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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi announces progress on environmental goals

This is part of the Abu Dhabi Environmental Centennial 2071, a 50-year vision for the UAE

In 2022, the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD) launched the Abu Dhabi Environmental Centennial 2071, which it described as “a shared, comprehensive environmental vision for the emirate for the next 50 years, and a commitment to making Abu Dhabi the best in the world in environmental conservation.”

“The Environmental Centennial 2071 has been developed with the aim of playing an active role in achieving the leadership’s vision for the next 50 years. It strengthens Abu Dhabi’s global position in environmental conservation by setting future visions, goals and plans that align with future global megatrends and the UAE’s long-term visions, as well as future pressures, goals and practices,” EAD wrote at the time.

On Wednesday, EAD announced the results of progress made over the past year in implementing the first Abu Dhabi Plan, part of the path to achieving the goals of the Environmental Centennial 2071. The first plan runs from 2023 to 2025.

According to EAD, a total of 212 experts achieved 195 achievements and positive results in 2023, while its partners also achieved 32 achievements and positive results outside the 2023-2025 Environmental Centennial programs.

These partners included the Ministry of Municipalities and Transport, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Government Support, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Abu Dhabi Mobility and Abu Dhabi Maritime.

EAD and its partners aimed to implement the three strategic paths of the Centenary, including the 65 action programmes, of which 14 have been completed.

Three paths

The first pathway, Vibrant Emirate Thriving in Nature, includes 23 action programmes, including planting over one million mangrove seeds using drone technology to achieve sustainable biodiversity, as well as over 800,000 coral fragments.

In addition, an aquaculture development plan was drawn up in Abu Dhabi, while the locally produced eco-mattresses that support the marine environment in Abu Dhabi Marinas won a global award for innovation in sustainability. A sustainable agricultural development plan was also drawn up in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of increasing water use efficiency and the appropriate use of crops per land type; as a result, the use of recycled water increased to 72%.

As part of the project, a 33-kilometer path was built for micro-transport, such as cycling and walking, and an air purification tower was opened on Al Hudayriat Island, which purifies 30,000 cubic meters of water per hour.

Finally, to create an optimal environment for a healthy society, a roadmap was developed for the establishment of a One Health System for Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with international universities.

The second pathway, known as Green Force Resilient to Climate Change, includes 23 action programs, such as the five-year Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy, which includes 85 projects managed by 15 entities with the aim of reducing emissions by 22%.

It also includes The Abu Dhabi Energy Outlook 2050, a long-term framework for a gradual transition to carbon neutrality. Other initiatives include deploying technologies and practices to ensure the agricultural sector becomes climate-conscious and launching the pilot phase of the Carbon Calculator for the hospitality sector.

Currently, 45% of Abu Dhabi’s total energy mix is ​​clean energy. EAD attributes this to the operation of the Barakah 3 nuclear power plant and the Al Dhafra solar power plant.

The pathway also includes a strategy to reduce food loss and waste, with the aim of achieving a circular economy and zero waste. Part of this includes 70 vending machines and 26 smart containers that can collect used single-use plastic bottles, which have been placed across the emirate; so far, they have collected more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste.

The third pathway, called Enablers for Future Environmental Leadership, comprises 19 action programs, with a focus on strengthening Abu Dhabi’s environmental leadership. This includes publishing landmark discoveries regarding the oasis environment at five national and international conferences, while 13 facilities were awarded the Green Industries Environmental Label for their contributions to adopting sustainable practices.

The path also includes six guidelines for sustainable tourism, covering cultural and heritage sites, events, food and beverages, hotels, entertainment, travel agencies and tourism travel. So far, more than 2,000 users have registered for the Middle East’s first free green e-learning platform and three new courses have been launched, while 400 publications, such as electronic and audio books, have been converted into digital copies and two books have been published on topics related to environmental awareness.

An electronic course on green development policies was developed, which has been completed by more than 2,000 government officials. In addition, a training programme for government leaders on public policies on sustainability frameworks was organised in collaboration with international universities.

Finally, the Abu Dhabi Environmental Research Network (ADERN) was established, comprising eight universities and over 250 members promoting innovation in green science and technology. Several research projects were carried out on board the research vessel Jaywun, including an atmospheric research voyage that visited 25 countries and eight seas.

(Image source: lonelyplanet.com)

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