Championing Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Solutions
Abu Dhabi, 28 September 2023: Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) concluded a successful participation at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and New York City Climate Week 2023, a pivotal global event focused on addressing climate change and environmental conservation. EAD demonstrated through discussion and panel participations the scientific approach and innovative solutions it applies to improve the quality of life and protect Abu Dhabi's natural heritage for future generations.
This participation comes within the framework of the efforts made by the emirate of Abu Dhabi and EAD in the field of climate action, which recently witnessed the launch of a comprehensive Climate Change Strategy. This comes at a time when the country is preparing to host the COP28 Conference of the Parties, which consolidates its commitment to the global sustainable development agenda and climate action. Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy, issued in July 2023, confirms the endeavors of the Abu Dhabi government and its important role in contributing to supporting the efforts made by the Emirate to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and enhance efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change.
“Climate change is a global concern that requires us to unite to find solutions. Every opportunity to connect and share knowledge, exchange ideas, and work together is a step forward for climate action, biodiversity, and our planet. Everyone has a stake in its success – our projects to restore and rehabilitate seabeds, mangroves, coral reefs and fisheries impact oceans and climate but also help strengthen economies,” said Maitha Al Hameli, Section Head, Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation who was part of EAD's delegation to the event.
During her time in New York, Al Hameli was an invited speaker at two of the most prominent side events at the UN General Assembly: the Concordia Annual Summit, where she spoke alongside business leaders in finance and technology, and the Leaders on Purpose CEO Summit, where she engaged with key climate and banking experts. She also spoke on the main stage at Climate Week as part of a panel on biodiversity. All three panels featured leaders in sustainability sharing critical perspectives on climate and the importance of cooperative cross-sector action.
Field visits included a site tour with the Billion Oyster Project, which centered around a discussion of similar efforts in Abu Dhabi and the Billion Oyster Project's work to rehabilitate and restore the marine ecosystem in New York Harbor by adding one billion oysters to this critical marine environment, and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, to exchange ideas about mangrove restoration projects in New York and Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative launched in February 2022 at Al Jubail Mangrove Park uses cutting-edge drone technology to create planting solutions for mangroves, which are integral to the marine ecosystem and mitigate the effects of climate change. EAD and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy are progressing city-level climate change projects centered around restoring critical marine life while focusing on community and people engagement to increase buy-in and stakeholder interest in the environment.
'City-to-city and people-to-people exchanges are critical building blocks of climate action. It was our incredible honor to welcome Environment Agency Abu Dhabi team to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at Gateway National Recreation Area to showcase the West Pond Living Shoreline project that aims to protect vulnerable coastlines and critical wetland habitats,' said Terri Carta, Executive Director of Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. '
“The opportunity to speak and participate during key side events at the UN General Assembly and Climate Week and meet leading field experts was critical for global collaboration to take action on key Sustainable Development Goals. When we can have these important conversations, all groups are better equipped to lay the foundations for cooperation and solving our global climate crisis.” Al Hameli concluded.