Oceanic Blue Carbon Policy Survey Results Now Available!

We are very pleased to share with you the final findings of the policy assessment towards oceanic blue carbon marine vertebrate storage. This is a partnership project between AGEDI and GRID-Arendal.

This study has proved its relevance to the sustainable management of coastal and marine environmental resources and actions to address the global climate change challenge. Even though this assessment is a first-order approximation, it is a ‘world’s first’ in terms of understanding how the ocean can be harnessed to achieve meaningful action to address the global climate change challenge. The results of this study are relevant to the implementation of the concept of blue carbon as well as the management of marine fauna.

To see the results click here! Policy Oceanic Audit (53 downloads)

Oceanic Blue Carbon Audit results now available!

We are very pleased to release our latest findings of our partnership project between AGEDI and GRID-Arendal assessing Oceanic Carbon storage.

The UAE Oceanic Blue Carbon project aims to provide an assessment of oceanic blue carbon ecosystems within the UAE. The authors have utilised existing datasets and methods to quantify and assess the capacity for fish, cetaceans, dugongs, sea turtles and seabirds inhabiting UAE’s marine environment to store and sequester carbon. The analysis represents the world’s first oceanic blue carbon audit and policy assessment at the national level and will allow relevant policy and management entities in the UAE to evaluate options for the potential implementation of oceanic blue carbon policies at the local and national level.

Check out results here Ocean Carbon Audit (41 downloads)

Arabian Blue Forests Working Group now live!

Our Secretariat is very please to share with you our new #ABFWG website! Lots of information on the group itself as well as #bluecarbon systems and #ecosystemservices in the #ArabianPeninsula! http://www.abfwg.com Stay tuned for the community area also to be launched!

#blueforests #seagrass #economicvaluation #mangroves #togetherpossible #arabian

Dubai Beaches Worth Millions

A prior study, the Abu Dhabi Contingent Valuation study estimated that the amenity supplied by the coastal and marine resources in Abu Dhabi was worth some US $141million to only 15 Abu Dhabi hotels/year equaling a Net Present Value (NPV) of between US $1.3 and US $2.1billion over 13 years, the average period before major refurbishment is expected. In addition, the coastal and marine resources supplied a value of US $683 million to beach users/year. 

To estimate the economic value of Dubai’s coastal amenities we will consider both the Willingness To Accept Compensation (WTAC) for a deterioration in quality of the coastal amenity values, and the Willingness To Pay (WTP) and/or contribute to a hypothetical restoration fund to avoid a loss in the value of these amenities. 

The priorities for valuation will be towards the increasing incidence of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), otherwise known as red tides, as a useful proxy for the declining water quality. This can therefore be a means to quantify the value of a pristine coastal water quality environment to key stakeholder groups that utilise the coast both commercially and for leisure purposes. 

The project was carried out in partnership between Dubai Municipality (DM) and the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) with Dr. James Blignaut as the Principle Investigator.

The surveys found that the value of Dubai’s coastal and marine ecosystem services ranges between AED6 billion and AED 21 billion per year in the case of total algal bloom; the tourists’ value comprises 85% thereof. 

In case an offset is available, then the value ranges between AED 4 billion and AED 14 billion with the residents’ portion being 66% thereof. 

These values are much higher than that of Abu Dhabi which ranges between AED 1,8 billion and AED 3,1 billion for total algal bloom and between AED 348 million and AED 578 million when an offset is possible. 

Given the fact that Dubai’s coastline is 18,7 km long and assuming a coastal zone of 1 km wide, the coastal and marine area of Dubai is 1 870 ha. That implies that the plausible range of the unit value of the resource is between AED 3,2 million/ha and AED 11,3 million/ha, or US$0,87 million/ha and US$3 million/ha. 

This is among the highest and most valued ecosystems in the world (Blignaut et al. 2016 & 2017). 

Dubai Contingent Valuation (63 downloads)

Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development

Derek Gliddon recapped on Sustainable Development requiring information on not only environmental conditions but on the drivers and implications of change in the environment;  Derek identified the great magnitude of data and systems knowledge required to support integrated, informed decision making but also that much of the  data and knowledge already exist.  What is needed is an organizing framework by which users and providers of information, knowledge, analysis and visualization services can “plug in”.   Gliddon stated the world looks to UN Environment as the UN entity charged with Keeping The Environment Under Review to take the lead in establishing and maintaining the necessary organizing framework.   Gliddon recognised the UNEP Discussion Paper “The Case for a Digital Ecosystem for the Environment”, the Citizen Science Global Partnership, the Global Environmental Education Partnership, the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology, the GPSDD API Highway, the UN Global Platform and the Eye on Earth Alliance as key elements in the necessary Digital Ecosystem  Speakers

Panelists 
Category Affiliation Name of Person (s) 
Satellite Imagery Google Earth Brian Sullivan, Deputy Director 
Mobile network operators KT Corporation Dr. Dongmyun Lee, President of Future platform Business Group 
Government Environment Agency Abu-Dhabi Derek Gliddon, Acting Director for Research and Innovation, Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) 
UN Environment 2018 Champions of the Earth Evocco Hugh Weldon, Co-founder of Evocco. 
Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Margaret Nthuli, Digital Transformation, ESRI Eastern Africa 
Faith and the Environment iUmrah.world Ahmed Al Haddad, Founder & CEO 
Research Organization Estonian Environment Research Centre Mr. Margus Kört, CEO 

Moderator:  Prof. Alex Caldas:  Chief of COTI Branch, Science Division

AGEDI presented Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development

Mon 11 March 

Event UN Environment Science & Innovation Expo 

Session Title:  Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development 

Presentation Title:   Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for  Sustainable Development:  Local to Global 

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Derek Gliddon recapped on Sustainable Development requiring information on not only environmental conditions but on the drivers and implications of change in the environment;  Derek identified the great magnitude of data and systems knowledge required to support integrated, informed decision making but also that much of the  data and knowledge already exist.  What is needed is an organizing framework by which users and providers of information, knowledge, analysis and visualization services can “plug in”.   Gliddon stated the world looks to UN Environment as the UN entity charged with Keeping The Environment Under Review to take the lead in establishing and maintaining the necessary organizing framework.   Gliddon recognised the UNEP Discussion Paper “The Case for a Digital Ecosystem for the Environment”, the Citizen Science Global Partnership, the Global Environmental Education Partnership, the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology, the GPSDD API Highway, the UN Global Platform and the Eye on Earth Alliance as key elements in the necessary Digital Ecosystem  Speakers

Panelists 
Category Affiliation Name of Person (s) 
Satellite Imagery Google Earth Brian Sullivan, Deputy Director 
Mobile network operators KT Corporation Dr. Dongmyun Lee, President of Future platform Business Group 
Government Environment Agency Abu-Dhabi Derek Gliddon, Acting Director for Research and Innovation, Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) 
UN Environment 2018 Champions of the Earth Evocco Hugh Weldon, Co-founder of Evocco. 
Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Margaret Nthuli, Digital Transformation, ESRI Eastern Africa 
Faith and the Environment iUmrah.world Ahmed Al Haddad, Founder & CEO 
Research Organization Estonian Environment Research Centre Mr. Margus Kört, CEO 

Moderator:  Prof. Alex Caldas:  Chief of COTI Branch, Science Division 

Arabian Peninsula Blue Carbon and Ecosystem Services Technical Working Group Meet

The newly formed Arabian Peninsula Blue Carbon and Ecosystem Services Technical Working Group held their initiation meeting on March 20th, hosted by the current Chair AGEDI. Working Group Secretariat members came from across the region to decide multiple key decisions for the way forward of the group.

The Scope of the Group is to provide the following:

1.Act as facilitator between BC and marine/coastal ES practitioners within the region, and provide a platform for communication with the wider international community

2.Within region coordination role would be

•To share best practices, methodologies and data between regional practitioners •Help facilitate research in the region (e.g. collaboration) and capitalize on potential synergies between activities •Produce integrated papers/reviews for use in at national, regional and international levels •Prepare expert opinion towards regional and international dialogue and intergovernmental processes •Identification of experts within the region to support governments in their own reporting •Facilitate capacity building for regional experts for in-house analysis and implementation •Enhance regional awareness of blue carbon and ecosystem services of our region

The workshop came to group decisions regarding the Secretariat and its membership, working group governance structure, outcomes and way forward.

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AGEDI Presents at the UN Environment Science Business Policy Forum session entitled: Foresight and Early Warning for Decision Making

AGEDI Presentation Title:   “Foresight: Local to Global”

Derek described how the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS) system (developed by the AGEDI implementation parters EAD and UNEP) enables flow of data from sub-national entities to global assessment process.  Gliddon explained how enironemntal organisations are required to report to environmental conditions and environmental management performance; how IRIS reduces the reporting burden through partial automation and how IRIS reports can be used by entities higher in the reporting hirachy as data inputs for national, regional and global assessment.  Derek also explained how IRIS ensures indicators are provided along with assessment narrative by experts who understand the local context, and thus overcomes a widespread barrier to data sharing.

Session Theme(s): Foundation for a Global Digital Platform for our Planet

Session Global context:

There is a need to highlight hotspot(s) of environmental change(s), feature emerging science topic(s), or discuss contemporary environmental issue(s). An opportunity is then created that enables policy makers to find out what is happening to the changing environment and the consequences of everyday choices, and to think about future directions for policy and action.

Moderator: Prof. Alexandre Caldas – Chief of Country Outreach, Technology and Innovation Branch , United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ;

Speakers:

Affiliation Name of Person (s)
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) / MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) Ms. Thea Carroll, CITES MIKE Coordinator.
Regional Office for Africa, UN Environment, Mr. Charles Sebukeera Program Officer
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Mr. Laban Ndungo, Solutions Engineer, ESRI Eastern Africa
Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) Mr. Derek Gliddon Acting Director for Research and Innovation

AGEDI represented at 5th World Conference on Climate Change

AGEDI was recently represented at the 5th World Conference on Climate Change” which took place over 4-6 October in London, England. The theme of the congress was “Climate Change and Sustainable Futures” and included participants from government, NGOs, business, and academia from around the globe who shared emerging research findings and innovative policy-related proposals in climate science, greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation. Dr. Bill Dougherty offered a talk on the “energy-water-health nexus under climate change” that built on findings from AGEDI’s recently completed Local, National, and Regional Climate Change programme. Feedback on the talk was quite positive, with some noting with appreciation AGEDI’s active engagement in seeking to support effective climate change policymaking in the UAE and surrounding Arabian Peninsula region.

AGEDI 2017 Executive Report

2016-17 was a pivotal biennial for AGEDI that saw the culmination of various initiatives and projects, each one bringing us one-step closer to an environmentally sustainable future.
A collaborative initiative managed and facilitated by a partnership between UN Environment, the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS) version 1.0 was launched in Nairobi in December 2017. This was a proud moment for Abu Dhabi in a project that was years in the making. Consistent with the AGEDI mission, IRIS aims to address systemic data and information challenges that hinder environmental sustainability, and has the potential to reduce the reporting burden for many government institutions, leading to more efficient decision-making. The prospects for 2018 are exciting and we look forward to further collaboration with UN Environment.

Our mantra is to keep delivering access to quality environmental data that supports decision-making towards a sustainable future. Our efforts are only realised thanks to the commitment of and collaboration with our invaluable stakeholders, who have played an essential role in each of our accomplishments in 2016-17.

Read our report here