Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

Environment minister upholding Sheikh Zayed's eco vision

On National Environment Day, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi called for the country's rich natural resources to be preserved for future generations

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said the UAE's leaders had provided a platform to move towards a more sustainable future, in line with the vision of Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed. Chris Whiteoak/The National  
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said the UAE's leaders had provided a platform to move towards a more sustainable future, in line with the vision of Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed. Chris Whiteoak/The National  

The UAE's Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, called on residents to cherish the country's natural resources as a crucial part of their national heritage.

In an impassioned message marking the 23rd National Environment Day on Tuesday, Mr Al Zeyoudi spoke of the importance of conservation and the pressing need to promote green strategies to benefit the Emirates for generations to come.

This year's Environment Day is being held under the theme of "nature-based solutions".

The late Sheikh Zayed realised early on the imperative need to preserve our natural resources

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi

Mr Al Zeyoudi said the country was pushing ahead with a series of ambitious eco-friendly initiatives.

He said nature should be nurtured so that ''we enjoy today and will later pass [it] on to our children".

The country has set out to achieve clean energy targets of 27 per cent by next year and 50 per cent by 2050 as part of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.

Meanwhile, the UAE Green Growth Strategy is focused on establishing a low-carbon economy with a sustainable approach to transport and architecture, and a sharp focus on boosting the efficiency of how the country consumes vital resources such as energy and water.

''We are confident that the collaboration between the government and civil society will go a long way in promoting sustainable production and consumption practices,'' said Mr Al Zeyoudi.

He thanked the UAE's leaders for providing a platform for the country's move towards a more sustainable future.

"Their special interest in the country’s environmental conservation endeavours has been instrumental to our achievements at home and further afield,'' he said.

"The Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, realised early on the imperative need to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

"Owing to the directives of the UAE’s visionary leadership, this approach has now been bolstered by a host of integrated policies that aim to leverage smart and innovative technologies and solutions to strike a balance between economic growth and the responsible use of natural resources.''

The UAE's passion for nature was highlighted when 14,000 visitors flocked to the one million-square-metre Jubail Mangrove Park at the weekend to amble along its new sprawling boardwalk.

Sheikh Khalifa, the President, pledged on Monday that the country would stay on the path laid out by Sheikh Zayed to ensure its remains true to it long-held "ethical commitment".

"We celebrate National Environment Day as an important occasion to renew our national and ethical commitment to preserving our national resources," Sheikh Khalifa said.

"Over the past years, we have made significant efforts to preserve the environment and its natural resources by issuing legislation that ensures the sustainability of these resources and developed a number of ambitious national strategies to build a green economy that prioritises the protection of the environment and the preservation of natural resources."

"We have developed the water sector to protect the country’s underground water reserves and the agricultural sector by encouraging farmers to develop and adopt modern approaches that are relevant to and match the country's climatic conditions.

"We have established a number of natural reserves and programmes to protect endangered species inside and outside the country and issued clear directives to develop all necessary measures conducive to preserving our fishing and agricultural resources."

He said renewable energy, including an increased focus on solar power, was a central part of those efforts.

Updated: February 4, 2020 12:59 PM

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