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Eye of Riyadh
Environment & Energy | Wednesday 5 June, 2024 8:55 am |
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UAE attaches great importance to combating desertification and drought: Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, highlighted the importance of this year’s World Environment Day theme, noting the far-reaching impact drought and desertification have on different sectors and aspects of life, and the urgent need to rehabilitate degraded land.

 

She noted the poignance of the UAE being a desert nation, and discussed some of the measures the country has taken to mitigate drought risk and improve food security.

 

In her statement marking World Environment Day, she said, "The slogan ‘Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration’ for this year’s World Environment Day, perfectly captures the mindset that is gathering pace across governments, organisations, businesses, and communities the world over. It encapsulates both the positivity and dedication that will result in our generation being talked about as the one that changed habits, innovated, and found new, sustainable ways to drive global economies. This year’s Environment Day theme of land restoration, desertification and drought resilience addresses vital aspects of climate action. The effects of land degradation are felt across critical sectors, including energy, infrastructure, health, and agriculture. The UAE has experienced first-hand the impact of climate change on its environments, and we know what is to come if we don’t act now.”

 

The Minister added, "In the UAE, we have implemented strategies to directly address the UN’s fifteenth Sustainable Development goal of Life on Land. Through our National Adaptation Plan and Biodiversity Strategy, we are working to protect our land by rehabilitating degraded areas and halting further degradation. The UAE is one of the few countries to have expanded its mangrove cover and we are helping others to do the same. We set an ambitious target to plant an additional 100 million mangroves by 2030, and we are well on course to achieve that target. At COP27, we partnered with Indonesia to launch the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC). Work has already begun on a new mangrove research center in Bali, Indonesia, backed by $10 million of UAE investment. This important partnership leverages expertise and resources aimed at scaling up and accelerating mangrove conservation, restoration, and resilience.”

 

“In December 2023, at COP28, we built on existing relationships and led global efforts to tackle climate change, championing collaboration as the key to success. We announced a formal partnership between MAC and the Mangrove Breakthrough to halt mangrove destruction by 2030. The new partnership represents 49 governments, around 60% of the world’s mangroves, and over 50 non-state actors. The initiative is committed to investing $17 billion in climate-smart agriculture and food systems through our AIM for Climate global initiative with the US. These partnerships are turning the tide on poor land conditions and desertification in regions most vulnerable to climate change.”

 

Dr. Amna Al Dahak continued, "As a desert nation, in the UAE we recognize water as the precious resource that it is. Earlier this year, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, launched the Mohamed bin Zayed Water initiative to confront the urgent challenge of water scarcity around the world. Through the initiative, we will accelerate the pace of technological innovation to protect countries like ours against the threat of drought. The initiative will also drive investment for the benefit of current and future generations.”

 

She concluded, "By pooling resources and expertise to protect and restore land, we can begin to transform our economies and drive growth through sustainable practices.”

 

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