Abu Dhabi sets out green strategy to boost air quality and reduce noise pollution

    17 May 2024

    Abu Dhabi has set out a crucial action plan aimed at driving up air quality, reducing noise pollution and holding industries to account for their impact on the environment.

    Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the board of directors of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, issued a resolution on Friday under which all businesses and establishments that need environmental licences to carry out operations are required to commit to supporting efforts to provide cleaner air.

    The agency has pledged to monitor and evaluate ambient air quality through a comprehensive environmental monitoring network.

    It will periodically assess air pollutant levels to ensure they do not exceed maximum limits as part of the green strategy.

    The authority will prepare and review environmental studies to demonstrate the impact of natural sources on clean air and set standards for development projects and infrastructure to follow in order to manage emission levels.

    Turning down the volume

    “EAD will monitor and noise levels through its monitoring networks, and co-ordinate with the concerned authorities to take all necessary precautionary measures to ensure that the maximum permissible noise limits are not exceeded,” the agency said.

    The environmental resolution is part of a wider push to protect the environment.

    In November, Abu Dhabi has launched a new air quality improvement plan to pinpoint pollution hotspots and curb the environmental impact of construction in the emirate.

    The cutting-edge air-quality system – developed by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi – aims to reduce exposure to pollution and provide cleaner air across the capital.

    The agency said the system will support environmental regulation policies by assessing the expected impact of urban development projects.

    It will include the release of detailed air-quality maps each year and will work to identify areas experiencing higher levels of pollution.

    Data gathered under the strategy will be shared with the public through air-quality forecasts.

    “Air pollution represents the biggest environmental threat to human health,” said Faisal Al Hammadi, executive director of the agency’s environmental quality sector, in November.

    “Therefore, robust evidence-based tools and systems are required to enable the effective management of air quality, to support the identification and selection of measures that will reduce air pollution and protect human and environmental health.

    “As our mandate is the emirate of Abu Dhabi, we have developed a bespoke air quality modelling system for the emirate that will strengthen our ability to secure better air quality for all.

    Health hazard

    Doctors in the UAE have previously told The National how air pollution can adversely affect health, particularly for those with underlying respiratory illnesses such as asthma, who can develop a worsening cough and difficulty breathing if exposed to dust and smoke.

    A network of 22 air monitors across the emirate, 20 of which are fixed and two that are mobile, are already in place to analyse Abu Dhabi’s air quality.

    The air monitors track 14 pollutants to check how healthy or unhealthy the air is.

    Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com/news/uae/2024/05/10/abu-dhabi-sets-out-green-strategy-to-boost-air-quality-and-reduce-noise-pollution/

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