UAE: 25th National Environment Day to unveil Climate Action Now theme – News

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The country is gearing up for a host of events as it is set to host COP-28 next year.



Nawal Al Ruwaihi, Education and Awareness Officer at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). Photo provided

Published: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 17:42

Last update: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 18:44

The UAE, a young nation, will celebrate its 25th National Environment Day on Friday, February 4.

Khaleej Times spoke with Nawal Al Ruwaihi, Education and Awareness Officer at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), to get an idea of ​​how the country plans to celebrate this momentous occasion as it prepares to host the Conference of Parties (COP-28) next year.

Edited excerpts from an exclusive interview with Al Ruwaihi:

How will MOCCAE mark the 25th National Environment Day on Friday?

This year’s edition of National Environment Day is held under the theme “Climate Action Now”. Activities will continue for four months – from February 4 to June 5 – which coincides with National Environment Day and World Environment Day.

On this important occasion, we renew our commitment to address the environmental challenges facing our planet, highlight the constant attention that our wise leaders give to environmental work and describe the achievements of the various authorities concerned with the protection of the environment. We also take this opportunity to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage community involvement in solving them.

How has National Environment Day evolved over the years?

We have celebrated National Environment Day on February 4 since 1998, which coincides with the date of establishment of the Federal Environment Agency, the first integrated government entity concerned with environmental affairs at the national level. The entity was abolished in 2009 and transferred its mandates to MOCCAE.

Each year was devoted to a different theme until 2011, when celebrations took the form of three-year cycles around a theme. In 2020, the event reverted to adopting a new theme each year. The themes covered a wide range of environmental, climate and sustainability topics – from ‘clean air for a better environment’ to ‘vibrant desert’.

Where does the UAE’s commitment to environmental protection come from?

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of our culture and tradition, anchored by our ancestors, who designed ways to live in harmony with nature.

The founding father of the United Arab Emirates, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, known as “the man of the environment”, once said: “We cherish our environment because it is an integral part of our country, of our history and heritage. On land and at sea, our ancestors lived and survived in this environment. They could only do so because they recognized the need to conserve it, to derive only what they needed to live and preserve it for future generations.

This wisdom has been central to the UAE’s relationship with the environment since the country’s inception and continues to shape its future vision.

What policy frameworks have been formulated to enhance sustainability, economic diversification, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and responsible resource consumption?

We have adopted several long-term national strategies to achieve these goals. These include the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030, UAE General Environmental Policy 2021, UAE National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, National Adaptation Program climate change, the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the UAE’s green growth strategy. , the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031, the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the National Wildlife Sustainability Program.

These documents guide our transition to a climate-resilient green economy while managing greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing climate risks and increasing adaptive capacities to climate change through strong engagement of the private sector and government. other key stakeholders.

What is the next step for the MOCCAE on the environmental level?

This week we celebrate the 50th addition to our network of protected areas – the Al Wathba Desert Dunes Protected Area. Protected areas play a key role in conserving biodiversity and preserving our environment for future generations.

In addition, preparations are underway for Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week at Expo 2020 Dubai from February 17-23, followed by Water Week – the final themed week. of the Expo – from March 20 to 26. These events provide an ideal platform to explore sustainability. solutions to the greatest challenges facing the world.

We are also preparing to host the inaugural Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week at Expo, which will bring together stakeholders from across the region to advance collective climate action.

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