June 10, 2015 - H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, headed the UAE delegation to a milestone global conference tackling the implementation of the International Decade for Action-‘Water for Life 2005-2015,’ held on June 9 to 10, 2015 in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan. The participation of the UAE in the conference reflects the country’s strong commitment to take on a more active role in regional and international efforts towards developing sustainable solutions to environmental issues, especially in countries experiencing water shortage. The UAE remains steadfast its efforts to meet its vision for establishing sustainability in the country and beyond.
Minister Bin Fahad mentioned that although the world has seen remarkable improvement in the past decade as a result of the green initiatives, there are still many obstacles in the way before the global community can ensure clean water and the necessary sanitation services to the population. He also added that another challenge that becomes an impediment to certain country’s development efforts is depletion and decreasing per capita distribution of water resources, as a result of both human and natural factors.
Bin Fahad said that the UAE is eager to preserve its water resources and ensure sustainability. He noted that the wise leadership is undertaking developmental programs in order to preserve the country’s water resources and meet the growing needs of a growing and dynamic population. The initiatives also focuses on the desalination of sea water, which constitutes 41 per cent of UAE consumption, and the strategic development of agricultural policies that will water and food resources, implement proper waste management and prevent the excessive consumption of freshwater resources. The programs also aims regulate water consumption, impose increasing tariff along with other legislative measures, and disseminate the use of modern techniques that will ensure water preservation.
The conference served as an interactive platform fostering a healthy discussion on the challenges and gaps with regards to the implementation of the International Decade for Action-Water for Life. The information will be assessed in the context of the international community’s public opinion and will serve as the foundation to make recommendations for further action beyond 2015 in the field of sustainable development.
The UAE has set new benchmarks in the field of green initiatives, most notable of which is the national control system on drinking water and guiding tools for water consumption, both of which were issued just a few weeks ago. In addition, it has a cultivated awareness on the preservation of water resources through comprehensive educational campaigns. In line with the UAE National Agenda 2021, the state is also currently developing a strategy to measure water scarcity and water resource indicators to track the progress of the programs in action.