A delegation made up of federal and local government entities from the United Arab Emirates recently concluded a visit to Singapore and Japan, to examine best practices in air quality management through a series of formal meetings and field visits in both countries.
The delegation, headed by Dr. Mohamed Yousef Al Madfaei, Executive Director of Policy and Planning for Integrated Environment , Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), included representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), the General Secretariat of the Executive Council (GSEC), the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the Industry Development Office, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
The delegation was briefed on Singapore’s experience in air quality management, and met with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency which has enforced strict regulations and procedures to reduce air pollutants, especially in the transportation sector. Singaporean representatives showcased the tools and mechanisms used: rolling out traffic fines during peak hours to ease the congestion and reduce pollution, as well as a regulation related to the number of allowed registered vehicles and their specifications.
The UAE delegation also visited a centre for screening vehicles, which included advanced procedures that helped ensure the compliance of vehicles to the allowed limited noise and gas emissions. Furthermore, the delegation was introduced to Singapore’s experience in indoor air quality management due to its significant relevance to the dense indoor population.
In Japan, the delegation met with representatives from the ministries of Environment and Economy, and visited Tokyo, where the delegation was introduced to Japan’s experience in air pollution reduction, particularly from industrial and transportation sectors. The delegation was also introduced to Kawasaki’s air quality management experience and the use of an integrated pollutants monitoring system across the city through geographically distributed stations, and private stations in areas with heavy traffic congestion.
The visit also included an introduction to air quality monitoring stations and the electronic connectivity mechanisms used between stations, how pollutants are being monitored and measured, and the tools used to provide residents with information about air quality through various communications channels.
The delegation concluded their visit to Japan by meeting with H.E. Saeed Ali Yousuf Al Nowais, UAE Ambassador to Japan, where he was briefed on the outcome of the visit.. On this occasion, H.E. Al Nowais discussed the growing relations and ties between Japan and the UAE and the government’s efforts in benefiting from Japanese technologies across various sectors including medical and environmental.
Commenting on the visit, Dr. Mohamed Yousef Al Madfaei, said: “This visit is in line with EAD’s efforts in cooperation with various federal and local governmental entities, to develop a strategic air quality management system for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The visit allowed us to benefit from the expertise and successful air quality management methodologies adopted in both countries.”
“What we have done so far in Abu Dhabi is not very different from what was achieved in these countries in terms of air quality monitoring; however there is room for improvement. We plan to immediately proceed in developing an action plan that could be followed in the Emirate to achieve dynamic outdoor and indoor air quality. This visit is a testament to the combined efforts of various bodies in Abu Dhabi that are working together towards providing clean air, ensuring a healthy and safe environment for the Emirate’s residents,” Dr. Al Madfaei concluded.
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