ABU DHABI - The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced the official launch of ADERN (Abu Dhabi Environmental Research Network), a community of research scientists, research institutions and allied innovators, to convene research and development experts around the scientific knowledge gaps facing stakeholders to continuously enhance the environment of the emirate.

With a focus on addressing environmental challenges, ADERN will play a vital role in advancing the understanding and implementation of sustainability in Abu Dhabi.

Recognising the urgency of the climate agenda and the inseparable connection between climate, biodiversity loss and pollution, ADERN will address the climate science-policy agenda by leveraging research resources toward inter-disciplinary multi-sectoral collaboration.

To support the research efforts of ADERN, EAD has developed the Abu Dhabi Environmental Research Needs Register, an extensive list of over 200 research requirements. An Environmental Knowledge Graph System - a world-first innovation developed to analyse and communicate cause-effect relationships between humans and the environment and the impact of a changed environment on human well-being.

EAD’s enviroportal contains data from its 25 years of research. An Environmental Research Directory will catalogue the hundreds of environmental researchers and allied innovators, research facilities, research projects and events. Collectively these tools will help stakeholders make science-based decisions that address the environmental challenges faced by the Emirate.

Eight universities have joined ADERN as founding institutional members. These include Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain University, American University of Sharjah, Khalifa University, NYU Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates University and Zayed University.

Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of Environment Information, Science Outreach Management Sector at EAD, said, “We are facing unprecedented challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. We cannot ignore these issues, and time is of the essence. That is why today, we launch the Abu Dhabi Environmental Research Network, a ground-breaking initiative to revolutionise how we approach science-based problem-solving. Our mantra is simple yet powerful: ‘Convene, Converge, Collaborate.’”

“We are bridging the gap between problems and solutions by harnessing the power of collective action. Through aligning research efforts with stakeholder needs and cultivating collaboration, we aim to create a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to environmental research and problem-solving, ensuring impactful outcomes.”

Over the past decade, Abu Dhabi has become a notable epicentre for innovation and scientific progression. The research capacity of the UAE has shown a significant 16-fold increase since 2000, highlighting its academic prowess. This exponential growth, backed by the expansion of existing universities and the establishment of new ones, underscores the Emirate's steadfast commitment to a knowledge-driven economy and the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs.

As the UAE prepares to host COP28 later this year, the launch of ADERN is a testament to Abu Dhabi Emirate’s determination to tackle climate change head-on and aligns with the ‘Year of Sustainability’.