EAD unveils progress in implementing Abu Dhabi’s plan towards Environmental Centennial 2071 goals


The Environment Agency ­– Abu Dhabi (EAD), in cooperation with its strategic partners, has announced the results of progress made during the past 12 months in implementing the first Abu Dhabi Plan. The Plan, running from 2023-2025, is part of the journey towards fulfilling the Environmental Centennial 2071 goals.
As the authority responsible for implementing the emirate’s environmental and sustainability agenda, the Agency seeks to achieve Abu Dhabi government’s aspirations of being an environmental and climate action world leader by 2071.
Under the Plan’s umbrella, during 2023, a total of 212 experts realised 195 achievements and positive outcomes. The partners also accomplished an additional 32 achievements and positive outcomes outside of the 2023-25 Environmental Centennial programmes.
The implementation plan’s outcomes were achieved with the participation of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Department of Energy, the Department of Government Enablement, the Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Integrated Transport Centre and Abu Dhabi Maritime.
Sheikha Al Mazrouei, Executive Director of the Integrated Environmental Planning and Policy Sector, stressed that EAD and its partners sought to implement the three strategic pathways of the Centennial, including 65 action programmes that focus on outcomes, enhance cooperation, and stimulate future green transformation to reach the goals of the 2071 Centennial. A total of 14 programmes were completed, with a progress implementation rate of 49 percent, positively impacting 18 countries through international partnerships and participation.
As part of the first pathway – “Vibrant emirate thriving in nature” – and its 23 action programmes, more than a million mangrove seeds were planted using drone technology to achieve sustainable biodiversity. The planting of more than 800,000 fragments of coral has increased the emirate’s total coral reef area, and a comprehensive plan for the development of aquaculture in Abu Dhabi was created, focusing on seven key pillars.
The locally manufactured eco-mattresses that support the marine environment in Abu Dhabi Marinas have won a global award for innovation in the field of sustainability, and currently host a wide variety of marine life, including 15 species of algae, 13 species of fish, and four invertebrate species.
To improve soil and water quality to help sustain human life, a comprehensive plan was created for sustainable agricultural development in Abu Dhabi. The Plan aims to increase water-use efficiency and the appropriate use of crops per land type. The use of recycled water in the sector increased to 72 percent, and a proposal to use desalinated water to irrigate 7,600 farms was developed to reduce groundwater extraction.
Additionally, a water management policy across Abu Dhabi’s district cooling plants was issued and its implementation mechanism was developed in partnership with the relevant entities to ensure the responsible use of water and eliminate harmful liquid discharges.
To ensure the availability of clean and healthy air for all, a 33-kilometre pathway was created for micro-transportation, such as cycling and walking. Additionally, an air purification tower was inaugurated on Al Hudayriat Island with environmentally friendly, positive ionisation technology. The tower purifies 30,000 cubic metres per hour, enabling visitors to enjoy healthy air.
Similarly, EAD’s air quality modelling systems have been enhanced and now cover various atmospheric variables and the dispersion of chemicals. Moreover, 40 factory chimneys have been linked electronically to the emirate’s monitoring system.
Also, a road map was developed to establish a “One Health System” for Abu Dhabi based on comprehensive analyses, local and international cooperation, and partnerships with international universities. The system that enables Abu Dhabi to determine the health burden resulting from air pollution and climate change was updated and advanced to offer improved accuracy in analysing environmental variables and their ramifications on public health and the economy.
As part of the second pathway: “Green force resilient to climate change”, which includes 23 action programmes, the five-year Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy was announced. The initiative includes 85 projects managed by 15 entities to reduce emissions by 22 percent and develop adaptation plans for key sectors.
Moreover, the “Abu Dhabi Energy Outlook 2050” initiative was unveiled, setting a long-term framework for a gradual, balanced transition towards carbon neutrality for key sectors.
Other noteworthy initiatives include deploying technologies and practices to ensure that the agricultural sector is climate-smart. The pilot phase of the hospitality sector Carbon Calculator was also launched, and the fifth greenhouse gas emissions inventory and future estimates for the emirate was completed.
Clean energy made up 45 percent of Abu Dhabi’s total energy mix – which primarily increased due to the operation of the Barakah 3 nuclear power plant and Al Dhafra solar power plants. The Abu Dhabi low-carbon hydrogen policy was also adopted to create hydrogen oases and clean electricity parks.
To transition to a clean-energy transportation system, the emirate’s autonomous transportation framework was finalised, focusing on electric vehicles and shared mobility. The low-emission vehicle strategy was also updated, centred around vehicles that operate entirely on electricity.
Additionally, a feasibility study was conducted for a system that will allow emissions trading in Abu Dhabi, as well as frameworks to ensure its effective implementation and governance in accordance with local regulations. A green procurement policy has also been developed for government institutions in the emirate to promote sustainable goods and services, and a list of priorities for sustainable product manufacturing in Abu Dhabi has been provided to enable users to make responsible decisions and drive green innovation.
A strategy to reduce food loss and waste was also launched in the emirate to enhance sustainability and create a more efficient food system.
A total of 70 vending machines and 26 smart containers that can recover used disposal plastic bottles were placed across the emirate, which has, to date, recovered over 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste.
A toolkit was also designed to integrate the circular economy into the manufacturing industry based on benchmarking, understanding the dynamics of materials demand, and identifying sectors with good potential.
The third pathway: “Enablers for future environmental leadership”, includes 19 action programmes focused on enhancing Abu Dhabi’s environmental leadership. As part of this pathway, historical discoveries related to the oasis environment were published at five national and international conferences, and 13 facilities were awarded the Green Industries Environmental Label for their contributions to adopting sustainable practices.
An integrated digital platform for agriculture and food security data was also created, reinforced by indicators and metrics that ensure the integration of sustainable environmental practices. Recognising the deep interrelations between the water, environment, energy, and food sectors, a collaborative framework and strategy were devised to integrate these four sectors, while enhancing decision-making processes and formulating policies.
To promote education and more effective environmental awareness, six sustainable tourism guidelines were launched, covering cultural and heritage sites, events, food and beverages, hotels, entertainment, travel agencies, and tourist trips. On the same note, more than 2,000 users registered for the first free green e-learning platform in the Middle East, and three new courses were launched.
Four hundred publications, such as electronic and audio books, were converted into digital copies, and two books were published on topics related to environmental awareness. A competition focusing on publishers who have pioneered sustainability initiatives was also created. Training and education were provided to over 4,850 individuals in energy and water conservation programmes tailored to various specific categories.
An electronic course on green development policies was developed, which more than 2,000 government employees have completed. In partnership with leading international universities, a training programme on public policy on sustainability frameworks was also held for government leaders.
The Abu Dhabi Environmental Research Network (ADERN) was launched, comprising eight universities and more than 250 members promoting innovation in green science and technology, and multiple research projects were conducted aboard the research vessel ‘Jaywun’, including an atmospheric research trip that sailed via 25 countries and eight seas.
The first environmental DNA baseline and genome sequences for fish, and the first biophysical oceanographic survey in the southern Arabian Gulf were completed, in addition to the training of 15 young Emirati cadres in marine research.
The largest gathering of Western Osprey in the Arabian Gulf region was monitored as part of a comprehensive survey of coastal areas and marine islands, and eight ‘New to Science’ species of digger wasps were discovered in the emirate’s natural reserves.

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