RAS AL KHAIMAH, Dr. Saif Mohammed Al Ghais, Director-General of the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras al-Khaimah, said that the authority has contributed to the UAE's first position in the Gulf region, the Middle East region and the Asian continent, as well as 28th internationally, in the "Ocean Health Index 2018."

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, he explained the country's journey on environmental action, which follows the vision of the founding leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a model to follow and established the foundations of protecting the environment and its resources.

He added that the authority had a key role in the UAE's 39th place internationally in the category of "Water Impact on Human Health" and 44th internationally in the category of "Fishing," through monitoring and implementing legislation to regulate fishing.

Regarding the country's efforts to sustain its fisheries and other environmental ecosystems, Al Ghais stressed that their main focus is to achieve sustainability and make fishermen happy while adding that raising awareness is the best way to achieve sustainability.

He further added that the authority launched an initiative to make fishermen happy, through smart cards that can be charged with credit when they protect the maritime environment, and these points can be used to receive free services related to housing, anchors, storage and others.

Al Ghais highlighted the Ramadan tolerance Iftar table initiative and compensation initiative for fishermen, as well as the availability of free medical check-ups and competitions for the best fisherman who follow laws. He also highlighted the authority's efforts to turn 1,000 sea caves into habitat for fish, as well as the leaders forum for the maritime environment protection, which saw the planting of over 600 mangrove trees.

He also spoke about the effects of climate change, such as global warming and hurricanes, and noted that the authority organised the first conference on global warming in the country in 2011, as well as activities to raise environmental awareness among the community and perform environmental monitoring on various industries.

The authority has accomplished many achievements and received many awards, Al Ghais said in conclusion.

Source: Emirates News Agency