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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi highlights 2021 achievements

by Dubai Forum
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The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has focused on its efforts to achieve its strategic vision to ensure a sustainable future for all, in their latest report issued digitally for the third consecutive year.

The report highlighted its role in preserving biodiversity, mitigating the effects of climate change, monitoring and controlling the quality of air, sea water and soil, and maintaining the sustainability and health of the terrestrial and marine environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

In the foreword, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EAD said, “Fifty years ago, our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan united this great nation to create the United Arab Emirates, which has since become an illuminating beacon of progress, success, vision and prosperity. Through his astute outlook, he paved the way for the country to grow and develop and transform into a safe and prosperous haven for all citizens and residents.

“He also paved the way, with compassionate perception, for a positive future for the environment, which is why the late Sheikh Zayed is regarded as the First Environmentalist.”

His Highness added, “In line with the vision of our wise leadership, we too at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi also have a vision for the next 50 years and will continue working, as we develop, at how we can create the perfect balance between the socio-economic growth of Abu Dhabi and conserving the environment for our future generations.”

STRATEGIC PLAN

Among the most prominent achievements for EAD during 2021 was launching the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, which further defined EAD’s vision, mission and values to give a clearer view of the new strategy. This was in addition to launching the integrated water resources management plan in Abu Dhabi, monitoring soil quality using cutting-edge satellite drone and artificial intelligence technology, developing a smart model for the Makhazin Al Khayr project to protect groundwater and achieve water security, and releasing findings of the Fourth Cycle GHG Emissions Inventory in Abu Dhabi.

In the field of biodiversity, in 2021 EAD launched the largest Coral Reef Rehabilitation project in the region, which included rehabilitating 1 million pieces of coral reefs in Abu Dhabi. Last year also saw the largest release of turtles in the region – 150 animals – with the participation of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the launch of the Marine Conservation and Fisheries Research Vessel that will study fish stocks and marine biodiversity, which is considered the most advanced and developed vessels in the Middle East.

NEW SPECIES

Also, during the past year, 4 new species were discovered scientifically for the first time in the history of science, and 8 other types were registered at the UAE level and 8 other types were registered at the Abu Dhabi Emirate level.

In 2021 EAD recorded a remarkable improvement in the in the fisheries ‘Sustainable Exploitation Index’ for the third year in a row. The index increased from 8.9% in 2018 to 62.3% at the end of 2021.

Another important achievement was the successful translocation of 25 Scimitar-horned Oryx and 25 Addax to Chad, where 18 Scimitar-horned Oryx were fitted with satellite tracking, and 15 new calves were born in 2021. Also, the Dugong and Seagrass Toolkit was selected among the top 25 UAE government innovations by Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation.

ARABIAN ORYX

Other important achievements include the launch of the new online portal for the world’s waterbird populations in partnership with Wetlands International, as well as the remarkable 29 per cent increase in the Sustainable Fishing Index, and a 22 per cent increase in the number of Arabian Oryx in the reserve in Al Dhafra Region, where the number of the herd has reached 946 heads.

Also, last year, the EAD launched ‘50 Oasis’ in Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in celebration of the UAE’s 50th National Day, which will be the first botanical garden comprised of 50 species of local plants in Abu Dhabi. Similarly, EAD launched the Abu Dhabi Red List of Species which include an assessment of 244 terrestrial and marine species of Abu Dhabi Emirate.

Last year also saw the launch of the Mangrove Rehabilitation Project’s second phase, in partnership with ENGIE, using drone planting technology to sow mangrove seeds, which aims to plant more than 35,000 mangrove seeds in Mirfa lagoon.

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