Dubai: Under the patronage of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, presided over by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the Canadian University Dubai (CUD) in association with the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada, hosted a “Conference on Global Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities”.
The 3-day event examined the challenges and opportunities for integrating the three key issues of global climate change, biodiversity and sustainability in the MENA region.
The conference featured renowned international and local climate change experts, conservationists and academics. Among the keynote speakers were Dr. Francisco Dallmeier, Senior Conservation Biologist, Director of the Smithsonian Center for Conservation and Sustainability; Dr. Daniel Scott, Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo who praised the UAE for its innovation and positive response to the issues of climate change; Dr. Adam Fenech, Nobel Laureate and Director, Climate Research Lab, UPEI, Leanne Bilodeau, Associate Director Sustainability Operations, The University of British Columbia, and Mashael Al Ansari, Climate Change Specialist at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
“We are innovating to strengthen our existing industries and make the transition into a low-carbon, climate resilient economy, in line with the country’s objective to diversify its economy,” said His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi in his welcome remarks highlighting climate change opportunities and challenges in the UAE. “All sectors are working towards implementing those national priorities under the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050 launched last year,” he said.
The Minister noted that the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is currently focusing on addressing climate change impacts on the health sector, as part of its climate change adaptation efforts, where other priority sectors include energy, infrastructure and the environment. He pointed out that globally the health sector is yet to be monitored extensively from a climate change point of view, although heat stress and other diseases are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Other areas highlighted include the impact of climate change on biodiversity, which is expected to result in changes in the distribution patterns of species and ecosystems, and hence the efforts of the UAE toward biodiversity conservation.
His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi also called for greater cooperation among the public sector, private sector and academia as well as international organizations in addressing climate change. He said, “I welcome this Conference held in Dubai as an important contribution to building the capacity of UAE stakeholders to advance our climate action efforts under the National Climate Change Plan.”
While delivering the welcome address, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chancellor of CUD, hailed the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as a key driver for enhancing the UAE’s efforts in addressing the threats of climate change, through the implementation of comprehensive policies and initiatives to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts.
He also praised the conference co-host, the UPEI, and announced that CUD would be launching programs in climate change and environment in association with the well-known Canadian university.
On the sidelines of the conference, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Karim Chelli, President of CUD, and Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President of UPEI, to implement joint initiatives concerning environmental issues.
About the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment:
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. The ministry acquired its new name following the UAE Cabinet reshuffle in February 2016 and the subsequent integration of the climate change function.
Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, the ministry aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will join international stakeholders in combating climate change and profile the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.
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CUD Contact: Anthony D’Silva, Communicate Gulf (Division of Ambit LLC), P.O. Box 126607, 108 Pyramid Centre, Oud Metha Road, Dubai, UAE. Phone 9714 3707012; Mobile 97150 4571624.
© Press Release 2018