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UAE to launch ecological footprint initiative
Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed October 10, 2007 12:00 am

UAE. Minister of Environment and Water, Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, yesterday hosted an Iftar for senior media representatives to brief them about the impending launch of a new initiative to measure and understand the ecological footprint of the country and to solicit support of the media for the national project.

"The concept of the ecological footprint involves the study of a number of elements including the rate at which the natural resources of a country are being consumed," said Al Kindi. He stated that the calculations of a country's ecological footprint can act as a tool to ensure developmental plans and policies are sustainable. Al Kindi said the new initiative marked a turning point in the UAE's history.

"The success of this project requires a collaborative nation-wide effort", said Al Kindi pointing out that the media could play a key role by building public awareness on the project, as well as on the longer-term need to protect natural resources. "We want the media to be a key partner in this initiative, which will be officially launched in Abu Dhabi on 18 October," he said.

Al Kindi described the initiative - Al Basama Al Beeiya (Ecological Footprint) - as a historic national effort that will require the support of all emirates and government departments. "I am calling it historic for two reasons. The first reason is that an environment and ecology-related initiative of this nature, cutting across all Emirates and government departments, is being launched in the UAE for the first time.

"The second reason for describing it as historic is that the Al Basama Al Beeiya is a major turning point in the UAE's developmental history with far-reaching, positive results. The leadership of the UAE and other decision-makers will use the ecological footprint analysis as an important policy-making tool. This means that we, as a nation, will update our existing policies, change those policies if necessary and initiate new policies after weighing in the country's ecological footprint," he said.

The Iftar, held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, was attended by senior editors and representatives of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF), and the Environment and Water Ministry.

AGEDI and EWS-WWF are national partners in the initiative.



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