The people of Abu Dhabi and their daily lifestyles are the key contributors to the emirate’s ecological footprint, according to the results of a new report compiled by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Announced in the organisation’s Abu Dhabi State of Environment report for 2017, the survey found that households account for 57 percent of natural resource usage, followed by industry and government, which use 30 and 12 percent, respectively.
With recent reports showing that the local population has surged to nearly three million, the boost in numbers has led to increased pressure on air, water and soil, as well as rising rates of emissions and waste.
Despite dwindling natural reserves, 65 percent of our water is provided by groundwater aquifers, with our reliance on desalination set to increase, and the effects of climate change have been observed elsewhere with rises in sea and air temperatures.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, secretary general at EAD, said: “The cornerstone of all of our accomplishments is the collection, interpretation and utilisation of environmental data. This enables us to continue our efforts in species conservation, habitat protection, the designation of protected areas and in environmental quality-related issues.
“We strive to make better use of our collective knowledge for cohesive action to develop and enforce stronger policy instruments for environmental preservation, for the benefit of our natural environment and the inhabitants of Abu Dhabi Emirate,” she added.
With action at the heart of the report, EAD has already begun making positive change following a landmark agreement with oil and gas company TOTAL, which will see both organisations collaborate to develop Al Wathba Wetland Reserve into an eco-tourism and research location.