the country's first Mountain Protected Area as declared by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, in March 2009.
Wadi Wurayah has a rich ecological and archaeological importance.
Recent wildlife surveys show that 22 of the 30 known dragonflies worldwide can be found here. A dragonfly called Urothemis thomasi, which sports a bright red orange body and tail, has been spotted in the wadi. It is considered a species new to the UAE, only previously recorded in a few sites in Oman. It was thought to be extinct and has not been recorded anywhere since 1957.
The presence of these dragonflies and damselflies signifies that the water that streams through the wadi is of good quality as they require pristine water to thrive. They are also a good indication of the quality of the habitat.
Wadi Wurayah, a permanent freshwater stream bed, contains 371 separate streams running a total of 301km that branch out from six main wadis, according to the Hydrological Sciences Journal.
"This piece of the Hajar Mountains, between Oman and the UAE, is the biggest exposed ophiolite complex in the world. It's like heaven for geologists because you come here and you see everything as it is," Maral Chreiki, Conservation and Operation Manager of Wadi Wurayah National Park, told the daily.
Apart from its geological importance, Wadi Wurayah has a rich archaeological and ecological importance. Archaeological sites discovered in the wadi date as far back as 300BC. Even the country's oldest mosque, the Al Bidiya Mosque, is located just 2km from the park's border.
"Civilisations started in rich areas like this and this is what we should be proud of. We should protect it for the next generations, for the future," Chreiki noted. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/environment/wadi-wurayah-uae-s-rare-natural-beauty-1.1446447

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UAE marks World Wetlands Day on Monday


posted on 02/02/2015

The UAE will join the international community in observing the World Wetlands Day which falls on February 2.
This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The World Wetlands Day 2015 is being held under the theme 'Wetlands for Our Future – Join us!' Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said in a statement to mark the day that the concerned authorities in the UAE were making tremendous efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity in general and terrestrial and marine protected areas, and wetlands in particular.
He indicated that collective national plans would have a positive impact on these ecosystems and their economic value and services as well as their economic, social and environmental benefits.
He noted that these efforts had paid off and helped the UAE's biodiversity and habitat to advance in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings from 33rd to 15th place between 2012 and 2014.
He added that five wetlands in the UAE have been designated as sites of international importance by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) since it became a member in 2007. The five wetlands have a total surface area of more than 20,000 hectares.
Ramsar is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai became the first UAE wetland to be named by Ramsar as a site of international importance. Later, Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi and the Mangrove Protected Area in Khor Kalba, Sharjah, were added to the Ramsar list.
He said that the National Strategy for Biodiversity and National Strategy Sustainability of Marine and Coastal Environments, both developed by the ministry in partnership with other stakeholders, would play a significant role in the development, conservation and protection of these wetlands in order to adapt to human and natural challenges by 2021.
The minister said the UAE in November 2014 launched two innovative initiatives UAE Smart Map of Natural Capital and the National Program of Sustainable Wildlife initiative to promote efforts to protect the UAE's ecosystems and achieve national strategies concerning biodiversity, the marina and coastal sustainability and stem desertification in consistence with the UAE Vision 2021. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275896016.html

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Free Nol cards worth Dh100k for Dubai's Car Free Day


posted on 30/01/2015

Nol cards worth Dh100, 000 will be given away for free to thousands of Dubai Metro users on February 4 to support the 6th Car-Free Day being celebrated by the Dubai Municipality.
Commuters heading to work on the Metro will be given Gold and Silver Nol cards charged with different amounts, a senior official told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
Salem bin Mesmar, assistant director-general of Dubai Municipality for health, safety and environment monitoring sector, said teams of Dubai Municipality employees will be placed in Metro stations to distribute the cards that are sponsored by Emirates Islamic Bank.
Speaking after a press conference held to announce the details of this year's Car Free Day, he said commuters will have to show their work ID to prove that they are using the public transport on the day of the event.
The Dubai Municipality has been giving free Nol cards to its employees who regularly use the Metro to work. However, this is the first time the civic body is giving away the same to general commuters to mark Car Free Day. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/transport/2015/January/transport_January25.xml§ion=transport

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Car Free Day in Dubai: 7,000 drivers to stay off roads


posted on 29/01/2015

More than 7,000 private cars will not be used on Car Free Day on February 4 to raise environmental awareness, encourage public transport use and reduce pollution and traffic, Dubai Municipality announced on Wednesday.
Employees from 200 government departments, educational establishments, and private companies have already pledged not to use their cars on the day. There will be even fewer cars on the road with some private residents joining the campaign.
The annual event this year also coincides with National Environment Day, heightening the emphasis on protection of the environment.
Vehicles are the main source of air pollutants, accounting for 15 to 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, the municipality noted.
More than 2,000,000 vehicles use Dubai roads every day, exceeding the road capacity network, it added.
"As far as global statistics are concerned, there are around 10,000 to 24,000 deaths per year due to traffic congestion, which almost doubles the effect of air pollutants on public health,” the municipality said.
In a statement, the civic body added that a World Health Organisation study found the number of deaths attributed to diseases caused by air pollutants in Austria, Switzerland and France has exceeded 21,000 per year. This is more than the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in these three countries.
Also, the particle pollution PM10 generated from vehicles lead to 10,000 deaths annually as a result of cardio and lung diseases caused by inhalation of this type of air pollutant.
The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through the five editions of the Dubai initiative has reached 20 tonnes. One tonne of these emissions exceeds the size of a double-decker bus.
The latest edition was announced during a press conference on Wednesday at the municipality's main building in Deira.
Hussain Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said the initiative presented "a great opportunity to highlight the commitment of all stakeholders towards preserving the environment and adopting environment-friendly practices”.
On February 4, an exhibition will also be held at the parking lot of the municipality main building to showcase products, projects and research regarding environment-friendly practices.
The imitative will also hopefully lead to other emirates adopting a similar campaign, added Salem bin Mesmar, assistant director-general, environment, health and safety control sector, Dubai Municipality. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/car-free-day-in-dubai-7-000-drivers-to-stay-off-roads-1.1448006

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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi introduces another ‘first’ with smart-monitoring for forests


posted on 22/01/2015

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, EAD, will be introducing smart monitoring for the over 228,000 hectares of forestry it is managing.
This was announced at the International Water Summit (IWS), currently taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) between 19th and 22nd of January as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015.
Earlier this week, EAD had announced its commitment to reduce the use of groundwater by 80% in forestry by 2030, in line with its mandate to promote the conservation of Abu Dhabi's natural heritage across land, air and sea.
In the Khub Al Dahs Forest, near Madinat Zayed, the capital of Abu Dhabi's Western Region, EAD is operating an experimental demonstration site where it is studying the water requirements of Al Ghaf trees using technology that measures ‘sap flow'.
These model studies, along with similar studies on palm trees at the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, are aiming to establish new benchmarks for forestry and agriculture management in Abu Dhabi.
Forestry is currently irrigated with groundwater and consumes about 11% of Abu Dhabi's current water budget, these studies are therefore of fundamental importance given water scarcity in the emirate.
The EAD monitoring shows that if extraction and consumption continues unchecked, Abu Dhabi's usable supply of groundwater will be depleted within only 50 years.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, commented, "Our objective is to ensure that only recycled water is used for irrigation, while conserving groundwater resources. We are working with other agencies and are developing distribution infrastructures to capture recycled water at treatment plants and deliver it to forests throughout the emirate.
The performance of the forestry sector will be closely monitored in terms of infrastructure protection, biodiversity promotion, and recreation as well as enhancing quality of life and securing cultural heritage. Once the water requirements of the studied trees are known, EAD will use it's customised ‘forest irrigation management tool' alongside smart water meters to establish strict water guidelines for its forests. The calculator will determine a monthly, seasonal and annual water allocation for individual forests based on these sap flow studies." Al Mubarak added, "The forest irrigation management tool was developed in the emirate for the emirate. These are not international guidelines, but actual requirements of crops and trees grown inside the UAE." Wafa Faisal Al Yamani, Assistant Scientist – Soils, Environment Quality at EAD explained, "The forest irrigation management tool will allow EAD to tailor irrigation approaches for specific forests based on tree species, local climate and soil properties, and to forecast growth rates and productivity indices of these trees grown with recycled water and sometimes saline water." "It means that we will be able to carefully manage our forests and our groundwater," added Al Yamani. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395275401699.html

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EAD adopts innovative water budget approach


posted on 21/01/2015

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, is proposing the adoption of an all-inclusive water budget for Abu Dhabi to ensure the emirate can more sustainably meet a significant anticipated surge in demand that is projected to occur as a result of future population and economic growth.
The adoption of a water budget would contribute to the development of an integrated and efficient approach to managing the emirate's water resources, a process that would encourage the moderation of average water consumption, further the use of recycled water, and seek sustainable management of groundwater resources.
The water budget would address imperatives based on forecasts that the emirate's economy and population could very well triple in the next 15 years, with an anticipated three-fold growth in water demand. This growth is likely to occur against a backdrop of rapidly depleting groundwater reserves.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD Secretary-General, said, "At present, it is estimated that Abu Dhabi uses 3.3 billion cubic metres of water a year. In 15 years, Abu Dhabi may be as much as three times bigger than it is today, leading to extraordinary demands on the emirate's water resources. All aspects of society need to ask, ‘where will we find the water to sustain this growth and at what environmental and financial cost?'" Currently over two-thirds of Abu Dhabi's water budget comes from groundwater, with desalination accounting for 29% and recycled water contributing about 6%.
"The initiatives we are proposing require a distinct change-of-business approach in some areas and we would ask that our stakeholders come to the table with open minds and a readiness to assist in delivering an outcome that will ultimately benefit all. With the water budget initiative, EAD is driving towards more sustainable water use so that Abu Dhabi can meet its economic and social development goals while limiting the construction of new desalination plants and preserving groundwater reserves for future generations" added Al Mubarak.
EAD has designed an eight-pronged strategy to address the sectors for which it is directly responsible. It includes advocating more efficient and strategic groundwater use, closely monitoring groundwater supply, improving forestry efficiency, forestry management through strict, science-based irrigation standards, utilising treated waste water for forestry irrigation the creation of treated waste-water wetlands when necessary, the management of strategic reserves and the forging of a protective, regulation infrastructure. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395275357380.html

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Jebel-Ali based RMD Boards launches ‘Say Yes to No Wood’ movement


posted on 21/01/2015

RMD Boards, a division of JRD International based in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, has launched a ‘Say Yes to No Wood' movement under which the company will plant a tree for every 100 ‘Likes' on its Facebook page.
RMD Boards, which manufactures multi-use wall panels that are designed to replace conventional wooden and plywood panels, is running the campaign until February 14th, 2015, and aims to plant hundreds of trees, as part of its commitment to environmental conservation.
"The Say Yes to No Wood movement is our contribution to global efforts to reduce deforestation," said Anupam Lunavat, Managing Director of JRD International, the parent company of RMD. "It is estimated that 29.8 million trees are cut down daily in the world and 1.5 acres of rainforest are lost every second. RMD Boards seeks to address this alarming situation through this campaign and we would like everyone to support it through a simple Like." Sagar Verma, President, RMD Boards, says, "Our core message is that the interior decoration sector needs to adopt more eco-friendly materials, such as our wall panels which are lightweight and can be pasted directly on cement block walls or plastered walls without any other base material, thus saving transportation, labour and installation costs." RMD Boards is a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit and corporate headquarters spread over 10 acres in Jebel Ali Free Zone and employs around 700 people.
The diversified products from RMD Boards are water-proof, termite resistant, certified fire retardant, highly durable, light-weight and 100 percent recyclable. The use of PP in these engineered products replaces the use of wood, thus reducing carbon footprint. The product range includes wall panels, wall coverings, shuttering panels, site fencing antiskid flooring and false ceilings for the construction and interior decoration sectors.
The products are being now commercially marketed in the UAE, GCC, Africa, Pakistan, Ghana and Australia. The company's focus on using non-wood materials has a global appeal and will contribute significantly to combat deforestation in the interests of a greener environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395275356898.html

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Ministry of Environment and Water to launch 1st National State of Green Economy Report


posted on 15/01/2015

The Ministry of Environment and Water will be launching the first national report on the country's State of Green Economy during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability week at the International Water Summit 2015, which will be held from January 19 to 22, at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre.
The Ministry's participation complements the UAE commitment to adopt the green economy approach as a path of sustainable development through the ‘UAE Green Growth Strategy' that falls in line with UAE Vision 2021, which is inspired by the National Work Programme of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan .
According to the Ministry, the report on the country's State of Green Economy is prepared in collaboration with federal and local authorities and the country's private enterprises. It has also collaborated with international organisations, namely the Environment Program of the United Nations, International Labour Organisation, the Global Green Growth Institute and the United Nations Development Programme .
The report will be launched by Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water on the first day of the exhibition. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395275089602.html

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Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015 kicks off UAE’s ‘Year of Innovation’


posted on 14/01/2015

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADSW, is the first major event of 2015 reinforcing the UAE's ‘Year of Innovation' – a federal initiative promoting innovation as a strategic pathway to strengthen the country's economy and global competitiveness.
The platform, from January 17th-24th, directly supports the federal innovation strategy by promoting technology and attracting investment in priority sectors, including renewable energy, transportation, water and education.
"Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week kicks-off an important year, as our leadership embarks on an ambitious, strategic initiative to promote innovation and to stimulate economic growth," said Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company.
"Aimed at advancing technology, forging partnerships and driving investment, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week complements the UAE's efforts to embed innovation into our nation's economy and social fabric," he added.
ADSW unites the international players necessary to accelerate commercial solutions addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.
"Promoting innovation – be it through novel ideas or new technology – is fundamental to preserving resources, diversifying sources of energy and mitigating climate change," said Al Jaber. "This January, the global community will be in Abu Dhabi to forge viable, commercial solutions that enable sustainable development locally and globally." The programme, a fundamental factor to the event's success, is designed to encourage innovative thinking, collaboration and action by focusing on timely, pressing issues affecting sustainable development. Some of the key issues highlighted this year include the power of partnership, technological innovation and innovative financing.
The power of partnership, how working together can lead to innovative solutions, will be examined by highlighting key UAE-led projects. Two projects spotlighted include Al Reyadah, a cutting-edge carbon, capture, usage and storage (CCUS) joint partnership, and the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a ground-breaking bio-energy research programme. Both Abu Dhabi-based projects would not be possible without the union of cross-discipline partners.
Al Reyadah combines Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC) experience in the oil and gas sector with Masdar's know-how in clean technology to deliver a commercially viable CCUS system. The programme captures and sequesters industrial carbon, enhances oil recovery and delivers environmental benefits.
SBRC is a research project, which unites the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Etihad Airways and Boeing, with the breakthrough potential of producing alternative fuels whose production supports, not competes with, food security and water conservation.
Pioneering examples of innovation will be on display during ADSW. The Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – a solar-powered plane that will fly round the world without using a single drop of fuel – will be in Abu Dhabi in January as it prepares for the historic flight. Hosted by Masdar, the plane is an example of how pioneering pursuits – and imagination – can drive innovation. For example, the plane's technology partners had to anticipate and solve the complex challenges and conditions the pilots and the plane could undergo.
"From protecting the plane's solar panels from harsh flight conditions to the development of light-weight materials, the Solar Impulse is a symbol of what can be achieved through human ingenuity," said Al Jaber. "The daring journey pushes innovation and, as a result, will have a trickle-down effect as technologies make their way to the market.
"Abu Dhabi and Solar Impulse have in common a pioneering spirit and a desire to explore new horizons," said Al Jaber. "We share a commitment to foster innovation and to advance clean technologies that contribute to a cleaner, sustainable future." The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge will also highlight the power of innovation.
Hosted by Masdar and ADNOC, the UAE will be home to an international road competition where more than 20 teams will showcase the technology and speed of their solar-powered cars. Representing the UAE will be students from the Petroleum Institute (PI) who will compete and drive a super-sleek, solar-powered vehicle. Held January 15th-19th, the multi-day, timed road competition will extend across 1,200 kilometres of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"The entire UAE community will have an opportunity to engage with this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week," said Al Jaber. "From a road competition – showcasing the latest is automotive technology – to the arrival of the Solar Impulse, people of all ages will see first-hand what innovative thinking, personal ambition and technology can achieve." The role for innovative financing mechanisms, from green bonds to public-private-partnership, is an especially critical issue as access to capital has become difficult during the economic slowdown. The topic will be debated and novel approaches presented in an effort to identify pathways of unlocking capital markets to finance clean energy projects.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week includes a series of events: the fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the eighth World Future Energy Summit, the third International Water Summit, the second EcoWASTE exhibition and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - https://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275020101.html

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EAD: 20 Ideas for your Green New Year’s resolution


posted on 14/01/2015

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched a campaign triggering staff, thinkers, scientists, students at universities and schools, as well as the broader public to post their environmentally-sound New Year's resolutions on EAD's social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
As part of the campaign, EAD is collating green resolutions from the public with the hashtag #?MyGreenResolution?.
Commenting on the initiative, Fozeya Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Director of the Environmental Outreach Division at EAD, said, "With a fresh turn at the New Year, we want to remind ourselves of the beauty and fragility of our environment, and the necessity to make a commitment for a sustainable future with our unique personal touch, may it be big or small. Using the viral nature of social media, we hope that this message spreads far and wide." She added, "Through this campaign, we felt that there was a fantastic opportunity to unite the community under our mandate for raising environmental awareness and conserving Abu Dhabi's natural heritage across land, air and sea. Reminders like these are of significance in today's times, environmental consciousness is tremendously important. Future generations will be most affected if we don't act now, so let's collectively resolve that we will leave a healthy planet for our children and our children's children." To help people to commit to a green resolution for 2015, EAD has outlined 20 tips that are simple and that the public can use today to green their lifestyle – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275036120.html

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Dr. Sultan Al Jaber recognised as 2015 ‘Man of the Year’ by Oil & Gas Year Abu Dhabi


posted on 14/01/2015

Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohamed Faraj Fares Al Mazrouei, has presented the Man of the Year award to Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar and CEO of energy at Mubadala in recognition to Al Jaber's crucial role in developing the Abu Dhabi's sustainable energy initiatives, and continuous progression in his vision to embrace a cleaner energy mix through investment in renewable resource development and clean technologies at Masdar City.
The minister was delivering a keynote address at the launch of the fifth edition of the most comprehensive publication on Abu Dhabi's energy industry, The Oil & Gas Year Abu Dhabi 2015, was launched at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel on January 12, 2015. The report, published by The Oil & Gas Year, produced in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), FGB and the Ministry of Energy UAE.
Commenting on the progress made in Abu Dhabi's energy industry over the past year, he said, "Abu Dhabi continues to fulfil its responsibility as a reliable supplier to the world and an active member of OPEC, targeting the stability of the Global Energy Market. In a time of unstable oil prices, we are showing in Abu Dhabi and across the country that, we remain dedicated to reaching our long-term production goals which will be used in the future to meet the market requirements. " Expressing his support to The Oil & Gas Year Abu Dhabi 2015, he added: "I wish to express my congratulations to The Oil and Gas Year on another successful publication. The report highlights the progress made in Abu Dhabi's hydrocarbons industry." In his award acceptance speech at the event, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Energy at Mubadala, explained how the UAE is alleviating its natural gas dependency by enhancing the diversity of energy supply and increasing energy security.
"The UAE leadership's foresight has been fundamental in ensuring our growing economy is powered by a mix of energy sources," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, "Our investments across traditional and new forms of energy, has expanded our role as a responsible and reliable global energy leader. Ensuring our leadership role will require us to continue expanding our expertise, to invest in new technologies, to innovate and to transfer our knowledge to the next generation of energy leaders." Schlumberger was presented with the Technology and Innovation of the Year award for its new GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while drilling service. The Petroleum Institute received the Local Content Development of the Year award. The Oilfield Services Company of the Year award recognised Abu Dhabi's National Drilling Company, while Linde Engineering picked up the EPC Company of the Year award. A new award, the Strategy and Execution Project of the Year, was given jointly to the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company, the Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company and Abu Dhabi Gas Industries.
After the launch, Al Mazrouei chaired a roundtable discussion that brought together executives of several of the largest companies operating in Abu Dhabi's oil and gas industry to review local and international co-operation in increasing the UAE's supply of natural gas.
The Oil & Gas Year Abu Dhabi 2015 provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges faced by the emirate to supply enough energy to meet the needs of the UAE's growing population and soaring energy demand. In The Oil & Gas Year Abu Dhabi 2015, ADNOC Director General Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi offered an insight into the national oil company's evolving operational partnerships, particularly those with Asian entities.
"ADNOC has been looking to develop new fields with good hydrocarbons prospects through new joint venture partnerships approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council," Al Suwaidi said. "Rapidly growing Asian economies are large consumers of hydrocarbons and Abu Dhabi has built relations with several Asian countries through the oil and gas industry," he added.
The event was sponsored by Al Mansoori Specialised Engineering, Maersk Oil, PwC, Schlumberger and United Safety. The roundtable was sponsored by BP and Tenaris.
The Oil & Gas Year is a series of executive reports produced on more than 30 countries. The Oil & Gas Year's global circulation is audited by BPA Worldwide. It has an international readership of 69,000 readers in 101 countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – https://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275057535.html

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DEWA sponsors first Emirati student to Lima Climate Change Conference in Peru


posted on 23/12/2014

Bader Al Hammadi, an Emirati student and Carbon Ambassadors Programme member, has participated in the United Nations COP20 Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru. The conference was part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The 10th session of the Conference of the Parties was held with expectations for another urgent agreement to supplement the Kyoto Protocol.
The UN will seek to achieve a binding agreement to be presented at the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. The agreement serves as a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid any future scenarios that could pose threats to human development. The UAE's participation supports its efforts to prepare and train the next generation of environmental sustainability and carbon emission reduction experts.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, supports Al Hammadi's mission as helps achieve its strategy to build and enhance the skills and capabilities of young Emiratis through various scholarship and training programmes.
"The Carbon Ambassador Programme, which DEWA supports and sponsors, was launched to meet the expectations and directives of our wise leadership to promote a green economy. It engages young people in the sustainable development efforts and builds the skills and capabilities of tomorrow's leaders. By building the capabilities of the next generation and providing them with sustainability-related knowledge and skills, and enhancing their interest, they will want to work in this field. We are preparing the next generation of experts in carbon-emission reduction," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA.
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the Ministry's support of the initiative. He noted that the student was chosen to be in the UAE official delegation led by the Energy and Climate Change department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was a supporting partner of the programme. He emphasised that this was the beginning of various training activities for selected students in the department's activities in 2015.
Al Hammadi participated in the Climate Change Conference sessions, and sent daily updates from the conference to his colleagues about the negotiations and the experiences he acquired. He covered the conference live on social media channels. The head of the UAE delegation assigned Bader to participate in certain sessions and prepare reports and present them to the team during their daily meetings in Lima.
Bader witnessed the negotiations of the parties for the draft resolution of the Durban Platform and for an amended draft for the 2015 agreement negotiations. He also participated in workshops that discussed market-based mechanisms, such as the future of carbon credit framework and other activities including the speech by Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who talked about the appropriate national mitigation actions.
"It was my first experience in international negotiations and diplomacy. I have noticed that the parties often deliberate one sentence and leave it for further discussions without taking a decision. However, everyone was excited. We could see how important it meant for them to reach an agreement on climate change. After my graduation next year, I want to be part of these efforts and contribute to the negotiations in 2015, where the world will decide the future of the generation I belong to," said Bader.
The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol were held from 1st -12th December in Lima, Peru. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395274158165.html

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Minister of Environment and Water: U.A.E. performs significant role in area of food security


posted on 26/11/2014

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has praised the national companies participating in the Emirates International Date Palm Festival currently on at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Bin Fahad said, "The display of dried camel milk powder in the festival for the first time in the world by Al Ain Farms for Livestock Production represents a global scoop by the U.A.E., one that is worth being proud of.
Bin Fahad added that the U.A.E. is thus contributing towards ensuring provision of healthy food for all, noting that the U.A.E. has become a significant player in the field of food security and the Festival represents a global event to display a lot of national innovation and convergence of global expertise in various fields of agriculture.
Bin Fahad noted to H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, interest in national products as he accompanied him yesterday when he opened the Festival. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395272981557.html

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MOEW seeks to manage unwanted substances that deplete the ozone layer


posted on 19/11/2014

The Ministry of Environment and Water met this week with representatives from UNEP West Asia Regional Office and a number of companies, experts and technicians at the Ministry's headquarters to explore the management of unwanted substances that deplete the ozone layer.
According to Othaibah Al Qayedi, Director of Chemicals Department at the Ministry of Environment and Water, the U.A.E. has developed a national timeframe for phasing out HCFC substances that deplete the ozone layer approaching the deadline for banning the substances in 2040.
The Ministry is intensifying the efforts to achieve the objectives of Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol, and confirming that the efforts of the Ministry follow the directions of U.A.E. Vision 2021 and reaffirm the U.A.E.'s commitment as a global participant in developing and applying innovative solutions to protect the environment and ensure its sustainability.
Al Qayedi added that organising this meeting will reinforce the national efforts in managing unwanted substances that deplete the ozone layer in addition to exploring the best ways and practices that can be implemented to eliminate these substances using mechanisms that are environmentally friendly. She also noted that the exchange of knowledge and expertise will support the efforts in achieving environmental sustainability in the country. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395272613954.html

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Emirati NGO named within top 5 programs by UNESCO


posted on 17/11/2014

The Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wildlife Fund was named by UNESCO as one of the Top 5 programmes in the region and top 25 globally in the category of education for sustainable development.
The EWS-WWF has since been invited to present its programme at the UNESCO 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Japan last week.
This comes at the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and also includes examples of good practice, viable approaches to this type of education as well as showcase initiatives from around the world.
The NGO's environmental education programmes seek to endow students with a range of educational experiences that enable them to develop skills and attitudes to ultimately lead a sustainable future through the empowerment of students and teachers and encouraging community involvement by providing locally-relevant information.
EWS-WWF's combined efforts with its partners, the Ministry of Education, as well as other education authorities have resulted in significant progress being made across the U.A.E.. - The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/emirati-ngo-named-within-top-5-programs-by-unesco

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UAE tops in world environment performance


posted on 15/11/2014

The UAE has not only topped all the Middle East countries in terms of the world environmental performance, but also exceeded the USA, France, and several European countries, and ranked 25 worldwide.
It was a tough journey of four-year stiff competition versus 178 countries when the UAE was ranked 152 in 2010, and then jumped to 77 in 2012, and finally reached the 25th spot this year.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Environment and Water Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd as part of the ‘Partners Forum II' on Thursday which saw the presentation of the strategic plan of the ministry for the year 2014-2016. "We did it, but that was not possible without effective transition from the concept of coordination and cooperation to partnership and integration in line with the UAE Vision 2021.”
The first government innovation laboratory of the Ministry launched on October 15 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was also a big success.
The sessions of the first of its kind lab witnessed an active participation from 100 people of many government agencies, private sector institutions and representatives of the local community, he added.
"The discussion focused on three major issues spanning waste management, air quality and biological diversity, resulting in eight promising partnership initiatives between the public and private sectors, particularly in the field of waste management.”
The UAE, though a rich oil country, has managed to decrease its carbon footprint by 25 per cent to as low as (0,0003), he said, noting that the country is using the most purified diesel and benzene.
"This is basically due to tireless effort from all parties, let alone the launch of Masdar City for producing clean energy, and the many laws recently enacted, to ensure a sustainable environment.”
The minister then announced that the ministry is working on a mega project to establish a comprehensive administration for water resources across the UAE. "Our resources are terribly wasted by over 90 per cent, and hence there must be a quick, yet integrated solution.”
The ministry has recently enacted a new law to streamline fishing and prevent wasting the country valuable resources, he added. "The UAE is also to run the biggest fish farming exhibition in the world in March 2015 to support fishing industry and investment.”
Fatima Tawakul, Director of Organisational Development Department, briefed the audience on the vision, mission and strategic plan 2014-2016 of the ministry, as well as the organisational structure of the ministry, its structural plan, strategic objectives and indicators.
"The ministry is keen to communicate with all partners and consider their opinions and suggestions for the development of the next strategic plan in view of their needs.”
The strategy is based on five objectives: to promote sustainable integrated management of water resources; promote environmental sustainability; prevent agricultural pests and communicable animal diseases; enhance food safety and sustainability of local production; and ensure that all administrative services are provided in accordance with the highest standards, she elaborated. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?xfile=/data/nationgeneral/2014/November/nationgeneral_November129.xml§ion=nationgeneral

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EAD to share its experience in education for sustainability at UNESCO World Conference in Japan


posted on 11/11/2014

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, will share its efforts on educating for sustainability with Abu Dhabi's educational institutions at the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, ESD, which is being held in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, from 10th-12th November under the banner: "Learning Today for a Sustainable Future".
The conference will mark the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, ESD 2005-2014, and create a roadmap to launch the Global Action Programme, GAP, a follow-up to the decade that will propose new goals and objectives, priority action areas and strategies.
More than 1,000 participants from over 100 countries are expected to attend the conference, including representatives of UNESCO Member States, NGOs, academia, the private sector, individual experts, youth and UN agencies.
The conference, which is co-organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, and the Government of Japan, which is also hosting and funding the event, will be opened by UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Georgieva Bokova, Naruhito, the Crown Prince of Japan and Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco, the President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
The conference will host four plenary sessions and a high-level roundtable over a three-day period. 34 workshops, 25 side events and 44 exhibition booths will give stakeholders and partners an opportunity to showcase their work and discuss specific ESD issues. Successful initiatives from all over the world will help to generate future action under the GAP.
Fozeya Al Mahmoud, Director of Environmental Outreach at EAD, will participate in the conference as part of a high level delegation from the U.A.E. and will also act as a moderator for one of the conference's workshop on "Water".
EAD, with its experience on the Sustainable Schools Initiative, has also been invited by UNESCO to conduct a workshop along with United Nations University of Advanced Study on Sustainability, UNU- IAS, to celebrate the Achievements of the Decade. UNU, with its vast regional and global expertise, has been paired with EAD for its concrete local context and experience.
The workshop will focus on how the multi-stakeholder engagement processes and a cross sector approach can benefit and advance learning on ESD. It will also engage with its participants to examine how this learning could be expanded and extended beyond the decade.
The Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) and the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) are looked upon as a strong examples of how varied stakeholders such as ADEC, ADWEA, CWM, BP and Borouge strongly support EAD in their efforts to reduce the environmental footprint and increase the handprint, which are positive actions towards sustainability, with students and youth in schools and colleges in the emirate.
The workshop will facilitate discussions from 151 participants from 67 countries including GCC and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. Rasha Al Madfai, Section Manager - Environmentally Sustainable Schools and Gayatri Raghwa, Outreach Programme Senior Specialist, will be conducting the workshop on behalf of EAD due to their intense and close involvement with the implementation of the SSI and the SCI.
The EAD education team will also participate in the GUPES Partnership Forum, Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability.
GUPES is one of the flagship programmes of UNEP's Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU) and it has received seed funding from EAD under the Eye on Earth Initiative that is led by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). GUPES, which was launched on 5th of June, 2012, is a platform that engages universities globally in responding to the challenges of sustainable development by supporting innovative and relevant approaches to education.
In the forum, EAD will showcase the Sustainable Campus Initiative, which was recently launched in Abu Dhabi, and share its two manuals, Shabab Al Estidama and Basmat Al Shabab Al Beeyia, in addition to introducing its SCI website for the international audience.
EAD is also slated to deliver a presentation on the sidelines of the event organised by UNEP on "Towards a Sustainable Campus" along with international experts from China, UK, Brazil, Japan and Kenya.
The agency will also feature its programmes at an exhibition that is being held alongside the conference, and will showcase successful ESD projects, where EAD was selected to be one of the 23 exhibitors from UNESCO's stakeholders and partners around the world.
At its closing, the conference will announce the Aichi-Nagoya Declaration, which will be an important contribution to the new sustainable development goals that come into effect in 2015. It will also provide input to the World Education Forum, taking place in Incheon, Republic of Korea, next May. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395272210524.html

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United Nations and Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi enhance international cooperation for migratory species of wild animals


posted on 06/11/2014

The Convention on Migratory Species,CMS, administered by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, and Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, have agreed to extend their arrangement by which an office for the convention was established in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of EAD and Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of CMS, signed the agreement in Abu Dhabi and Quito, respectively, as part of the Eleventh Meeting of the Convention's Conference of the Parties (CMS COP11) taking place in Ecuador from 4th- 9th November.
The original agreement was signed in October 2009 following an offer by EAD on behalf of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to host an office of the CMS Secretariat in Abu Dhabi. The office has been located at EAD Headquarters ever since. Many migratory species of interest to the UAE are also the focus of the Convention. CMS Office - Abu Dhabi coordinates activities to address common threats to migratory species of national and regional importance including birds, marine mammals and marine turtles.
CMS Office - Abu Dhabi is the largest presence of the CMS Secretariat outside its seat in Bonn. It provides two secretariats which coordinate the implementation of the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and the CMS MoU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia. The two MoUs were adopted in Abu Dhabi in October 2007 and in October 2008. The UAE has signed both international agreements along with 62 other countries and the European Union.
Mr. Chambers said, "The Arabian Gulf hosts one of the world's largest and most significant populations of dugongs, with the greatest numbers found in the waters off the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This population is shared with Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The UAE is also part of the range for 42 of the 76 species of African-Eurasian migratory birds of prey under the Raptors MoU, including the endangered Saker Falcon, Sooty Falcon and the Egyptian Vulture." Al Mubarak added, "The two CMS agreements support the conservation activities of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and provide a platform for the nation to co-operate both regionally and globally with other countries that share these migratory animals as they pass through our marine and terrestrial environments at different times of the year." Lyle Glowka, Executive Coordinator of CMS Office - Abu Dhabi, noted that the Office represents a major collaboration between the Convention on Migratory Species, the United Nations Environment Programme, and EAD on behalf of the United Arab Emirates to conserve migratory species for the benefit of present and future generations.
"The Office serves 147 countries across Africa, Europe, Central, Western and Southern Asia and the Western Pacific regions", he said, adding, "EAD's investment has been critical to our mission of promoting international cooperation across the vast range of the migratory animals we work on, and is one of the many ways the UAE has demonstrated its global leadership on migratory species conservation." - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271973677.html

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UAE participates in Regional Preparatory Meeting of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Conference in Cambodia


posted on 06/11/2014

SIEM REAP: The UAE is participating in the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP12) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance to Asia, which is being held from November 3rd to 7th in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Dubai Municipality is participating in the meeting as part of the UAE delegation. The meeting was inaugurated by the Governor of Siem Reap City in the presence of the Cambodian Minister of Environment and representatives of various Asian countries, civil societies, governmental bodies, local and international organisations and non-profit organisations.
The meeting presents an opportunity for countries to exchange ideas and experiences and to follow up on the progress made in implementing the Strategic Plan of the Ramsar Treaty in Asia, in addition to gathering input on the draft resolutions to be presented at COP12, which will be held in the city of Punta del Este in Uruguay in June 2015. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271977386.html

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EAD initiates official launch of its Sustainable Campus Initiative in Abu Dhabi


posted on 05/11/2014

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, EAD, in collaboration with Borouge, yesterday launched the Sustainable Campus Initiative, SCI, as part of its ongoing efforts to educate university students across the U.A.E. on important environmental issues and encourage them to take part in reducing their environmental footprint.
The launch event was attended by Dr. Saeed Al Hassani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Abdullah Zamzam, Assistant Secretary-General of Operations at EAD, and Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO, Abu Dhabi Polymers Company at Borouge.
SCI is an expansion of the Sustainable Schools Initiative that EAD launched in 2009, which witnessed huge success in establishing environmental concepts and increased student and teacher awareness of various environmental issues facing the U.A.E., resulting in concrete and measurable actions in reducing schools' environmental footprints.
The initiative aims to encourage U.A.E. youth in identifying and addressing society's environmental sustainability issues. The initiative provides students with a platform to network and share ideas with their international counterparts in order to address issues including water scarcity, waste, energy, climate change, and bio-diversity, to contribute to achieving a sustainable environmental in the U.A.E..
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of EAD, said, "The SCI reflects EAD's continuous efforts motivating youth and encourages them to play a vital role in environmental practices, supporting the prospect of a sustainable future. The initiative falls in line with Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 which recognises the importance of young Emiratis' contributions to building sustainable communities and protecting the country's environment and natural heritage." "This initiative provides students with the opportunity to be more involved in assessing their universities' environmental performance and enables them to share ideas and introduce them to the best practices and applications applied by their peers outside the U.A.E.. We hope that the next phase of the initiative will see more environmental awareness projects and programmes," Al Mubarak added.
Dr. Saeed Al Hassani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, praised the launch of the SCI, noting that it reflects EAD's commitment to adopt the best international practices, encourages innovation, hard work, and promotes effective policies to raise environmental awareness and sustainable development, while also ensuring the integration of environmental issues within the national agenda in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.
Al Hassani said, "The U.A.E. ministries and governmental entities truly believe that sustainable development across the three aspects; economic, social, and environmental, will only be achieved by the efforts of our youth, and involving them across all stages and areas. The Sustainable Campus Initiative is dependent on partnerships in planning, execution and most importantly assessing progress." "Borouge is fully committed to the preservation of the environment and the well-being of the communities where we operate," explained Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO, Abu Dhabi Polymers Company. "Our commitment to Environmental Stewardship and Social Responsibility is embedded within our company and is reflected in the way we manage our operations and innovate plastics solutions that enhance people's lives. As such, we are pleased to actively engage the leaders of the future in the sustainability practices and management system of the Sustainable Campus Initiative so that they too can contribute to a better environment today within their campuses and tomorrow in their chosen fields." Earlier this year, EAD launched the initiative's pilot phase with the participation of 100 students from Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology- Women's College in Khalifa City, Higher Colleges of Technology – Men's College in Madinat Zayed and Higher Colleges of Technology – Women's College in Ruwais.
The current phase of the initiative saw the universities pledging their continuous commitment to SCI and the introduction of five additional universities including the American University of Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, the Petroleum Institute, and New York University Abu Dhabi. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271890596.html

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Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan approves EAD's plans for Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Abu Dhabi


posted on 05/11/2014

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, Chairman of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), has approved the Agency's plan for the development of the Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Abu Dhabi, which is managed and supervised by EAD.
The Plant Genetic Resources Centre aims to document the genetic resources of local bio-diverse plant species, and study and protect them by utilising an integrated approach that includes internal and external conservational methods for these species to sustain biodiversity.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed emphasised the importance of the centre as part of the U.A.E.'s leadership in environmental conservation and sustainable development, and in enhancing the reclamation of the natural environment for rehabilitation programmes in addition to supporting programmes for the reintroduction of different endangered species.
The approval came during the Board of Directors of Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) chaired by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Nahyan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan; Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water; Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Managing Director of EAD; Engineer Ahmed Mohammed Sharif Ali, Chief Advisor of the Department of Municipal Affairs; and Ahmed Thani Murshed Ghanam Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.
The board meeting was also attended by Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, along with Dr. Jaber Al Jabri, Deputy Secretary General of EAD, and Dr. Abdulla Essa Zamzam, Assistant Secretary General of Operations at EAD.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan, expressed his pride and appreciation for the support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the U.A.E., and His Highness General Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, Honorary President of EAD, which has great impact on boosting environment protection efforts and the preservation of natural resources.
Following a thorough review of performance indicators identified in EAD's 2011-2015 corporate strategy, the Board of Directors also recognised EAD's achievements in 2014, praising the organisation for effectively managing environmental risks across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and for identifying and pursuing opportunities to enhance innovation and research in preserving natural resources.
The Board directed EAD to intensify its efforts in the coming years to increase investment in funding programmes to enhance the fish stock levels, prevent their deterioration and in turn preserve U.A.E.'s fish resources. In order to achieve this goal, EAD will initiate a comprehensive fish resource assessment survey for U.A.E. in 2015, in addition EAD will work with the Ministry of Environment and Water, to develop a unified approach to manage fisheries resources across the U.A.E..
The Board was also briefed on EAD's preparation for the first reintroduction attempt of the Scimitar Horned Oryx back into its natural habitat, in collaboration with the Government of Chad. The reintroduction programme seeks to promote a healthy and sustainable environment for approximately 500 Scimitar Horned Oryx over a period of five years, in an isolated natural reserve within the Achim Valley reserve in Chad.
The Board also approved a plan to establish the Delija Wildlife Protection Centre, a unique centre in terms of design and size, and will serve as a facility to protect and breed endangered species like the Scimitar Horned Oryx.
The Board also reviewed EAD's efforts in managing terrestrial and marine protected areas in Abu Dhabi which contributed to strengthening the country's position on the map of global environmental action, and clearly reflected through international reports such as The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of Yale University which ranked U.A.E. first in the Marine Reserves Index and 15th in the Biodiversity and Habitat Index, advancing from the 23rd place in 2012, and 25th globally, advancing 52 ranks from 2012.
The meeting also saw the Board review of EAD's preparations following the announcement of opening three eco-reserves to the public including Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, the Mangrove National Park, and later Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area, enabling the community to explore Abu Dhabi's natural heritage.
The Board also reviewed EAD's efforts to improve the process around the issuance of environmental licenses in Abu Dhabi in line with the rapid development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, through the expansion of the inspectors scope of work and the increasing field visits to monitor the impact of projects, industrial investments and economic activities on the environmental and biodiversity sustainability and public health in the Emirate.
EAD's regulatory role was also recognised in encouraging environmental permitted facilities to incorporate environmental practices and methodologies within their existing business plans. Through collaboration with partners in the industrial sectors, EAD's efforts resulted in an overall decrease of issued violations in comparison to last year. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395271922229.html

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