Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) along with Imkan, an Abu Dhabi based developer, have geared up for a massive drive to protect the nature, wildlife and marine environments in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
They pledged to tackle the major threats to environments, help reduce the country’s carbon footprint and minimise the growing pressure on environment, pollution levels and deteriorating natural habitat.
In line with the UAE Vision 2021, the ministry and Alliances for Global Sustainability (AGS) have signed recently a Memorandum of Understanding with Imkan, called ‘The Guardians’ Initiative’. The three-year agreement is self-renewable.
The initiative is one of the first UAE developer pledges to safeguard, protect and preserve Abu Dhabi’s diverse heritage, nature, wildlife and marine environments.
In an interview with Gulf News, Walid El Hindi, CEO of IMKAN Properties, said: Last year, we partnered with international organisations such as the Emirates Nature - World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to initiate beach clean ups at the Al Jurf Developments in Abu Dhabi. For 2020, through the Guardians’ Initiative, we plan to enact protection programmes and schemes to safeguard the local environment and wildlife.”
In addition to our partnership with MoCCAE we will work with Alliances for Global Sustainability to implement a proactive green policy in all our IMKAN projects which strives to protect the animals, birds and marine species that call our developments home,” he said.
About major threats and challenges that wildlife and marine environments of the UAE face, El Hindi said, “The challenges to the natural environment in today’s modern and evolving world are immense. Carbon footprints, limited water resources, overfishing, waste generation, air pollution, land degradation and desertification are continuously posing an environmental threat to the world.”
“To combat these challenges, we are committed to becoming a thought-leader on environmental conservation in the UAE and across the region beyond,” he said.
He agreed that the plastics, CO2 emissions, constructions debris or municipal waste prove a threat to the conservation of the environment.
“We are now at a stage where the current environmental problems make us vulnerable to disasters and tragedies, now and in the future. Therefore, it is of utmost urgency that we think of the challenge of reducing our ecological footprint and begin to counteract the negative impact our actions have on our natural ecosystems,” said El Hindi.
Minister of Climate Change
In a statement to Gulf News about the MoU, Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Given the growing pressures and challenges our planet is currently facing, we have the important responsibility to act as the trustees of our rich natural wealth and preserve it for the generations to come. Ensuring the sustainability of the local environment is one of the top priorities for the UAE.”
“In accordance with the UAE Vision 2021, The Guardians Initiative underscores sustainable development and the need to protect the environment. We must all do our part to help safeguard the UAE’s biodiversity,” he said.
The minister thanked IMKAN for its commitment to this noble goal.