UAE Council for Climate Change assesses environmental initiatives

DUBAI, 19th February, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment today held its first meeting of 2019 at the National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan, managed by the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, presided over the meeting.

Dr Al Zeyoudi highlighted the importance of the Council’s meetings in charting the way forward for projects and initiatives that address the UAE’s most crucial environmental challenges.

The Council members took stock of the progress achieved to date on the four initiatives announced at the Environment and Municipalities Working Group meeting held as part of the UAE Government Annual Meetings in November 2018.

As a first order of business, the Council tabled the imperative need to implement the Climate Change Federal Law. The draft law, once passed by the Cabinet, will help address the projected climate change challenges and their implications on the UAE’s social and economic sectors. The new law will stipulate the prerequisites to ensure preparedness in terms of procedures and regulations. It will cover four key areas, namely organizing and managing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring climate change adaptation, governance (roles and responsibilities), and mandatory and voluntarily mitigation and adaptation reports. Council members also discussed the timeframe for drafting the law.

The second topic on the agenda was the Smart Early Warning System for Biological Security. Piloted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the nationwide smart system will document reports pertaining to animal diseases and agricultural pests, and will also send notifications related to local and imported foods and biological security threats. Specifically, the system aims to provide a national platform for all community members to report cases of disease outbreaks, agricultural pests or food-related incidents.

The meeting highlighted the progress of the Unified Framework for Controlling Stray and Predatory Animals initiative. With a focus on monitoring and evaluating the status quo and establishing a unified mechanism to control stray animals and predators, the framework, once implemented, will reduce the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans and help avoid traffic accidents caused by stray animals. Ultimately, enhanced animal control will mitigate the threats posed by animals to people’s safety, properties and biodiversity.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed

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