Dubai: The UAE has dominated the global competitiveness rankings for 2020 in eight environmental indicators, including environmental laws, preservation efforts and protection of marine protected areas, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) announced on Wednesday.
MoCCAE Minister Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi noted the UAE’s “prominent standing in global environmental rankings is the direct outcome of the continuing guidance of the country’s wise leadership and its effective cooperation with federal and local government entities, private sector and international organisations.
“Protecting our environment, ensuring the sustainability of our natural resources, and conserving our biodiversity are among the strategic goals of the Ministry. To address these priorities, the Ministry has implemented an integrated framework including in its scope environmental legislation, as well as projects and programmes that align with the highest international standards,” he highlighted.
The UAE is also a regional environmental leader in ecosystems vitality, biodiversity and habitat.
First in environmental laws
According to the Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, the UAE topped the environmental laws index. The country has jumped two places ahead its position last year.
The UAE also topped the Satisfaction with Preservation Efforts category of The Legatum Prosperity Index. This indicator measures public satisfaction with the country’s efforts to preserve its environment for future generations.
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) also ranked UAE first globally in the reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions. The country has registered significant reduction in the use of solid fuels for heating and cooking by households over the past two years.
Leader in protecting marine resources
The UAE has maintained its global leadership in the marine protected areas category. The total protected area cover in the country has increased from 15.07 per cent of the territory in 2019 to 15.53 per cent in 2020, accounting for 18.4 per cent of its terrestrial territory and 12.01 per cent of its marine territory, according to MoCCAE
The country is also protecting wetlands and grasslands to ensure biodiversity. The UAE is cultivating local flora species that can tolerate the country’s desert climate.
The country, which uses satellites to monitor its greenery, has also been recognised in preserving and enhancing indigenous species.