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UAE introduces farming technology to sustain resources: Minister of Environment says on Afforestation Week

posted on 02/03/2015: 2935 views

Increasing the celebrations during the UAE's Afforestation Week underscores the government's determination to move forward on the course charted by the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, said Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water.

'The wise leadership, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates, has made landmark achievements. Progress has come in the expansion of greenery, a key component in urban planning, and other policies, including the use of lands, establishment of nature reserves, conservation of biodiversity, combating desertification, protection of ecologically sensitive areas, management of air quality in urban centres and reducing the impact of climate change,' the minister said in a statement recognising the 35th Afforestation Week. This year's celebrations seek to highlight the role of smart innovations and advanced technologies in afforestation and horticulture, and to raise public awareness about sustainability of the vegetation cover and conservation of local plants and habitats.

The minister opened the Week at the Official Park in Abu Dhabi, under the theme ‘Together let us plant the UAE'.

He added that innovations and modern systems were important to the agricultural sector in the UAE and had consolidated its resilience to tackle challenges regarding afforestation, expansion of greenery, scarcity of water, inclement weather conditions and poor soil.

'Through optimum use of innovations, modern techniques and accumulated experiences of sustainable traditional practices, we have managed to overcome many challenges and pressures by introducing advanced irrigation methods, better management of water resources, the wide use of treated water, deployment of renewable energy sources to desalinate water in wells in farms and forests, and planting new species that are responsive to the type of water, soil and climate in our country,' he noted.

The minister further stressed the need for investing in 2015, as a year of innovation and approved by the Federal Cabinet under the directives of the President, and the National Innovation Strategy, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to pursue research and development to seek innovative solutions that strike a balance between the nation's ambitions to achieve a modern, successful agricultural revolution, environmental considerations and the protection of resources.

The Ministry, he said, launched the Agricultural Innovation Centre last year, together with international partners, to adopt and encourage innovations that better suit arid regions.

Nationwide celebrations will feature the opening of new parks and nurseries, the distribution of plants, public awareness lectures and workshops. Afforestation Week is an annual event that aims to promote environmental sustainability through the dissemination of awareness messages directed to all segments of society.

The launch of the week comes in the context of highlighting smart technologies and innovations in agriculture, landscaping and aesthetic spheres, and to further enhance sustainability awareness among community members, while preserving local plants in their natural habitats and encouraging their use in reforestation projects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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