The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) released its annual report for 2013 in both English and Arabic, highlighting its efforts and commitment to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater and the biodiversity of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s desert and marine ecosystem.
In his message, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), said, “EAD focused on implementing programmes and initiatives that help protect the environment and are based on the priorities set by the Abu Dhabi Environment Vision 2030. This Vision is an integral part of a comprehensive programme, approved by the Government of Abu Dhabi, which includes economic, environmental and social policies that will help lead Abu Dhabi towards sustainable development.”
“Successfully achieving our goals in environmental protection will reflect on our environment and our economy, which in turn will benefit our society through the minimizing of environmental risk, enhancing the quality of life, conserving our natural resources for future generations and creating new job opportunities,” H.H. Sheikh Hamdan added.
“We extend our gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their ongoing support for all projects that will benefit future generations,” he concluded.
EAD’s accomplishments, which are summarised in the report, included enhancing strategic planning expertise on waste management, air quality, water, biodiversity, and climate change; acquiring an additional 440 groundwater wells resulting, for the first time, in a comprehensive, transnational monitoring network; receiving international recognition for Al Wathba Wetland Reserve as a Ramsar site; launching the Abu Dhabi Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory; and the successful engagement of the industrial sector, which helped improve compliance and limit the amount of Particulate Matter emitted into the atmosphere.
In his foreword to the report, H.E. Mohammed Al Bowardi, EAD’s Managing Director, said, “Since its establishment in 1996, EAD has played a major role in protecting Abu Dhabi’s public health and ensuring the integrity of the ecosystem through research, development and implementation of key environmental policies and regulations. These efforts have been carried out under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in line with the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, and under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of EAD.”
“As the Emirate of Abu Dhabi continues to develop, it becomes even more critical that EAD strengthen its regulatory and enforcement framework and continue to consolidate knowledge and data for more informed environmental decision-making. One such example this year was when EAD led a pioneering ‘Blue Carbon’ project that has provided us with an unprecedented understanding of how Abu Dhabi’s coastal and marine ecosystems play a critical role in fighting climate change,” H.E Al Bowardi added.
“EAD is committed to working towards achieving its goals, in partnership with its stakeholders on the local and international levels to achieve its mandate and to maintain Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s leading position in environmental sustainability for the benefit of the current and future generations,” H.E Al Bowardi said.
Commenting on EAD 2013 achievements, H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD’s Secretary General, said, “EAD successfully achieved significant milestones within the environment protection roadmap which we put forth in our strategy including government-wide environmental strategies and policies, elevating the understanding and execution of environmental activities on the national agenda.”
EAD’s other key accomplishments include conducting 637 inspections of facilities to ensure compliance with permit conditions and issuing around 1,000 violations, some of which related to inefficient record keeping, inadequate employee training and the transfer of hazardous materials.
Moving forward, EAD will continue to address key priorities on its agenda, including: implementing an effective environmental regulatory and policy framework for Abu Dhabi; conserving groundwater through integrated water resources management; conserving and protecting biodiversity; ensuring the air is clean and minimising climate change and its impacts; and promoting sustainable communities.
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