Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
This year is the 28th year of “World Water Day” and on its eve, two women leaders, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) director general Audrey Azoulay and UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security Mariam Almheiri called on everyone to contribute to the sustainable conservation and use of this valuable global resource which man and the biodiversity could not live without.
Specifically, Azoulay, and as recorded via You Tube, called on all governments for co-operation towards water management and use. She said water should not be taken for granted and not commodified. She stressed that the 443 million days wasted by school-children, unable to attend classes due to water-related issues, and the 200 million hours, utilised by girls and women who bear the brunt of fetching water and managing whatever they collect, would be resolved if everyone becomes responsible and act.
Almheiri in a press statement said the UAE is committed to conserving and managing water resources. One way is through the adoption of advanced water technology in collaboration as well as partnerships with public and private institutions.
On Sunday and email interviewed regarding water recycling, Gulf-Israel Ventures founder/chairman Asher Fredman from Jerusalem, Israel, said: “The best way to conserve and ensure access to water, while protecting the environment and reducing costs, is through water recycling. This is especially true in countries with low rainfall, dry climates, and rapidly growing population. Water recycling prevents the use up and damage of natural water sources. It reduces the need for desalination (which is extremely costly and requires high emissions.)”
Fredman said that since the 1950s and owing to the semi-aridness of Israel with 60 per cent of its South a desert, government and private entities were able to research on and develop water technology infrastructures and systems: “Israel now recycles approximately 90 per cent of its water. Nearly all of its agricultural water is recycled. This water recycling, together with the building of advanced desalination plants, has allowed the country to become a water exporter to other countries like Jordan.”
It was in 1992 and at the Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) “United Nations Conference and Environment when member-states agreed to dedicate a day for the promotion of awareness and continuing education on freshwater and its sources, beginning 1993. UNESCO has a valuable role in this advocacy alongside other UN affiliates like the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
In an effort to share its pioneering experience with the world, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), showcased its “Global Benchmarking Framework and Data Set for Online, Open, Smart and Technology-enhanced Higher Education” while participating in the UnescoMobile Learning Week 2019, held recently in Paris.
The UAE called on the UN to hold Member States accountable for terrorism financing during a UN Security Council Open Debate on combating terrorism financing presided by France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has said that the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support should be commended for making the refugee issue more relatable by bringing the human face of the crisis to the fore.
The 2021 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, will lead the list of international literary luminaries from 13 countries who will participate in the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2021), which takes place from November 3 – 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah. A host of 15 literary greats from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be joining this group of global participants.
The Court of Appeal in Dubai upheld a ruling issued by the Court of First Instance sentencing a gang of three Asians to one year to be followed by deportation and fining them Dhs1,700 after being convicted of assaulting a grocer and stealing a sun of money equal to the fine.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) issued a decision administratively shutting down “Al Madad Refreshments” on Al Salam Street in Abu Dhabi, which holds trade license number CN-1030302, for violating Law No 2 of 2008 regarding food safety in Abu Dhabi.
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.