x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ajman pushes for green leadership

Initiatives include adopting renewable energy sources, as well as focusing on recycling water for agriculture.

AJMAN // This emirate hopes to become an example of how a green city works, says Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al Nuaimi, ruler of Ajman.

Speaking at the closing of the first Ajman International Environment Conference on Tuesday, Sheikh Humaid outlined various new initiatives he hoped would make the emirate a green leader in the UAE and the Gulf.

"We are following the guidance of our father Sheikh Zayed, who encouraged the world to have a green environment for a brighter future," said Sheikh Humaid.

"Ajman Municipality is working to increase green areas in the emirate, green gardens and green buildings among others."

He said the emirate had plans to adopt renewable energy sources and was working with a number of private companies to start providing alternative sources of energy.

The emirate would also work in agriculture, with a plan to recycle agricultural water for one thing.

Finally, Sheikh Humaid pledged to work to minimise the impacts of industrial activity by increased use of environment-friendly materials.

Some 200 people attended the inaugural Ajman International Environment Conference, from January 30 to February 1 at the Ajman University of Science and Technology.

Muatassim al Hakim, one of the speakers at the conference, called for the establishment of an Organisation of Gas Exporting Countries modelled on Opec, saying such an organisation would help to regulate the export of natural gas as a clean energy source.

"In these days of global warming, we can no longer neglect strict regulation of the type and quality of gas that is exported to the world market," Mr al Hakim said.

Dr Nora al Marzouqi, the chairperson of the conference's organising committee, said all of the recommendations which were made at the conference would be forwarded to the relevant decision makers.

"All these recommendations would contribute to the sustainable development of Ajman," she said.

"It's important that all decision makers in their departments have a look at them and implement them."

To encourage community participation in Ajman's new green direction, the municipality will start by conducting a best green garden competition, which is open to all homes in the emirate. The winner will receive a cash prize of h135,000.

Participants can enter by registering with the municipality. "Registration is still open until the end of this month," said Khalid Hosni al Muaini, director of the Public Health and Environment department.

Many private-sector companies were also represented at the conference.

ykakande@thenational.ae