Still from a virtual session on climate change organised by the Academy Image Credit: Screengrab

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, represented by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Academy, organised a series of seminars and workshops on national and international legal frameworks for human rights in protecting and sustaining the environment and addressing the risks of climate change.

This comes in line with the strategic directions of the UAE in its ‘Year of Sustainability’ (2023) and in light of the ongoing preparations to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in the country later this year.

Counsellor Yousef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, stressed the interest of the Department in supporting government goals to achieve sustainable development and the implementation of the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, and Head of the Judicial Department.

Al Abri said the seminars and workshops represent an opportunity to highlight the role of human rights in protecting the environment and confronting climate change, emphasising that climate action based on human rights is the basis for ensuring a sustainable future, especially with the measures taken in the UAE to face challenges in the environment and climate and the application of international commitments in this regard.

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In addition, the participants in the seminars, held in March and April, discussed the UAE’s efforts to promote human rights in the field of climate action, the role of individuals, the state, and judicial institutions in confronting climate change and its effects, as well as the role of civil society in spreading awareness of the importance of preserving climate change.

The speakers discussed the significance of the role that judicial authorities can play in upholding justice and protecting rights in this area, particularly in light of the fact that climate change has emerged as a serious threat, particularly in the most affected areas that experience severe droughts, floods, and storms. They emphasised the necessity of working effectively to protect human rights in those areas and of providing the necessary resources to consolidate developmental sustainability.

The speakers also highlighted the legal, judicial, and administrative framework for environmental auditing of institutions to monitor phenomena and assess the impact of protecting, developing, and sustaining the ecosystem of projects, and preserving biodiversity as tools for environmental protection in light of pertinent legislation and national and international judicial rulings.