Al Zeyoudi: UAE aspires to achieve ‘environmental pioneering for sustainable development' in the next five years
Dubai-UAE: 19 December, 2017 – The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) held a media briefing to highlight the mission, vision and strategic objectives outlined in its Fourth Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
Addressing a press conference at the new MOCCAE headquarters in Ruwaiyyah, Dubai, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The Ministry's fourth strategic plan gains added significance in the run up to the UAE's golden jubilee celebrations five years ahead by which time the nation aspires to become one of the best livable countries in the world, as mandated by the UAE Vision 2021.”
His Excellency added: “The strategic plan is based on a comprehensive study of the UAE's environment. It factors in current environmental challenges and trends, results of earlier efforts and relevant international developments, as well as the targets outlined in the UAE Vision 2021 and various national strategies, and those reflected in our international commitments related to the environment and sustainable development.”
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change said: “The Ministry's vision ‘Environmental Pioneering for Sustainable Development' reflects the UAE's goal to achieve sustainable development in the next few years, which is central to the UAE Vision 2021. As sustainability depends mainly on the environment, the Vision 2021 has prioritized it as the primary focus over other social and economic dimensions.”
The Ministry's fourth strategic plan revolves around seven key objectives - promoting environmental health and transition to a green economy, achieving sustainability of natural resources, enhancing food diversity, mitigating climate change, strengthening the enforcement of environmental legislation, fostering a culture of innovation in the workplace, and improving the quality of administrative services.
The first objective – promoting environmental health and the transition to a green economy – seeks to mitigate the negative impact of development on the environment in the UAE. As per this objective, one of the most important goals of the UAE Green Growth Strategy, development can be achieved through optimally leveraging innovative technologies and solutions that reduce the overuse of natural resources.
The second objective – achieving sustainability of natural resources – is largely connected to the first objective. Once development is less dependent on depleting precious natural resources, there will automatically be a reduction in their irrational exploitation.
Recognizing that food security is an integral aspect of our national security system, the fourth strategic plan's third objective – enhancing food diversity – aligns with the Ministry's mandate to preserve the nation's plant, animal and living aquatic resources.
His Excellency said: “Considering the growing demand for food imports, the plan places great emphasis on food safety and ensuring an adequate supply of food from multiple and reliable sources. It includes regulating trade in food products as well as setting up veterinary and agricultural quarantine centers and laboratories that operate in accordance with best practices.”
The fourth objective – mitigating climate change – addresses one of the major global development challenges. To achieve this crucial goal, the Ministry aims to implement a host of programs in the coming years aimed at capacity-building, periodic greenhouse gas emissions reporting, climate resilience and adaptation, and driving large-scale private sector participation in climate work projects.
The fifth objective focuses on strengthening the enforcement of environmental legislation on a national level with five key targets, namely: identifying disparities that prevent the application of legislation across the board, proposing solutions to the issues, establishing a database of facilities under the Ministry's jurisdiction, developing monitoring and inspection systems leveraging state-of-the-art technology, and building supervision and inspection capacities at the Ministry and other concerned authorities.
The sixth objective focuses on fostering a culture of innovation in the workplace through a series of initiatives that enhance performance, stimulate creative thinking and create a happy work environment.
The seventh objective – improving the quality of administrative services – emphasizes efficiency and transparency, and is closely related to the achievement of the other objectives as the success of each objective tends to correspond with the standard of the relevant services.
Concluding his address at the media briefing, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi pointed out that the implementation of the Ministry's fourth strategic plan requires the inclusion of qualified human resources and means of empowerment, development of existing capacities, focus on youth through continuous training programs, teamwork with strategic partners and utilization of opportunities.
He also stressed the importance of strengthening strategic partnerships with the concerned environmental authorities and stakeholders in the private sector, leveraging the UAE's rich experience in environment and sustainable development, and building on the success achieved over the past years.