UAE, leading the way in eco protection - GulfToday

UAE, leading the way in eco protection


Representational image.

“We only have one home, one shelter - Earth,” said Dr. Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

“Therefore, we all need to scale up our efforts and expedite global environmental and climate action to chart a better future for the current and next generations.”

This statement is very apt and merits a lot of thought.

Global annual spending to protect and restore nature needs to triple this decade to about $350 billion by 2030 and rise to $536 billion by 2050, a UN report said recently, urging a shift in mindset among financiers, businesses and governments.

The inaugural State of Finance for Nature report looked at how to tackle the planet’s climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises, estimating about $8 trillion in investment would be needed by mid-century to safeguard natural systems.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said, “Our health, the quality of our lives, our jobs, temperature regulation, the housing we build and of course the food we eat, the water we drink” all depend on well-functioning natural systems, she said.

Noting that protecting land from degradation and desertification has been a cornerstone of the UAE’s approach to safeguarding and sustaining the environment and its biodiversity since the founding of the UAE in 1971, Minister Al Nuaimi outlined the myriad programmes and initiatives it has implemented in this regard.

He highlighted the National Biodiversity Strategy and the National Strategy to Combat Desertification 2014-2021, and the Blue Carbon Project, aerial mapping of agricultural areas, the Nakheelna initiative, organic farming support schemes, and the expansion of the overall area and number of farms producing organic crops.

Additionally, Minister Al Nuaimi noted that the UAE has increased the number of its protected areas. In 2020, the UAE added five new such areas, for a total of 49 preserves comprising 15.5 per cent of the country’s territory.

Nations will have to rethink economic growth as a measure of success if they want to make good on pledges to halt the destruction of the natural world, according to a British government-backed report published recently.

“Nature is our home,” said Partha Dasgupta, an economist at the University of Cambridge who led the study. “Good economics demands we manage it better.”

The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect US leadership in the fight against global warming.

The UAE has expanded its clean energy sector in record time due to its laws and legislation that encourage investment in current developments and future projects.

Speaking on the occasion of the UAE National Environment Day, which is marked on the 4th of February, Sheikh Khalifa said, “The preservation of the environment is a shared responsibility by all. During the event each year, efforts are made to highlight an environmental goal of national importance.”

President Khalifa said that values and practices related to the sustainability of the environment are an integral part of the UAE heritage.

He added that the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, expressed this sentiment when he said, “We take from our environment as much as we need, and ensure the rights of future generations.”

His Highness indicated that our government has taken this saying as an approach, and translated it into policies, strategies, legislation, plans and programmes to ensure a positive balance between requirements of economic, social growth, and environmental conservation.

His Highness said that the UAE would be doubling efforts to reach sustainability goals as part of a major drive to provide “a clean and safe environment that contributes to providing prosperity and happiness for us and for future generations.”

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