Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has been honoured with the prestigious title of Best Regional Environmental Agency in the Middle East and Africa for 2023 at the Capital Finance International’s (CFI) Sustainability Awards. This recognition highlights the agency’s exceptional track record in executing pioneering and large-scale projects dedicated to environmental conservation.
EAD stands as the first environmental agency in the Middle East to achieve this esteemed award since its inception in 2012. The agency’s success can be attributed to its diverse range of projects, which encompass species re-introduction, marine restoration, air and marine water quality monitoring, climate change action, groundwater and soil management, research and outreach programs, as well as youth engagement initiatives.
One notable factor contributing to EAD’s recognition is its oversight of facility permitting and assessment in Abu Dhabi, where the industrial sector has witnessed a significant increase in compliance. The agency has spearheaded regional-scale projects, including the ambitious coral restoration project aimed at cultivating a million coral reefs. Additionally, EAD’s efforts to combat climate change involved the planting of a million mangrove seeds in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, their commissioning of a unique research vessel has allowed for ground-breaking marine research in the Arabian Gulf.
The vessel, which embarked on its maiden voyage from Spain to Abu Dhabi, traversed 25 countries and eight seas. During this extraordinary journey, the vessel conducted a world-first Atmospheric Research Expedition to measure air quality along its route.
Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, stated that, “At EAD over the past few decades, we have worked extremely hard to achieve our position of the leading environmental regulator in the region. By winning this award, bestowed on us by Capital Finance International, it means that what we are doing resonates beyond the boundaries of the UAE, and we have reached a global audience.”
EAD has also been at the forefront of technological innovation. It introduced remote sensing of vehicle emissions using NASA spin-off laser-based technology to measure vehicle emissions in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, EAD has successfully led the largest species re-introduction program by relocating 500 Scimitar-Horned Oryx to Chad, effectively saving them from the brink of extinction.
The recognition bestowed upon EAD underscores its commitment to environmental conservation and its dedication to executing groundbreaking initiatives that have a positive impact on the region. The agency’s exceptional achievements set a commendable standard for environmental agencies worldwide, cementing its position as a leader in the field of sustainable development.