ABU DHABI, 10th December, 2017 (WAM) — The region’s first Clean Air Forum and Future Air Quality Technology Exhibition by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, and the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, ADDED, was opened today by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The event began with a welcome address by Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the EAD, followed by a keynote speech by Khaleefa Salem Al Mansoori, Under-Secretary of ADDED.
The EAD in its ‘Abu Dhabi State of Environment Report 2017’ has observed that trends in sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions are consistent with increases in electricity production, water desalination, motor vehicles and various industrial fuel combustion activities. Ozone is emitted from oil and gas activities, some industrial processes, petrol stations and transport, as well as from biogenic sources such as vegetation. Ambient air quality monitoring measurements indicate that these pollutants generally remain within national limits. Background levels of particulate matter remain high in the Abu Dhabi Emirate due to the arid nature of the region.
“Air pollution is the world’s single largest health risk according to the WHO and over 3.7 million deaths per annum are attributed to outdoor air pollution. It is therefore in all of our interests as global citizens to find workable solutions to tackle the problem of air pollution for the health and well-being of our people. We need to create a step-change in our ability to improve our environmental sustainability. This requires better monitoring of air quality, understanding of data, regulation of emitters and enforcement mechanisms. We need improved awareness and understanding of the issues; new, better, innovative technologies and stronger public–private sector partnerships to bring about the changes that we must implement. Undoubtedly, this step-change will create numerous commercial opportunities to contribute to the Green Economy,” said Razan Mubarak.
“Sustainability is a key pillar within UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Plan. Bringing together federal and local authorities and experts from various industries and economic, environmental and health pillars of society, the Forum highlights the latest research, techniques and methodologies to improve air quality, but I hope it will also be a catalyst for future collaboration and development,” she continued.
In Abu Dhabi, the environment agency manages 20 ambient air quality monitoring stations and from 2014 these were linked with networks managed by ADWEA, ZonesCorp, ADNOC, Dubai Municipality and the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology to provide a more holistic coverage of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. These stations monitor particulate matter – PM10, PM2.5 – as well as ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.
Al Mansoori added, “The UAE is one of the world’s fastest developing countries, and with rapid growth comes a need for proactive efforts to ensure the highest quality of life for our citizens and residents. In line with the UAE Vision 2021, we are collaborating closely with strategic government and private sector partners including the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Industrial Development Bureau to improve the performance of the industrial sector and reduce the level and impact of air pollutants through legislation, regulations and policies, safeguarding the continued success of our nation.”