Roaring success for last year’s eco-friendly initiatives

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The first newborn in three decades, the protection of 17 new sites and a new law to preserve valuable water resources; these are just some of the achievements of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), according to its latest announcement.

The recently published 2016 annual report revealed that the agency met its goal of establishing 15.43 percent of land and 13.45 percent of sea in Abu Dhabi as protected areas.

What’s more, 2016 witnessed the birth of the first Scimitar-horned Oryx in 30 years, along with the release of 25 individuals, which are extinct in the wild, into the grasslands of Chad, West Africa.

Last year also saw EAD implementing a detailed census of fish stocks in the Arabian Gulf in a bid to protect their numbers from continuous decline.

Meanwhile, the agency issued a law on the use of groundwater to better manage the demand and supply of the vital resource, and became the first in the region to develop new guidelines on soil quality in line with international standards.

Additionally, the newly published Greenhouse Gas Inventory, produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), will help identify the main sources of harmful emissions, their impact and ways to reduce them.

These achievements are part of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan in which EAD aims to focus on groundwater, marine water quality, climate change, habitat loss and more.

HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD’s secretary general, explained: “In year one of our strategy, we have already attained several significant achievements including the launch of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy with MOCCAE, which aims to ensure the UAE’s fishery is utilised sustainably.

“We will build upon 2016 successes, and work with partners and stakeholders with immense enthusiasm to making even greater strides to conserve our magnificent biodiversity and protect our environmental quality and actively contributing to realising the Abu Dhabi Plan.”

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