Dubai – MENA Herald: H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water, has led the fourth meeting of the Supreme Environmental Coordination Committee held at the Ministry of Environment and Water’s office in Dubai with the participation of members from across the UAE.  The Committee holds a series of regular meetings to follow up on its progress and evaluate its implementing procedures for policies and action plans in line with the directives of the UAE leadership. The government aims to enhance the effective coordination and integration between federal and local authorities as among the fundamentals of UAE Vision 2021.

H.E. Dr. Bin Fahad commended the Committee for its ongoing efforts that have yielded several significant achievements for the country. Among the most notable were the UAE’s successful hosting of the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, during which the ‘Dubai Path’ initiative was announced, as well as other initiatives launched during the UAE Innovation Week.

The Minister pointed out that local environmental authorities are among the Ministry’s vital partners in attaining its vision, mission, and objectives developed in line with the UAE Government’s vision and strategy. H.E. assured the Ministry’s continued efforts to develop effective mechanisms aimed at maximizing coordination among all concerned authorities and maintaining their active participation to achieve the country’s goals and aspirations.    

During the meeting, various standing committees presented their progress to the members. The National Committee for Biodiversity reported its successful efforts to establish effective coordination among concerned environmental authorities last year. The collaborative efforts centered on joint workshops, implementation of the outcomes of the Government Creativity Lab initiative, and submission of reports on conventions signed by the state.

The National Committee for Air Quality and the National Committee for Management of Waste and Hazardous Substances, for their part, presented the developments of their respective projects in each emirate. The members of the Supreme Environmental Coordination Committee also reviewed the implementation and outcomes of a national strategy aimed at raising public environmental awareness.  The ‘My Community is My Responsibility 2015 Exhibition,’ the ‘Beautiful in the Wild’ initiative launched during UAE Innovation Week, and the national campaign against illegal trade of endangered fauna and flora were all part of the strategy.  

The participants likewise discussed the air quality indicators and national waste management agenda adopted by the state to address common challenges in this regard. H.E. Eng. Fahad Hareb, Director of the Air Quality Department, Ministry of Environment and Water, gave a detailed explanation on current developments in the agenda along with the ongoing government efforts to reach this year’s relevant targets. H.E. noted that the continuous improvements reflect all parties’ concern in this area. A specialized team also reviewed the issues of waste and chemical use in the country, while detailing its tasks and presenting the results of its studies and research works regarding nitric acid. The team has recommended the strict monitoring of the substance and control of its distribution in the local market.    

The Committee members who participated in the meeting included H.E. Abdel Rahim Mohammed Al Hammadi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Environment and Water, and H.E. Eng. Mariam Mohammed Saeed Hareb, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Water Resources and Nature Conservation. Other attendees representing various emirates were H.E. Dr. Jaber Aidha Al Jabri, Deputy Secretary of Abu-Dhabi based EAD; H.E. Eng. Salem Bin Mismar, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality’s Health, Safety and Environment Department; H.E. Asila Abdullah Al Mualla, Director of Fujairah Municipality’s Public Services and Environment Department; H.E. Salem Khalfan, Director of Al Falaj Al Mualla Municipality in Umm Al Quwain; H.E. Dr. Saif Mohammed Al Ghais, Executive Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority; and H.E. Eng. Khalid Muaeen Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Public Health and Environment of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department.