Ranking Abu Dhabi’s environmental protection program among the top 10 global initiatives

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s programs to conserve the emirate’s coastal and marine ecosystems have been ranked among the top 10 global initiatives by the United Nations Environment Programme.
The announcement came on the sidelines of the high-level meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), which began on December 13-17, 2022 in Montreal, Canada.
The selection of the program of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi for the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems followed the implementation of evaluations in accordance with the standards and requirements of the United Nations Environment Program.
More than 150 applicants from different countries around the world were selected, and 70 government agencies from different countries around the world supported the selection of the Authority’s program, as a result of the Authority’s outstanding efforts in restoring the unique biodiversity habitats that Abu Dhabi’s shores and waters provide for endangered species and marine animal communities.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, praised the achievements made by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and led by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency in the field of marine biodiversity conservation, saying : For leadership in the field of marine biodiversity conservation in line with the strategic environmental goals of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which were inspired by the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, and from the wise guidelines laid by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al, God willing. Nahyan, and the approach taken by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the State, may God protect him.
His Highness added: “Abu Dhabi has confirmed its leadership and succeeded in strengthening its global position in the field of environmental conservation and species protection, while implementing plans and programs for their restoration and rehabilitation.”
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi was interested early on in conducting detailed scientific studies that helped it assess the biodiversity, ecosystems and habitats that protect the emirate, enabling it to develop and implement plans and programs for their restoration and rehabilitation.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan emphasized: We have worked in several directions to maintain our marine environment and have succeeded in restoring our fish stock, strengthening our plans for planting and restoring mangroves, and we have also launched the largest coral reef restoration project in the region, which confirmed the importance of the important role that the emirate plays in the field of conservation of species and their ecosystems, both locally and globally. Work was also done on directing various efforts and resources in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development, preserve natural resources and ensure their sustainability for future generations.
dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: Our marine habitats are thriving despite the challenges they face due to high temperatures and increased salinity in the Emirate’s waters, which is unique in a world where the effects of climate change are everything larger. In light of the pressures facing our natural habitats, due to rapid development in the region, coastal development activities and projects related to the housing, tourism and infrastructure sectors, which have left consequences on critical coastal and marine habitats, we have taken proactive measures to achieve a balance between requirements of economic and social development and sustainable use of resources and the development of initiatives for the rehabilitation and restoration of the ecosystem within the plans and strategies for the Emirate.
She explained: The initiatives and programs that the Agency has initiated and implemented since its inception have attracted the attention of the United Nations Environment Program and led to its recognition as a pioneering program in the field of ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration, as our success story included recording extraordinary improving our fish stocks and achieving important rehabilitation achievements Mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs are among the most important and productive marine habitats that support biodiversity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and provide natural habitat for many species of fish and marine organisms.
It is noteworthy that the body participated in the first session of its kind for the United Nations Environment Program to select the top ten pioneering initiatives to prevent and reverse the degradation of ecological systems worldwide, by reviewing the program’s outstanding efforts. at the local and international level in the area of ​​promoting and protecting the ecosystem, and assisting in international efforts and fulfilling its obligations prescribed by international conventions and treaties on environmental protection, which are among the priorities set by the body with its strategic plans and goals derived from the visions of wise leadership, which aims to make Abu Dhabi the best in the world in environmental protection.
Located on the southern borders of the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi’s coastal and marine areas are considered a meeting point for biodiversity, as they host many important habitats that support a wide range of marine species and large fish, as the authority has worked to improve the condition of endangered fish stocks that are depleted to 85%, which is followed by studies and surveys conducted by the Agency.
With the implementation of fisheries-related decisions and procedures undertaken by the Fisheries Management Authority, results and outcomes have shown that Abu Dhabi is on track to achieve its sustainable fisheries target by 2030. Improvements in the Sustainable Fisheries Index have been achieved for three consecutive years , as the index increases from 8.9% in 2018 to 62.3% at the end of 2021. The body will continue to implement its plan to ensure the recovery of fisheries and achieve sustainable fishing.
The Authority’s efforts to establish and manage nature reserves through the Zayed Network of Nature Reserves, which includes six marine reserves representing 14% of the Emirate’s marine environment, have also contributed to the conservation of elements of biodiversity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, ensuring the sustainability of resources and promoting the associated social and economic development.
These efforts have produced positive results for numerous habitats and species, as they have helped to stabilize important organisms, increase the number of birds such as flamingos and stabilize environments such as coral reefs, for which the Administration has launched a special rehabilitation initiative, as it is considered one of the most important marine habitats. The government has launched the largest coral reef rehabilitation project in the region with the aim of growing more than one million coral reef colonies in order to increase their area in the emirate and reduce the negative impact of natural pressures on coral reefs resulting from climate change and rising temperatures on the seabed.
The government also focused its efforts on the protection of mangroves, as it wanted to intensify programs for planting and restoring mangrove areas and the use of modern technologies in agriculture, such as drones, which the World Economic Forum recognized as one of the best innovative projects in the field of blue carbon. Over the past 10 years, 15 million mangrove trees have been planted, contributing to the increase in mangrove area in Abu Dhabi at a rate of more than 35%. Today, the area of ​​mangroves in the emirate reaches 176 square kilometers, including natural and cultivated trees. Studies by the body revealed the ability of mangroves in Abu Dhabi to store carbon at 0.5 tonnes per hectare per year, equivalent to 8,750 tonnes at the emirate level, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 1,000 homes per year.
The efforts of the competent authorities have also led to the preservation of the integrity of the sea flower meadows, which has contributed to the stability of the number of dugongs in their natural habitats in the emirate, which is home to the second largest gathering of dugongs, with more than 3 thousand manatees, which is considered the highest density per square meter. meter in the Gulf region.
The results of the survey also showed an improvement in the number of turtles and their stability in the emirate over the past years, with an estimated number of around 5,000 turtles, including hawksbill turtles, green turtles and loggerhead turtles. The authorities’ efforts have also provided protection for three species of dolphin and one species of porpoise, as Emirate waters are home to more than 700 dolphins, most of which live in marine protected areas, including the largest group of humpback dolphins in the Indian Ocean in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *