ABU DHABI, 19th December, 2022 (WAM) — The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), and all UAE government agencies concerned with the marine environment, held a workshop on Thursday, 15th December, 2022.
The session included a review of the UAE’s marine water quality monitoring programmes, as well as an assessment of the methods for managing the data these programmes generate. Other studies, such as implementing the unified marine water quality platform in the country, were also considered. Participants also discussed the possibility of adopting at the Federal Level a unified methodology for calculating marine water quality indicators.
The meeting was attended by specialists and experts from UAE government agencies concerned with marine water quality monitoring programmes, and included MoCCAE, EAD, Ministry of Defence (MoD), National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), Dubai Municipality, Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) – Sharjah, Fujairah Environment Authority, Umm Al Quwain Municipality, and Environment Protection and Development Authority (EPDA) – Ras Al Khaimah.
During the meeting, representatives from MoCCAE presented the national programme for monitoring marine water quality and the quality indicators approved by the Ministry.
Representatives from each participating entity presented their marine water quality monitoring programmes, the geographical distribution of monitoring stations and the most important physical, chemical and biological properties that are monitored. The participants also studied the mechanism approved by each entity for managing data, and discussed the future plans of various agencies in relevant fields.
Ahmed Al Zaabi, Director of the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment stated that the work on the “National Programme for Monitoring and Controlling Marine Water Quality” comes as part of the Ministry’s strategy to enhance the protection of the country’s marine and coastal environment due to its economic, social and environmental importance.
He indicated that this programme aims to unify efforts and benefit from existing programmes in each Emirate to develop an integrated and comprehensive national programme for continuous monitoring and assessment of marine water quality.
He added that the quality of marine water is one of the main factors for the sustainability of the marine ecosystem, and the deterioration of its quality leads to damage to marine resources and habitats. He pointed out that preserving the quality of marine waters is an important goal in the strategic plans and objectives of MOCCE, and is linked to an important set of national, regional and global indicators.
Abdulsalam Al Hashemi, Director of the Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Division at EAD, said, “The projects and initiatives implemented by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with all concerned authorities on the federal and local levels, have contributed to improving the quality of marine waters in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.”
He added, “Benefiting from and utilizing of resources available at all entities, cooperation and coordination at a federal level between the concerned authorities, in addition to the follow-up on implementation of what was agreed upon in the meeting, will certainly contribute to achieving our targets, and will ensure a healthier and more sustainable marine environment.”