Dubai: A two-day workshop on climate change adaptation by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in Dubai ended on Monday after a raft of experts weighing UAE environmental data suggested new frontline counter measures to tackle everything from greenhouse gases and sea rise to soaring temperatures.
A number of environmental stakeholders representing federal and local authorities, academia, and other relevant entities gathered for the workshop as part of the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017-2050 approved by the Cabinet in June 2017.
Climate change adaptation — preparation for and building resilience to the potential local impacts of global climate change — is one of the three pillars of the plan.
In his opening remarks, Fahad Mohammad Al Hammadi, acting assistant undersecretary for Green Development and Climate Change at MOCCAE, said in a press release that providing “vital ecosystem services, our natural environment is the foundation of the UAE’s sustainable development. Climate change affects all species, including multiple aspects of human life. We cannot ignore the necessity and urgency of adapting to climate change, as it may hamper the country’s development if we fail to prepare now.”
Dr John Pinnegar, director of the Marine Climate Change Centre at the UK-based Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), provided an expert overview of climate change impacts on the environment.
Dr David Thomson, associate professor of Biology at United Arab Emirates University’s College of Science, discussed climate change impacts on the country’s marine resources and fisheries.
The ministry is currently working with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) on the assessment of climate risks to the four key sectors most important to the country’s sustainable, climate-resilient future — health, energy, infrastructure, and the environment.
The ministry organised a workshop for each sector to gain insights into the stakeholders’ understanding of and readiness for climate change adaptation. The environmental stakeholder workshop was the final instalment of the series. Based on the input from the sessions and the results of the sector-specific climate change risk assessments, the Ministry will devise the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, scheduled to launch in the last quarter of this year.