A UAE newspaper has said that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ move to launch “an unprecedented effort to heal the Earth”, a world awash in climate disruption and spiraling pollution, is truly praiseworthy, WAM reports.
“This was done on the eve of World Environment Day,” said Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday.
Kicking off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the paper quoted Guterres as saying that the planet was rapidly reaching a “point of no return”, cutting down forests, polluting rivers and oceans, and ploughing grasslands “into oblivion”.
Our degradation of the natural world is already undermining the well-being of 3.2 billion people – or 40 % of humanity.
But fortunately, the Earth is resilient, and “we still have time to reverse the damage we have done,” he added.
“Accomplishing these things will not only safeguard the planet’s resources. It will create millions of new jobs by 2030, generate returns of over $7 trillion every year and help eliminate poverty and hunger.”
The UAE’s environmental policies and initiatives have been playing a significant role in realizing the country’s goals and meeting its international commitments, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Inspired by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the man of the environment, the UAE has been making wholehearted efforts to preserve the environment, a key pillar in the country’s progress. One example in this regard. The US and the UAE will work together on coordinating finance to decarbonise the economy, focusing on areas including hydrogen, renewable energy, and low carbon urban design, a joint statement said.
“Even Sharjah has been striving hard to keep the ecological balance,” noted the editorial comment, adding that the Emirate of Sharjah has been taking relentless and extraordinary steps, to cement its global reputation in the field of environmental conservation and preservation of biological diversity.
Sharjah has registered many achievements in the field of protecting biological diversity and has launched many research studies and projects to preserve its ecosystems.
Over the past few years, Sharjah has succeeded in the first experiment to breed the Arabian Kingfisher bird, and to explore the first nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the mangrove reserve of Kalba, which is the first nesting of this species in the UAE. The Emirate has also initiated the study of the nesting of hawksbill turtles in Sir Bu Na’ir Island. The Emirate has also completed work on the coral reef cultivation project on Sir Bu Nair Island and Hamriyah Coast.
Sharjah has also been keen to protect and breed the traditional wildlife of the Arabian Peninsula region, including the Arabian leopard, the Arabian Oryx, the Reem gazelle, the Arab tahr, the Egyptian eagle and other endangered animals. Sharjah is home to as many as 15 nature reserves, including two marine reserves and 13 land reserves. The emirate has also successfully helped the reproduction of many endangered organisms. Dr. Sheikh Sultan inaugurated the Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre earlier this year. Al Buhais Geological Park and Al Dhaid Wildlife Centre were opened in 2020.
The EPAA has undertaken several community environment awareness programs, including the Afforestation of Al-Muntather Reserve campaign, which is held annually to increase the green areas cover. The authority also organizes cleaning campaigns in various areas in the Emirate such as beaches, desert, and mountain areas, in addition to organizing various educational workshops and lectures for school students and visitors, and educational programs decarbonize also hosts the Sharjah Sustainability Prize, which is an annual environmental award conferred on creative individuals and students from schools and universities,” concluded the Sharjah-based daily.