Abu Dhabi hosts the First Regional Biodiversity Forum in the Gulf Region

Abu Dhabi hosts the First Regional Biodiversity Forum in the Gulf Region

By WAM
ABU DHABI, May 2 2018 (WAM)

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA), will host the First Regional Biodiversity Forum from May 7-9 2018.

Being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of EAD, the forum will be attended by experts and researchers in the field of biodiversity from the region and around the world.

The Forum will discuss the progress towards the implementation of the National Strategies of NBSAPs (National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans) related to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); present initiatives on biodiversity conservation in the UAE and the Arab region; exchange expertise and enforce cooperation in the biodiversity field.

It will also ensure synergies and joint technical coordination among Arab countries in the region for effective participation in the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar COP13) scheduled to be held in October 2018 in the UAE and in the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDC COP14) that will be hosted by Egypt in November 2018.

The forum will kick-off with four keynote speakers who will highlight the importance of biodiversity conservation. This includes Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak – EAD’s Secretary General, Dr. Jane Smart – Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group/IUCN and H.R.H. Princess Basma bint Ali, Founder of the Royal Botanic Garden, Jordon.

Presentations on individual National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans (NBSAPs) from the participating countries from the region will provide update on the progress of each of their individual countries’ environmental strategies. This will further feed into the discussion about regional coordination for the CBD and Aichi Target 11.

During the three-day forum, IUCN will present on progress made to mobilise support and resources for the CBD COP 14, while Egypt will give a presentation about the CBD COP 14. Representative from the MOCCAE will give presentation on preparations and opportunities for countries in the region to showcase their initiatives during the Ramsar COP 13.

The First Regional Biodiversity Forum provides a wonderful opportunity to countries in the region to showcase initiatives and actions undertaken towards conservation of biodiversity. It also highlights challenges faced and how collective knowledge and expertise in the forum would suggest innovative ways to overcome them, said Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD’s Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity.

Biodiversity underpins life on Earth, it is critical for the resilience of ecosystems and thus important for the provision of often-irreplaceable ecosystem services, but risks and threats to biodiversity today and species extinctions due to human activities are increasing significantly and require comprehensive solutions and international cooperation, said Dr. Shaikha.

The forum will help further mobilise regional support for the Ramsar COP 13 and CBD COP 14 and highlight achievements despite socio-political challenges. It will also reaffirm the leadership role of EAD and UAE in the application of the Green List standards for Protected and Conserved areas in the Arab region.

The forum is also a fitting tribute to the rich environmental legacy of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAEs founding father, especially as we celebrate the Year of Zayed, said Dr. Shaikha.

 

WAM/Tariq alfaham

UAE rain enhancement programme to host top cloud seeding researchers

UAE rain enhancement programme to host top cloud seeding researchers

By WAM
ABU DHABI, May 2 2018 (WAM)

The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science is gearing up to conduct a series of field experiments and preparatory meetings for leading global researchers in cloud seeding with the aim of supporting their research projects.

The support is part of the programme’s ongoing efforts to achieve its key objective of consolidating the UAE’s status as a leading global hub for rain enhancement research.

“These visits complement the efforts of awardees to complete their research projects, marking an important step towards their practical implementation in the UAE in line with the country’s objective of achieving global water security.”
Dr. Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the NCM

Over the coming weeks, the programme will host leading US researcher, Dr. Paul Lawson, German Professor, Volker Wulfmeyer, as well as members of the research team led by Finnish Professor, Hannele Korhonen.

Dr. Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the NCM, said, “These visits complement the efforts of awardees to complete their research projects, marking an important step towards their practical implementation in the UAE in line with the country’s objective of achieving global water security. In addition to improving rainfall in arid and semi-arid regions across the world by providing sustainable water resources, these visits will strengthen the country’s status as a global hub for researchers in rainwater enhancement.”

John Backman, a member of the research team led by Second Cycle awardee in 2017, Professor Hannele Korhonen, is currently undertaking a field experiment on LIDAR remote sensing equipment, which was installed earlier in the Al Dhaid area of Sharjah. The system will help collect data and measurements throughout the year to study aerosols and their cloud-precipitation interactions in the UAE.

Highlighting the significance of these crucial visits, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, said, “These visits are very important for the awardees to complete their research projects, allowing them to get a first-hand experience of the nature and topography of the UAE and understand the conditions and types of the clouds that pass through its skies.

“This will enable them to prepare for the next stages of their research projects and carry out experiments using innovative cloud seeding technologies. At the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, we are keen to provide every possible support to the awardees and help them develop strong local and international partnerships that will allow them to complete their research projects.”

The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science has built strong partnerships and synergies with more than 2,500 researchers and specialists from various international organisations across over 70 countries, in addition to forging a wide network of local partnerships within the UAE.

 

WAM/Nour Salman/MOHD AAMIR