ABU DHABI, The UAE Government launched four new initiatives in a bid to develop work mechanisms in both the environment and municipality sectors in different regions across the UAE. The initiatives aim to promote the National Animal Welfare Plan, increase local agricultural and livestock production, and promote awareness about the concept of climate change and related measures amongst all entities in the UAE.

The announcement took place during the Environment and Municipalities Working Group meeting held in line with the UAE Government Annual Meetings in Abu Dhabi. The meeting aimed to mobilise efforts of local and federal entities in the UAE to reduce and anticipate the effects of climate change and achieve the readiness requirements to address them. This can be achieved by adopting procedures and laws to protect the environment, develop agricultural and livestock production, reduce biological hazards and vector-borne diseases.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, asserted that the UAE is making significant efforts to curb the impact of climate change and achieve sustainable economic growth, within the framework of the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE National Plan for Climate Change 2050. These significant instruments developed an integrated national framework to unify efforts and boost cooperation between the public and private sectors, to ultimately serve the interests of the UAE on both the local and international levels.

He further commended the efforts of the Working Groups working in the UAE Government Annual Meetings, the largest national meeting of its kind, held under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He added that the main objective of these meetings is to launch strategies and initiatives that would enhance the UAE's developmental model and foster its march towards the UAE Centennial 2071.

Al Zeyoudi pinpointed that the participation of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in the meetings, and the related workshops focused on developing various initiatives pertaining to the environment, further enhance the UAE's prominent stature in achieving sustainability in all sectors, promoting climate security, and supporting environment and natural resources preservation.

The initiatives included drafting a Federal Law for Climate Change, developing a Smart Early Warning System for Biological Security, setting a National Plan for Enhancing Local Agricultural and Livestock Production, and finding a Unified Framework for Controlling Stray and Predatory Animals.

Artificial Intelligence to Combat Agricultural Pests The UAE Government aims to use artificial intelligence, AI, to combat agricultural pests; monitor crops; increase and diversify food production to enhance local food security and reduce dependence on imported food products. It also aims to support local products in markets; develop sustainable agricultural systems; shift towards technology that is suitable to the local environment; and adopt remote sensing techniques for crop growth and livestock monitoring across the UAE.

Smart Early Warning System for Biological Security The Smart Early Warning System for Biological Security initiative seeks to develop a nationwide smart e-system that documents reports pertaining to animal diseases, agricultural pests, notifications related to local and imported foods and biological security. This aims to provide a national platform for all community members to report cases of disease outbreaks, agricultural pests or food-related incidents.

The platform will include representatives from the Ministry and other relevant entities to follow up on reports about animal diseases, agricultural pests or food-related incidents. It will also unify reporting procedures, accelerate collection and documentation of relevant information and take the appropriate actions related to enforcing or lifting bans.

A National Plan for Enhancing Local Agricultural and Livestock Production The UAE Government also launched the National Plan for Enhancing Local Agricultural and Livestock Production initiative in a bid to prepare a unified and accurate database for agricultural and livestock production and unify agricultural and veterinary guidelines. It also aims to enable farmers and livestock breeders to manage agricultural and livestock production in a way that preserves sustainability of natural resources and yield commercial benefits to cover a substantial part of local consumption.

Federal Law for Climate Change The Climate Change Federal Law initiative involves drafting a federal law that keeps pace with anticipated climate change challenges and their implications on the social and economic sectors. The law will establish the necessary prerequisites to ensure preparedness, in terms of procedures and regulations. It will cover four key areas, namely; organising and managing greenhouse gas emissions; ensuring climate change adaptation; governance, roles and responsibilities; and mandatory and voluntarily mitigation and adaptation reports.

Unified Framework for Controlling Stray and Predatory Animals The Unified Framework for Controlling Stray and Predatory Animals initiative will focus on monitoring and evaluating the status quo; establishing a unified mechanism to control stray animals and predators through public- private coordination; and involving community members to reduce the numbers of such animals and better control them.

Work Mechanism Fostering the Spirit of Integration The UAE Government Annual Meetings represent a work mechanism designed to enhance government integration at the federal and local levels and reflect the visions and goals of the UAE wise leadership. The meetings are chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and with the participation of Their Highnesses the Crown Princes, and 500 ministers and officials from various local and federal government entities.

Source: Emirates News Agency