Punta del Este, Uruguay – The UAE Ministry of Environment & Water (MoEW) recently hosted a side event in the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP12) – a successful side event that was attended by 120 delegates from different countries and international organisations, and saw the UAE being accepted to host the next edition, COP 13, in Dubai in 2018. AGEDI’s work on the Blue Carbon Project in partnership with MoEW was highlighted at the dedicated side event, as well as key UAE sustainable projects and events, including the upcoming Eye on Earth Summit and Ecocity World Summit, to be held in October this year in Abu Dhabi. AGEDI’s blue carbon and ecosystem services outcomes support the UAE’s position to the Ramsar Convention; the country has been a party to the Convention since 2007, and has designated five wetland sites onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (‘Ramsar Sites’), considered to be of high value to the country and the world because of the ecosystem services they provide. The nation’s wetland ecosystem is one of the most unique and diverse in the Arabian Peninsula, and includes marshes, vast tidal flats, fresh water aquifers, mangroves and coral reefs.
Abu Dhabi, UAE – The UAE has identified five sites as areas of global biological and ecological importance during a recent regional workshop on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) in the North-Western Indian Ocean and the neighbouring Gulf region. The workshop was hosted by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water with AGEDI as a collaborator, in addition to representatives from the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Eritrea, Pakistan, India and various international and regional organisations. The identified sites – the Southwest Waters of Abu Dhabi and the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve in Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali in Dubai and Sir Bu Na’air Island, and Khor Kalba in Sharjah – were evaluated based on the criteria established during the ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Geneva, Switzerland – As facilitator of the Eye on Earth Summit’s GNON Special Initiative, and specialist in the field, AGEDI attended the annual GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the United Nations and the International Community conference in May 2015. The premier invitation only event for GIS practitioners and information managers focused on technological advancement, the application of GIS to support sustainable development and humanitarian missions, and collaboration within the community. In addition to presenting an overview of progress in the Summit in the Global Initiatives session, AGEDI also co-chaired a break-out session on open data. The GNON Special Initiative aims to join existing and emerging environmental information networks to facilitate systematic and inclusive access to, and reporting on, global environmental data, information and knowledge.
From 15-25 May 2015, people all over the world are documenting biodiversity as part of a global snapshot for National Geographic’s Great Nature Project. Grab a camera or phone and take photos of wild plants and animals, then upload and share them on greatnatureproject.org. The goal of the global snapshot, which is repeated annually, is to document biodiversity all over the world during a specific window of time. Over time, this will provide data that can be used to answer scientific questions or provide useful information to decision-makers. Use the initiative to help keep track of what was documented, see what amazing biodiversity other people observe, and even get help identifying different species.
Santos City, Brazil – AGEDI’s regional ocean model on large-scale climate change projections on the Arabian Gulf was presented at the Third International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Ocean in Santos City, Brazil. The Symposium provided an opportunity for the international scientific community to share the latest information, understanding and assessments of the impacts of climate change on oceans worldwide. The event saw 12 sessions covering different but interconnected themes, from physical processes and their interaction with ecosystem dynamics, to resource provision and ocean governance. The regional ocean modelling under climate change is part of AGEDI’s four-year Climate Change Programme.
The next Ecocity World Summit (ECWS), to be hosted in the Middle East for the very first time, has called on the wider community to submit abstracts for papers or presentations at the summit, set to be held in Abu Dhabi from 11 to 13 October 2015. Authors are invited to advance the state of thinking and inspire the next generation of ideas, projects and strategies for eco and smart cities of the future. If selected, authors will be given the unique opportunity to present their work to a top-calibre audience of local and international governmental, academic, private-sector leaders and eco-experts. The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 April 2015. Visit the ECWS page for more information.
Over 650 delegates from government, UN bodies, the non-governmental sector, private sector, academia and civil society will gather in Abu Dhabi between 6 and 8 October for the Eye on Earth (EoE) Summit 2015, to bridge the information gap policy-makers face in designing plans for sustainable development.The experts gathered will explore solutions and actions necessary for greater access to, and sharing of, environmental, social and economic data to support sustainable development. The Summit will address the profound impact that rapid economic and industrial development is having on natural resources, biodiversity and consumption patterns around the world. These global challenges require international collaborative action to find transformative solutions that span political boundaries and help secure a sustainable future for all. One of the critical first steps – and the focus of EoE Summit 2015 – is to address the need for evidence-based decision-making that can benefit from the available wealth of scientific data, information and knowledge, if they are made more accessible to all. For more information, visit the EoE website.
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi has expressed gratitude for the public’s support of National Geographic’s Great Nature Project which has ended in success with people from across the UAE and the region (resulting in over 500 images) capturing the diverse biodiversity in the country to share with the rest of the world by uploading photos on popular social media sites.
Visit the Great Nature Project website: http://greatnatureproject.org/
The EcoCity World Summit – a biennial cross-disciplinary gathering of all involved in building sustainable cities – is to come to Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in 2015. The Summit organisers, the Ecocity Conference Series Relay Committee, awarded the host status to the UAE capital after what it called a ‘clearly outstanding proposal’ submitted by Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – a dedicated entity of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority – in conjunction with the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, AGEDI, and with the support of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company and Etihad Airways.