Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, called for greater cooperation, greater efforts and more actions in implementing policies to protect biodiversity in the United Arab Emirates, revealing that almost half (46.7 percent) of the country’s mammal species are now at risk of extinction .
He made this statement at a meeting of climate and biodiversity experts held yesterday in Al Ain. The fifth in a series of eight. COP28 Agents of Change Majlis The sessions were held at Al Ain Zoo at the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE). The series consists of eight sessions that will take place ahead of the launch of the UAE COP28 later this month.
Almheiri presided over the Majlis, with the session moderated by Hiba Al Shehhi, acting director of the MoCCAE Biodiversity Department. Attendees at the Majlis included local climate leaders and innovators from government, private sector, industry, education and other key sectors, including representatives from Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, Al Ain Municipality, Al Ain Zoo , as well as private sector companies. and academic and research institutions.
The Majlis also saw several leaders of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment In attendance, including Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry, Dr. Mohammed Al Hammadi, Deputy Undersecretary for the Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector, Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Acting Deputy Undersecretary of the Green Development Climate Change Sector and Atheiba Al-Qaidi, acting deputy assistant secretary for the sustainable communities sector.
Speaking at the event, Almheiri saying,
“Al Ain is the city of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The city is a haven for our flora and fauna, with its 3,000-acre ancient oasis (the first natural UNESCO World Heritage site in the UAE) and the zoo, a sanctuary for some 4,000 animals, demonstrating a work incredible every day to protect our biodiversity. . Improving biodiversity is key to addressing climate change, as efforts to preserve nature are affected by climate change.”
He highlighted that while the UAE has a strong record of preserving nature and biodiversity, we must continue to do more to protect our ecosystems. He added that the UAE has 49 protected areas and many programs to preserve endangered species.
He reminded guests of the far-reaching policies the UAE has in place, including UAE National Biodiversity Strategy and the UAE National Invasive Species Strategy Action Planthat serve as a testament to the country’s commitment to protecting its species and habitats.
The nation, he reminded guests at the Majlis, has committed to planting 100 million mangroves by 2030 and enjoys a reputation for its effective breeding and reintroduction programs for several endangered species, including the houbara bustard, the Arabian leopard and the Arab tahr, along with numerous projects committed to corals. rehabilitation.
The state of local species diversity has been evaluated through the UAE National Red List Projectwhich assesses the risk of extinction of 1,167 species and identifies species in danger of extinction.
The Minister added,
“We must work to resolve the challenges we face in protecting vulnerable or endangered species, identify areas of weakness, and discuss avenues for progress and collaboration. To ensure we protect nature and our biodiversity, we must encourage greater cooperation, research and effective policy implementation.”
She challenged attendees to consider what more they could do to support these efforts.
The Majlis discussion considered best practice ideas and programs at the local level and saw a discussion on how to scale them up in other settings.
Ways to improve the role of the private sector in the country’s biodiversity programs were also reviewed, such as providing care for animals, transporting them, and implementing programs to preserve and multiply endangered species. The event also emphasized the need to link the contribution of the private sector with the government by providing specific incentives to companies participating in these efforts.
The Majlis expressed great interest in raising public awareness about nature, organizing trips to explore nature at night and awakening the interest of children and young people to see the animals, birds, reptiles, insects and wildlife that enjoy the deserts of the country. The meeting also called for greater attention to nature to improve community happiness.
As part of its efforts to increase environmental awareness, the Majlis noted the need to raise awareness among various social groups, including determined people, by developing environmental education programs in sign language, highlighting the need to introduce cultural environment in school curricula. because the preservation of the environment begins with education. Attendees also pointed out the need to train teachers in such curricula.
The Majlis highlighted the need to increase efforts to recycle water used in green area irrigation facilities to improve the preservation of nature and maximize its benefits, especially within cities.
He COP28 Majlis, change agents of the United Arab Emirates The series, which is supported by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, is a high-level, aspirational and action-oriented conversation that focuses on realizing the UAE’s bold ambitions to advance innovative climate solutions.
As part of the COP28 Presidency team’s efforts to ensure inclusion in the crucial talks, which begin in just nine days, each Emirate has hosted, or will soon host, a Majlis.
Hosting a curated group of influential local leaders, the events represent the opportunity to discuss specific climate change challenges and co-design clear, workable solutions.
The objective of the Majlis, exchange agents of the United Arab Emirates The trend is to bring together local climate leaders and innovators, in a way that creates new avenues for them to discuss climate, sustainability and Net Zero opportunities, challenges and partnerships, while highlighting the role each plays in moving forward. of national climate goals leading up to before, during and after COP28.
News source: Emirates News Agency