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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - ENVIRONMENT


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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EAD Secretary-General praises country's wise leadership for U.A.E. Vision 2021


posted on 30/10/2014

The U.A.E.'s wise leadership has helped place the country on a sustainability trajectory with the introduction of the U.A.E. Vision 2021, which is based on accommodating its future population trends, ranging from economic and social to environmental targets, a top official of Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, EAD, said.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of EAD, delivering a lecture at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology campus entitled: ‘Sustainable growth – achieving the vision', said, "In line with the leadership's vision in providing our citizens and residents with a sustainable and brighter future, we must dedicate ourselves to making this vision a reality." Al Mubarak was earlier received by Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, and was introduced to the audience by Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Masdar Institute.
The lecture, which was organised under the Distinguished Lecture Series, was attended by students, faculty and staff members from Masdar Institute and other universities. A number of key government, non-government and private sector stakeholders were present at the event.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak added, "It is imperative that we emphasise and highlight the importance of sustainable growth to the next generation. For it is our youths who will carry on, lead, implement and contribute to the success of green and sustainable strategies and the growth outlined in Abu Dhabi vision." In her lecture, she highlighted the importance of building sustainable cities for a greener future, as the world faces limited natural resources, rising costs, and dangerous levels of emissions and pollution attributed to consumption.
"With a current global population of seven billion, we require the equivalent of 1.5 planets to sustain our lifestyle, especially as some of our resources are renewable and can recover if we reduce or stop withdrawals, while other resources are non-renewable. The world is facing insurmountable environmental issues that must be tackled in order to sustain forecasted population growth to 9.5 billion by 2050 where, if our consumption follows the current trend, we will require 3 planets to sustain our way of life." "With predictions that almost 60% of the current population will be living in urban areas by 2030, meaning that rapid urbanisation will be placing a heavy burden on our natural resources and exerting pressure on the general public's health, is a testament to the importance of building sustainable cities," she added.
"In line with U.A.E. Vision 2021, Abu Dhabi Emirate developed the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, complemented by the Environment Vision 2030 which both will complement and support the planned economic growth of the country through viable and environmentally sustainable methods." She noted the government's recognition of several obstacles it must overcome and has already began placing initiatives in place. "The U.A.E.'s high usage of electricity and water, which is due partly to its climate, has led to the necessity of diversifying our energy mix. By 2021, the U.A.E. aims to reduce its energy mix consumption by utilising renewable resources and implementing sustainable building codes which have already been taken into effect through Estidama." Al Mubarak concluded by saying, "It is people who live and work in our cities and it is people who make the hearts of our cities beat. It is therefore imperative that we give communities, families, and young people a voice as we decide how to create our future sustainable and smart cities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271604778.html

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Sharjah's environment sector set to grow by 15 percent


posted on 22/10/2014

Sharjah's environment sector is expected to grow by 15 percent to almost Dh1 billion by 2016, up from this year's Dh780 million, powered by a portfolio of ground-breaking eco-tourism projects currently under way.
According to a study by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, the environment sector is one of the emirate's four key sectors identified as major areas of potential growth. The three other sectors are travel and tourism, healthcare, and transport and logistics.
Highlighting the sector's promising future, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said, "Although the environment sector is now worth Dh780 million, the Sharjah government is keen to expand further in this field, through attracting foreign direct investment into solar energy generation plants and water desalination projects." Al Sarkal indicated that the environment sector is set to grow by 15 percent, up to almost Dh1billion by 2016, as he outlined the immense potential that the Emirate of Sharjah has in the eco-tourism industry, especially with the diverse range of eco-friendly projects currently undertaken by Shurooq to leverage this potential.
"The environment sector is composed of three sub-sectors, namely renewable energy, waste management, and energy efficiency. The U.A.E. has one of the highest per capita waste levels in the world, with environmental challenges very much on the federal government's agenda, and Sharjah has carved out its niche as the U.A.E.'s pioneer for renewable energy alternatives," the Shurooq CEO clarified.
"With the U.A.E. leading the renewable energy charge in the Gulf region, the U.A.E. market potential is expected to reach Dh183 billion by 2020, with annual growth of 15 percent during the period from 2012-2020," Al Sarkal said.
With regards to energy efficiency, the U.A.E. is adopting an ambitious renewable energy plan as it aims to boost investment in clean energy technology over the next few years and expects to attract Dh367 billion of investments in alternative and sustainable energy projects by 2020, including renewable energies, biofuel, urban development projects and wastewater recycling, the Shurooq CEO outlined.
He said that solar power technologies have the highest potential for the U.A.E. and Sharjah, which is a good renewable energy components manufacturing platform for the MENA region, due to its strategic location, logistics infrastructure, cheap labour costs, and developed manufacturing base with ready availability of various components.
"We abide by eco-friendly standards in our tourist and leisure projects, and we have also initiated a host of eco-tourism projects and green initiatives in line with the emirate's eco-friendly approach aimed at preserving the environment and ensuring a better life for generations to come," Al Sarkal said.
Among these projects are the Kalba Eco-tourism project, the Sir Bu Nuair Island project, Al Jabal Resort, The Chedi Khorfakkan, Al Majaz Waterfront, and the newly opened Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park.
"Shurooq aims through the development of the Kalba eco-tourism initiative, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, in Sharjah, to curb the environmental degradation that accompanies the destruction caused by killing animal and plant life, and to preserve biodiversity, re-habitat some endangered species, as well as the development of the eco-tourism sector," Al Sarkal added.
Speaking on this unique project, Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Sharjah EPAA, said, "The project is the largest of its kind in the development of eco-tourism facilities in the U.A.E. and the region. It boasts of natural reserves rich in their bio-diversity, natural resources and topographical characteristics that will help rehabilitate and re-introduce rare and endangered animals." Khalid Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee'ah said, "Being at the forefront of positive environmental change, we launched a number of programmes to educate the public about sustainable waste management. This approach stems from our responsibility to work with the community and educate our society in the simple ways they can adapt and thereby contribute to turning waste into recycled resources, which can later be re-used by both the community and economy.
"Our aim is to lead the development of sustainable and economically viable solutions for waste management. We are working to tackle waste in the region and invest heavily in advanced waste management infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies, to reach our ultimate goal of leading the Emirate of Sharjah to become the first city in the Middle East to achieve Zero-Waste-To-Landfill by 2015," he said.
"By 2015 everything in Sharjah is going to be recycled, and that will make it the first Arab nation that recycles everything. This is a huge area that is going to be developed through a range of single-minded initiatives, so as to attract more companies that would like to work with us, Al Huraimel emphasised. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271192629.html

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Minister of Environment issues statement on Arab Environment Day


posted on 14/10/2014

Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has said that modern technologies play an important role in achieving sustainable development at the national and the international levels, and this role has grown despite the increasing environmental pressures and challenges faced by today's world.
In a speech delivered on the occasion of Arab Environment Day, yesterday under the theme "The movement towards a more eco-friendly technology for a more sustainable development” he said that celebrating the day under the same banner for the second year in a row confirms the important role played by modern techniques.
He also stated that the extent and speed to which environmental solutions are evolving in response to pressures and challenges will lead to further technical knowledge and innovation, the best way to mitigate obstacles, and better control of the associated negative effects.
Dr. Rashid said, "Over the past few years we have seen a major global focus on the role of technology in achieving sustainable development. A "shift in technology" is one of the main demands in bridging the technological gap between developed and developing countries. The document titled "The Future Which We Aspire To" issued by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) emphasises the importance of technology in today's world, and calls on the world's governments to create enabling frameworks that encourage and introduce the idea of environmentally sound technology." He continued, "U.A.E. has been committed to bolstering its efforts to achieve sustainable development through technical solutions in line with its Vision 2021, which was inspired by the national action programme conceived by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The programme also highlights the strategy of becoming a more eco-friendly country as announced by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, under the slogan "A greener economy for a more sustainable development." Although the U.A.E. has made great strides in implementing eco-friendly techniques for energy, water, transport and the urban environment biodiversity, it is still in the process of enjoying the fruits of its labour in these and other key fields, according to him.
He continued, "Building the country's capabilities and potentials is one of the main pillars in guaranteeing the implementation of all techniques. The U.A.E. has focused heavily on this aspect through the development of the country's educational system and the promotion of interest in scientific research and innovation at various levels in line with the national "U.A.E. Vision 2021" agenda which aims to groom the U.A.E. into one of the 20 best countries in the Global Innovation Index. The country has also been keen on adopting best practices, the latest being the "Government Creative Laboratory" which aims to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions to major national issues.
Dr. Bin Fahd also pointed out that the U.A.E. has already chosen the theme of "A greener economy for better innovation and sustainability" for its National Environment Day celebrations to be held every February 4th over the next three years.
He concluded by emphasising the attention given by the U.A.E. towards the stimulation of efforts from individuals and scientific centres to achieve sustainable development at the national and global levels and encouraging these parties to find innovative solutions to reduce the pressures, challenges and negative effects of environmental issues.
This, he said, can be done through the establishment of a series of awards such as the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Pioneering Innovations in Agriculture, the Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, the Emirates Appreciation Award for the Environment, and the Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270804875.html

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Ministry of Environment and Water launches Carbon Footprint App at Gitex Technology 2014 in cooperation with DU


posted on 13/10/2014

The U.A.E. Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), in cooperation with the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), has announced the launch of the Carbon Footprint App, during its participation at Gitex Technology Week 2014, which is taking place from October 12 to 16, 2014 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The edutainment-based application is designed to encourage environment responsibility across all age groups by calculating consumption of power, water, transportation, waste and carbon emissions by simply entering relevant data by the user.
Abdul Rahim Al Hammadi, the Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services at MoEW, explained that the Carbon Footprint App aims to support the country's smart transformation, which is part of the vision and directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The application, Al Hammadi continues, serves as a new educational step towards raising awareness on the importance of reducing carbon footprint in the country in line with Ministry's strategy of educating and increasing awareness on the reduction of carbon footprints.
Al Hammadi further added that the App is part of the Ministry's ongoing commitment to reduce carbon footprint in the country in support of the Ecological Footprint Initiative aimed at introducing the public to best environmental practices and monitor their consumption of natural resources and energy in order to boost environmental sustainability across the U.A.E..
For his part, Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Commercial Officer, du said, "Sustainability is no longer an issue limited to the attentions of institutions and governments. Today, the wider community is conscious of their obligation towards the environment, regardless of age, gender or nationality. We are proud to be doubling our efforts with the Ministry of Environment and Water, to help them to harness innovation in support of its efforts to meet sustainability commitments." He added that the importance of this app is not only to allow the public to monitor their consumption of electricity and water, and their emissions from transportation and waste disposal, but to contribute in raising the level of public awareness. Additionally, it will serve to encourage more individuals to adhere to environmental and social responsibilities, to ensure a greener future for generations to come.
Throughout Gitex Technology 2014, the Ministry is set to unveil a number of new online projects and smart solutions that fall in line with its strategy to ensure that all services are delivered with highest standards of quality, efficiency and transparency as to achieve higher levels of user satisfaction.
"Taking part at Gitex Technology Week, for the eighth time in a row, demonstrates our utmost concern to introduce the public and Ministry personnel to tech-savvy smart applications and services which can greatly contribute to boosting smart transformation and encourage the public to attain a simpler and smarter lifestyle", Al Hammadi added.
"The launch of new projects and smart applications translates the Ministry's robust efforts to improve and simplify delivery of its services and procedures, as well as to activate new channels of communication with users in line with our strategic objective of ensuring the delivery of all administrative services with high quality, efficiency and transparency. We are excited to have unveiled the Higher Management Smart Reports App which offers an exceptional experience in providing information in a seamless, clear and transparent manner," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395270760554.html

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Vice Chairman of DSCE launches State of Green Economy Report during the World Summit of Regions for Climate


posted on 12/10/2014

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Supreme Council of Energy, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Chairman of World Green Economy Summit has launched ‘The State of Green Economy Report 2015', a key outcome of The World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2014 held last April in Dubai in the presence of Former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will host the World Summit of Regions for Climate as Chairman of R20 in addition to the former prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, former United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and UN Climate Chief, Christina Figueres, and others.
The event was attended by Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, Charge d'Affaires of U.A.E. in France.
The articles have been authored by national and international experts in the field, speakers form the World Green Economy Summit 2014 and thematic leaders within the participating UN-entities. Dubai Carbon has managed the selection of authors and has curated the content in participation with UNDP and the World Green Economy Summit team, based on the relevance for the region and impact on green economic development of the respective topics.
The Report features one overview chapter on green economy, jobs and youth engagement and six thematic chapters on other relevant aspects: Smart City, Clean Energy, Sustainable Lifestyle, Responsible Tourism, Green Finance, Green Industry.
The Report features one overview chapter on green economy, jobs and youth engagement and six thematic chapters on other relevant aspects: Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs , Saeed Al Tayer, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Mattar Al Tayer, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Hilal Al Marri; Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Essa Abdulfattah Kazim, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif bin Kalban; Dubal Holding Llc.
The publication follows a strictly participatory approach and received strong support from the United Nations network and other relevant supra-national bodies: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) / Worldbank, International Labour Organisation (ILO), and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Each chapter contains a group of initiatives and researches. Clean Energy chapter outlines Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, aiming to diversify the energy mix by 2030 to include 71% from natural gas, 12% from nuclear power, 12% from clean coal, and 5% from solar power, as well as reducing energy consumption by 30% by 2030.
On the subject of clean energy, population growth, urbanisation and economic growth have a significant impact on our resources.
IRENA predicts that global energy demand will increase by 60% within coming years. Our report focuses on the economic benefits such as job creation and development of new sectors that are borne from renewable energy expansion.
On the theme of responsible tourism, we have dedicated a chapter on how Dubai can reconcile the expected spike in footfall around the World EXPO 2020 with the need to combat high carbon emissions in the aviation industry. The Green Finance Chapter focuses on the importance of mechanisms of finance to encourage green investment.
During his speech at the Summit, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: "In line with the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, and in line with the U.A.E. Vision 2021, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched the World Green Economy Summit 2015, organised by DEWA under the umbrella of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE). This summit comes in continuation of the efforts made to position Dubai as a global hub for green economy, energy efficiency and security, investment in renewable energy, and demand side management to curb carbon emissions and achieve the objectives of DIES 2030.
"Dubai has always been open to the world as a hub for trade, but not only exchanging goods and services, but exchanging ideas as well. Dubai plays an important role as a trade-route bridge between the East and the West. Thanks to its global-level robust infrastructure in aviation, industry, finance, and business, Dubai has attracted the best leading names from across the world. This makes Dubai well placed as a nexus of global green economy in a geostrategic region that needs to diversify its energy resources and move away from the traditional hydro-carbons, in addition to the need to find more efficient methods of delivering fresh water to its people, we have two of the great catalysts for enterprise and change – opportunity and imperative," he said.
"We are proud to be part of the World Summit of Regions for Climate here in Paris which gathers thought leaders and green economy experts from across the world. It is one of the main events that lead to the Road to Paris 2015. It is also the perfect platform to launch the Green Economy Report in the presence of world leaders to exchange knowledge and developments in this domain," he added.
"We had key declarations at World Green Economy Summit 2014. Perhaps the most pivotal of them is the Dubai Declaration, which confirms our commitment to developing the World Green Economy Summit to be a platform to discuss the developments of green economy in the long run, and to develop Dubai as the capital of green economy. The report is a true indicator of our commitment to implementing the initiatives and declarations the resulted from the Summit. It also emphasises Dubai's position as a driver to the green economy agenda in the world." "As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "The word impossible doesn't exist in our dictionary," Dubai has been built upon ambition and achievements. Once such milestone is the upcoming Dubai EXPO 2020, which is being held under the banner of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. These achievements support the notion that Dubai can become the capital of the World's Green Economy, and this is a primary reason for organising the World Green Economy Summit, under the banner Global Partnerships, Sustainable Future," added Al Tayer.
"The World Green Economy Summit is an international platform and a strategic enabler for the global green economy agenda, bringing together the world's most prominent green decision makers. Following the success of the inaugural event this year, which generated new partnerships, initiatives and projects to develop a global green economy, WGES 2015 will expand to focus on new pillars and the introduction of further partnerships as well key initiatives. WGES 2015 will bring together top speakers, including CEOs, business executives, entrepreneurs, and national leaders. It will include interesting and relevant session topics and well framed discussions with international panellists. The WGES Public-Private Platform, launched at WGES 2014 aims to become a unique and premier platform for solution oriented PPP's between business, government and finance," "Dubai has been built upon ambition and achievements. The World Green Economy Summit emphasise that. In the 2014 Summit, Dubai Declaration and other main initiatives were launched and they have been implanted to confirm Dubai's commitment to drive development in Dubai as a global sustainable hub for green economy. WGES has achieved a remarkable success, the most notable is the Dubai Declaration which is essentially a series of commitments to guide us to the right path. These include Dubai's commitment to the World Green Economy Summit in order to highlight the green economy and efforts for the Dubai EXPO 2020, and to develop Dubai as the capital of green economy and showcasing this at the World Green Economy Summit. Dubai is committed to producing and publishing the annual State of Green Economy Report which will showcase all Dubai green economy projects and initiatives. This report, published by WGES, and supported by major organisations such as Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence and the UN Development Programme is a knowledge product designed to further the debate that began at the Summit," "In line with its commitment to drive innovation into sustainable energy, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.A.E. headquarters the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The United Arab Emirates is one of the first countries that have endorsed the extension of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, which limits the greenhouse gas emissions of industrialised countries. It was also the first Gulf nation to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord at COP15, supporting a long-term deal to reign in emissions.
While many countries and cities around the world talk about adopting green economy, Dubai was among the first cities to join the fight to curb its carbon footprint and combat climate change and is already leading by example and acting on its strategies. As a strategic initiative by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence was established in January 2011, through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This Centre is specialised in the Clean Development Mechanism along with the best practices in reducing emissions in the Emirate of Dubai. The first of its kind in the region, it enables the Government to establish a baseline on present-day emission levels and track changes in the years to come," he added.
"The World Green Economy Summit 2015 will build upon the success of the previous summit. We will expand its focus to include more major developments needed to build a green economy. This will include engaging young people as a major catalyst for change, global partnerships between the public and private sectors, innovation, finance, and new solutions," he concluded.
The Second World Green Economy Summit will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai. It will be held from 22-23 April 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is organised by DEWA and World Climate Ltd. under the umbrella of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy under the theme Global Partnerships for a Sustainable Future. It focuses on promoting green economy in the world and enhance the position of Dubai as a hub for trade, finance, green economy, and sustainable development. The summit will be held in conjunction with the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2015 and the Green Week. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395270710011.html

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U.A.E.’s environment record improving, report says


posted on 02/10/2014

The U.A.E.'s environment scorecard has shown a steady improvement for the past two years, but it's still not enough to sustain its demand for the long-term, according to a report carried by the Gulf News English daily yesterday.
The U.A.E. took third place after Kuwait and Qatar in the list of countries whose residents have the biggest ecological footprint, according to the Living Planet Report 2014 released yesterday.
The U.A.E.'s ecological footprint has gone down to 7.75 global hectares per capita this year from 9.5 global hectares per capita in 2008 and 8.4 in 2010.
Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of the U.A.E.'s Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI), lauded the U.A.E.'s collective effort to reduce its ecological footprint but said more should be done.
"Despite the important improvement in the results, the U.A.E.'s per capita consumption remains high and unsustainable, and addressing this effectively requires our continued attention and proactive efforts to develop programmes that aim to reduce our consumption with a special focus on reduction of our carbon footprint," Dr. bin Fahd said.
Ida Tillisch, Director-General of Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF and of EFI, said that ensuring a balance between economic and environmental well-being is possible.
"In the U.A.E., development choices should consider the full cycle of any activity. For example, when constructing a building, water and energy consumption should be factored in at the design stage as well as when the building is in use. By making such smart choices, we can reduce the use of natural resources." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270371158.html

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UAE reinforces support for renewable energy and efficiency to address climate change at UN Climate Summit


posted on 27/09/2014

The United Arab Emirates has reinforced its support for renewable energy initiatives, enhancing energy efficiency and voluntary actions to mitigate climate change at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.
The summit was part of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, which was attended by a U.A.E. delegation led by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.
The summit, organised by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, was aimed to build political momentum towards a new global climate change agreement, which is to be negotiated by December 2015.
Over 120 heads of state and government attended this week's summit, and announced new measures and partnerships to combat the global climate change challenge. The summit follows the Abu Dhabi Ascent, which was held in May this year. The Abu Dhabi Ascent was critical in shaping and scaling-up the initiatives and commitments that were announced during the summit.
Delivering a speech at the Climate Summit, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change said, "By hosting the Abu Dhabi Ascent, the U.A.E. played a crucial role in shaping the initiatives and voluntary actions that were announced this week at the Climate Summit. These announcements are a clear indication of the growing commitment world leaders are making to address the global climate change challenge." The U.A.E. emphasised its extensive development assistance programme for renewable energy, which in the last 12 months has mobilised grants and low-interest loans to support fellow developing countries' deployment efforts.
"Today, we are restating our belief that renewable energy and enhanced efficiency are the climate solution that all nations can get behind. Renewable energy is now the most efficient source of power for many developing countries and offers tremendous socio-economic opportunities," added Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
Through Masdar, the U.A.E. has made major investments across renewable energy projects, and is currently producing nearly 1GW of capacity both domestically and internationally. The world's largest two greenhouse gas emitters, United States of America and China, also pledged action to mitigate their emissions.
In his address, U.S. President Barack Obama said that climate change was moving faster than efforts to address it, and the U.S. and China had a responsibility to lead other nations.
"Today world leaders agreed that climate change is a defining issue of our time and that bold action is needed to reduce emissions and build resilience; and that they would lead this effort," Mr. Ban said.
"Together, we must capitalise on the momentum from this summit," Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said and added, "going forward, the U.A.E. will continue to help develop, launch and implement practical, action-oriented initiatives that will make a tangible impact to mitigating climate change and to the advancement of renewable energy." –Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270150258.html

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EAD and Shell Abu Dhabi delivers environment awareness to hundreds of thousands of students


posted on 22/09/2014

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, and Shell Abu Dhabi, have renewed their partnership in a move that will continue to bring the Enviro-Spellathon to schools and students across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Enviro-Spellathon is an award-winning annual environmental education programme that targets students across Abu Dhabi schools in primary and intermediate levels, those aged between 4 and 13. The programme, which has been achieving success since its launch in 2000, is in collaboration with the Emirates Wildlife Society in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature, EWS-WWF, and supported by the Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC.
The Enviro-Spellathon programme aims to increase children's environmental knowledge and to instil environment friendly behaviour from a young age. At the beginning of each academic year, EAD, in cooperation with schools' coordinators, distributes a series of educational booklets to each school. The booklets contain educational information and activities concerning the local environment that are developed specifically for students in the emirate. At the end of the year, students are tested on the information provided in the booklet in Arabic and / or English.
The sponsorship agreement was signed by Dr. Jaber Al Jabri, EAD's Deputy Secretary-General, and Andrew Vaughan, Chairman of Shell Abu Dhabi.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD Secretary-General, said, "The success of the Enviro-Spellathon programme was better than we expected, it has attracted nearly 1.4 million students across 92 percent of the schools in Abu Dhabi last year edition alone. EAD distributed over 150,000 awards and certificates to students and coordinators in 366 schools to recognise their efforts." "As we aim to engage and educate Abu Dhabi's community, EAD, in cooperation with Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, published a set of Enviro-Spellathon booklets that will be available exclusively in Braille in Arabic for visually impaired students from Grades 1 to 6. Through producing Braille resources, we're giving visually impaired students the opportunity to become more actively immersed in environmental education by providing them with a hands-on experience in acquiring knowledge," Al Mubarak added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395269894202.html

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