The establishment of The Environment Agency—Abu Dhabi (EAD) in 1996 was to preserve Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage. The organization has been working toward this mission since its inception. For the EAD, the environment is of great importance and the agency acts as a regulator and advisor to the government on environmental policy.
THE EAD’S GOALS are to create and sustain Abu Dhabi’s natural resources and sustainable communities. In 2009, the EAD was awarded the Environmental Management Award for best implementation of environmental management in an Arab government organization. The org anization’s continued vision and effort to create sustainable resources and reduce climate change has been in effect for a number of years.
The organization oversees the Environment, Health and Safety Management System in Abu Dhabi Emirate. This system manages Abu Dhabi’s impact on the environment and helps to decrease public health and occupational safety risks. The EAD is also instrumental in handling environmental awareness programs for educational purposes in schools in the Emirate. These programs include the Annual Environment Competition, Enviro-Spellathon and the Sustainable Schools.
Other initiatives that the EAD has been involved in include the Watersavers Campaign which installs devices into water faucets in homes, schools, mosques, as well as government and commercial buildings to minimize water usage. The EAD has published the Abu Dhabi Water Master Plan which examines the position of water use in the Emirate.
The organization has also spearheaded the campaign to name Bu Tinah Island in Abu Dhabi as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
The organization runs release programs in which they help conserve natural resources. This includes the Arabian Oryx (Al Maha) which has been returned to its natural habitat after decades of endangerment and near extinction. The organization also manages natural areas including the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Al Yasat Marine Protected Area and the Marine Biosphere Reserve.
Climate change and biodiversity
The EAD is devoted to fighting climate change and reducing its impact. The organization works with partners and international experts to reduce climate change through air quality monitoring programs.
The organization also works with groundwater management, exploration, assessment and monitoring in Abu Dhabi. This groundwater resources exploration in Abu Dhabi aims to find new resources within the area. This will also provide more monitoring capabilities in fresh water wellfields and continued water resource exploration and assessment.
As well as groundwater management, the association also concentrates on the investigation of marine invasive species. These species are a serious threat to the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem. The project identifies and studies marine invasive species in the Emirate and the effect it has on the ecosystem. The program aims to alleviate some of the issues involved with marine invasive species into the Emirate. It also does field investigation on fish reproductive habits to determine spawning grounds of fish that are important commercially to Abu Dhabi. The EAD strives to protect its habitat and asses its populations.
Environmental awareness and policy
The EAD has a strong environmental awareness campaign in which they develop environmental education and awareness plans and programs. The EAD collaborates with organizations from a local to international level to share information about environmental awareness.
The Environmental Policy Sector (EPS) works to ensure policies and legislations are run and developed for certain environmental issues at the EAD. The EPS is composed of many committees that are concerned with setting an environmental action plan and it proposes legislations for implementing them. It works on policies for economic sectors related to energy, renewable, environmental health and safety management systems. It also participates in setting policies and plans to coastal areas, biodiversity soil and land use.
The EAD’s mission to “protect and conserve the environment for people’s well being and a better life for all” is coming to fruition with its many projects and legislations. With its environmental awareness and policy schemes and focus on environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity and sustainable communities, the EAD is working toward lessening the carbon footprint in Abu Dhabi and beyond.