Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi participating in COP 26

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi participating in COP 26

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi participating in COP 26

ABU DHABI, 1st November, 2021 – The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) is part of the official UAE delegation headed by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Climate Change Envoy Office participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP 26.

The event is currently taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31st October to 12th November in partnership with Italy.

The EAD delegation is led by Dr.

Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD.

The Agency will be participating in different climate change areas of discussion including adaptation and methodological issues, as EAD is the custodian of climate action in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Agency is also a prime supporter of the UAE’s bid to host COP 28 in Abu Dhabi and will be the main advocate for the UAE proposal, which will be voted on during the conference.

On the last day of the Glasgow event the winning COP 28 host nation will be announced.

Dr.

Shaikha said, “EAD is always keen to align with the larger vision of the UAE and of its leadership and we are extremely proud to be among the UAE delegation attending COP 26 this year.

We have regularly partnered on several occasions with local and federal government agencies to advance collective action against climate change, and we support all related environmental initiatives in Abu Dhabi.

We are also prime supporters of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment during this conference.

“We will also be keenly advocating for the UAE to host COP 28, and we are certain that we have all the resources and talent to make the event a great success as the UAE is a significant player when it comes to climate change.

The topic is not new to our ambitious nation, and the UAE leadership has always placed climate change and the environment very high on the national agenda, which has driven us several steps forward in the past few decades.


She added that the proof of the UAE’s leading position is the announcement of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, at the beginning of October, of the UAE Net to Zero 2050 strategic initiative which we at EAD will ensure to transform into local action in Abu Dhabi.

Within the scope of climate change, EAD is currently in the process of developing a climate change policy for Abu Dhabi, in consultation with key partners and stakeholders.

This policy will address the challenges and opportunities of climate change in Abu Dhabi, while considering social and cultural drivers and balancing societal needs with environmental conservation.

The policy will also be a significantly relevant platform to ensure that EAD and the emirate of Abu Dhabi play a leading role in making the UAE Net to Zero 2050 strategic initiative a reality in the capital.

Similarly, in 2020, H.

H.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of EAD, established the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Taskforce – a local framework to protect natural resources, infrastructure, and society from the impacts of climate change.

The taskforce also has the mandate to strengthen coordination with federal and local entities to manage emissions and improve resilience to climate change.

The taskforce represents 26 entities from the key sectors in Abu Dhabi.

EAD, while chairing the taskforce, has been working very closely with its members.

The Agency has also been working closely with the custodians of the key emitting sectors of oil and gas, water, and electricity, industry, and transport, and others.

EAD and all its partners are looking to lead Abu Dhabi’s efforts in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, and to support the Emirate as it looks to substantially reduce emissions in the interim while driving adaptation planning and management to build climate resilience.

In essence, the focus of EAD’s climate change policy development is based on an interim target for emissions reduction – by 2030 – and understanding the impact of this transformation economically, socially, and environmentally.

The Agency will be collaborating closely with the Department of Energy and other members of the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Taskforce, while analysing scenarios for the policy’s implementation.

Climate change is already one of EAD’s top strategic priorities for 2021-2025, as seen in its new five-year strategy, and has called for “securing the resilience of Abu Dhabi through mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and protection of our air and marine water.

” Under the umbrella of this priority, EAD has been implementing several initiatives to mitigate or adapt to climate change in Abu Dhabi.

During COP 26, EAD will be highlighting a series of projects, such as EAD’s unique Gene Bank, which launches next year and aims to document the genetic resources of the UAE’s diverse plant species, studying and conserving them.

The main objectives are to document the UAE’s flora and its diversity in a herbarium form, to conserve native plants, their genetic diversity and ensure their longevity, as well as using conserved resources to derive ecological, environmental, social and economic benefits.

Similarly, Dr.

Shaikha will be sharing information about the Scimitar-Horned Oryx (SHO) Rehabilitation Programme – the world’s most ambitious mammal re-introduction programme.

The project involves the re-introduction of the SHO – bringing the species back from the brink of extinction, improving its survival chances and ensuring the longevity of nature.

The SHO Reintroduction Programme aims to create a self-sustaining herd of over 500 animals nearly three decades after the species was declared ‘extinct in the wild’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Currently, there are around 377 Scimitar-horned oryx in the wild, with 30 new calves born this year.

There are upcoming plans to relocate 50 SHO (25 in November 2021 and a further 25 animals in February 2022).

The Agency will also be highlighting the launch of the largest coral reef rehabilitation project in the region to conserve nature.

EAD will grow approximately 1 million pieces of coral reef through a restoration programme, to restore the emirate’s coral and increase the total coral reef area.

Through this programme, nurseries for coral will be developed to reduce the negative impact of the natural pressures to which they are subjected due to climate change and high temperatures on the seafloor.

The project will also increase the total coral area and rehabilitate affected areas to preserve the coral reef’s great heritage, and economic and scientific value.

Finally, EAD will be shedding light on its Marine Research Vessel, which is currently under construction.

The 50m, state-of-the-art, multipurpose marine conservation and fisheries vessel will use environment-friendly technologies to conduct specialised research in the Arabian Gulf – the hottest sea in the world and a natural climate change laboratory – as part of the UAE’s scientific and innovative initiatives.

The vessel is part of EAD’s ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s marine biodiversity and ecosystem.

The Agency will complete new marine and fisheries scientific surveys in the previously largely unstudied waters at depths starting at 10m.

The vessel will also enable EAD to respond to threats facing the marine environment, including marine debris, climate change and invasive marine species.

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