x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Capital to host Eye on Earth Summit

Abu Dhabi will be host to a major environmental summit.

DUBAI // Abu Dhabi will play host to a high-profile international environment conference in December.

The Eye on Earth Summit is being organised by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (Ead) in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (Unep).

The event, which runs between December 12 and 15, will focus on improving society's access to environmental data.

"For all of us in Abu Dhabi, the Eye on Earth Summit represents an important step in our commitment to creating a sustainable future," said Razan Khalifa al Mubarak, the secretary general of Ead.

"The summit provides a vital forum for the global community to collectively tackle this increasingly critical issue, one of particular importance to developing countries and emerging economies. Across the world, sharing information has always been crucial to good decision-making.

"Ensuring environmental and societal data is accessible to all who need it, whether scientists, communities, governments or thought leaders, is essential to moving the world towards a future founded on informed policymaking."

Achim Steiner, the executive director of Unep, said the event had global significance.

"In the run-up to the 2012 United Nations conference on sustainable development, Eye on Earth presents a timely opportunity to identify practical measures to bridge the environmental knowledge gap and deliver the information and data needed to support a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient global green economy," Mr Steiner said.

In Abu Dhabi, the Government has created the Global Environmental Data Initiative (Agedi), with the goal of improving access to reliable environmental information for policymakers and society as a whole.

Agedi was founded in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

"What we want to stress is how the importance of information goes down to the grass roots and the community," said Catherine Armour, the director of Agedi.

Projects in Abu Dhabi under the initiative have already yielded valuable information on issues such as water-resource management and climate-change adaptation, Ms Armour said.