UAE environment report launched at Expo Milan

The report was released to coincide with World Environment Day and reviews the country's current environmental situation.

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The UAE has launched a comprehensive review of its environmental achievements in time for today’s World Environment Day.

The UAE State of Environment Report 2015 was launched in the country's pavilion at the Milan Expo yesterday by Dr Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water.

Clean energy – led by Abu Dhabi company Masdar – sustainable transport, green architecture and efficient use of resources are among the policies adopted by the UAE and reviewed in the report.

In releasing it, Dr bin Fahad praised the hard work of authorities and agencies to ensure the nation’s targets for sustainability were hit.

He said transparency was crucial before practical, sustainable solutions could be found, and that latest data was used to analyse the UAE’s environmental situation.

It includes efforts to preserve water – one of the most pressing environmental concerns for the region – particularly through improved irrigation systems.

Sprinklers, drip and fountain irrigation systems have largely taken over from wasteful flood systems, the report says.

The new methods made up 91 per cent of irrigation in 2011, from 32 per cent in 1999, the report shows.

The report also throws light on the challenges ahead, with increased economic development and rising and ageing population adding to the pressure on limited resources.

It will be an important tool for policy and decision makers in ensuring that development is sustainable.

The challenges and successes in diversifying the economy away from reliance on crude oil are also addressed.

The share of non-oil productive sectors grew to 69 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2010, the National Bureau of Statistics says.

The country also recently released the first edition of the UAE State of the Green Economy Report, for 2014, and the UAE Green Agenda.

The report’s release in Milan comes hot on the heels of the official opening in Abu Dhabi of the global headquarters for the International Renewable Energy Agency at Masdar City on Wednesday night.