ABU DHABI // The President has called for continuing efforts towards conservation, deeming them a “collective responsibility”.
Sheikh Khalifa also called for regulation of the consumption of water and energy and the launch of educational programmes about the sustainability of natural resources and use of clean, renewable energy.
The remarks came ahead of Thursday’s National Environment Day.
The country’s vision of sustainability is inspired by the vision of Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, said Sheikh Khalifa, according to state news agency Wam.
Sheikh Zayed was “an environmental advocate, leader of greenery and founder of sustainable environment who encouraged agriculture so that it became a way of life in the UAE”, the President said.
“Since the founding of our nation, we successfully planted tens of millions of trees, built dams, and reclaimed vast tracts of land to revitalise agriculture,” said Sheikh Khalifa.
The UAE has established 21 onshore and offshore natural reserves, which comprise 7 per cent of the country’s land mass, to preserve wildlife and marine species, reduce pollution and allow future generations to enjoy the environment, he said.
“Environmental effort is a collective responsibility, which requires the participation of everyone who lives in a civilised society,” he said. Each individual is “an ambassador for the environment and should be keen on ensuring its cleanliness, its sustainability, and work on reducing emissions of polluting gases”.
Dr Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said that this year’s theme for National Environment Day, as it was last year, is The Green Economy: Innovation and Sustainability.