Programme will make air quality a national priority to help bring to fruition vision of sustainable development
On the sidelines of the 6th Green Economy Annual Conference held in May, the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), Dubai Municipality, Fujairah Municipality, the Municipality and Planning Department in Ajman and Sharjah Municipality for the launch of the UAE Air Quality Network. According to the press communiqué announcing the launch, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the establishment of the network while attending the brainstorming sessions for the Government Creative Laboratory, an initiative organised by the Ministry in October 2014.
Commenting on the MoU, H.E. Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water, said that the launch of the UAE Air Quality Network is the realisation of the policies to achieve the vision of sustainable development set by the wise leadership and that it reinforces the Ministry’s eagerness to motivate all the parties to undertake more endeavours to enhance the efforts of promoting environmental sustainability in the country.
Dr Bin Fahad further stated that the UAE Air Quality Network is expected to contribute to the development of a comprehensive and integrated national strategy that will place the preservation of the environment and the improvement of air quality among the country’s priorities. The MoU signing, he said, demonstrated the vital role played by the federal and other competent authorities in the implementation of the project to raise the level of air quality by up to 90% by 2021.
As per the communiqué, under the terms of the MoU, regular meetings will be held to discuss technical and operational issues of the network. All parties will also collaborate to use a standardised mechanism to measure pollutants and calculate daily the air quality index as well as the index concentrations of particulate matter, among others. Moreover, the communiqué added, the parties will organise seminars, joint workshops and training programmes to promote the exchange of expertise and build the capacity of workers in the field of air quality monitoring.
UAE MoEW attends the 35th GCC Undersecretaries for Environmental Affairs’ Meeting
Forum spotlights regional initiatives aimed at resolving environmental issues
The Ministry of Environment and Water represented the UAE in the 35th GCC Undersecretaries for Environmental Affairs’ Meeting, held recently in Doha, Qatar. The delegation, as per a press statement, was headed by H.E. Abdul Rahim Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs, and included representatives from the Ministry and local authorities.
The meeting reportedly focused on topics concerning joint work, with the aim of developing and implementing plans and programmes for overcoming regional environmental challenges. The plans and programmes that were discussed, the statement said, included cooperation with other countries as well as with regional and international organisations, such as the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia and the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment. (ROPME)
According to the statement, the forum reviewed a study on the establishment of the GCC Environmental Monitoring Center and addressed developments on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Kyoto Protocol, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.