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UAE devises green strategy to unify existing policies

posted on 18/12/2013: 2525 views

A road map for a cleaner and greener UAE is ready and will be presented to the Cabinet next week.

The National Green Growth Strategy aims to unify the seven emirates' environment policies and develop initiatives in seven key sectors across the country.

"This week we had our last committee meeting,” said Dr Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water. "This week or the next, we will present it to the Cabinet.

"Last year we had a national dialogue with all sectors on ways to transform the UAE economy into a green economy, concentrating on the important sectors. All sectors have agreed on a road map and the means to achieve it.”

Dr bin Fahad was speaking in Dubai to announce the UAE's hosting of the first Global Partnership for Action on Green Economy conference in March next year.

The event, organised with the United Nations Environment Programme, will see world leaders, corporations, scientists and researchers convene in Dubai.

It will build on last year's Rio+20 UN conference in Brazil on sustainable development.

"Green economy is considered as one of the important solutions to solve and rectify the impacts of development on the environment,” Dr bin Fahad said.

"We in the UAE are already green and having such a conference is testimony of the UAE's progress. It is for the world to see for themselves the UAE's projects on sustainability and green economy.

"Having this conference supports the UN's efforts and is for us to learn from other countries.”

The ministry this year announced it would develop a unified green action plan within the next nine months for the oil and gas, water and electricity, transport, building, waste, planning and agricultural sectors.

The Green Growth Strategy for Sustainable Development was launched in January last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The new national plan will help integrate the initiatives of the seven emirates, said Aisha Al Abdooli, the ministry's acting assistant Under Secretary for environment affairs.

"We thought we should have all the initiatives under one umbrella. If we have scattered initiatives here and there, you are not serving the purpose,” Ms Al Abdooli said.

"We want to boost the UAE at the international level. The beauty of this strategy is that it builds on existing policies.”

She said that after the strategy was approved by the Cabinet this month, its implementation would begin across the different sectors.

The UN said the Dubai conference would help to create a plan of action for the international community.

"The concept of green economy is mushrooming across the globe,” said Achim Steiner, Under Secretary and executive director of the UN programme.

"The answers we have to find in this day and age will be different from that of the 20th century.

"We are looking forward to this first global conference being the premier platform in which leaders, pioneers, practitioners, policymakers and ministers will come together to assess how successful these policies are, which ones are likely to be replicable in other countries and what can be done for one another.”

Mr Steiner said green economy was not an ideology.

"It is a set of principles that recognise the scientific realities we know today about the limits to pollution and the limits of using nature in a way that will ultimately destroy it if it is not sustainable use,” he said. – The National


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