- The high-level meeting highlighted the role of space sciences and technologies in monitoring and combatting the effects of climate change
21 August 2017, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The UAE Space Agency has discussed means of joint cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment during a meeting between high-level Space Agency delegates and the Minister of Climate Change and Environment. Discussions included the possibility of providing data on local and international environmental issues, as well as exchanging knowledge and expertise in relevant fields, in order to help combat the effects of climate change.
H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, met with H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency; and other high level delegates.
The two sides discussed collaboration in providing climate change and environmental solutions, with talks focusing on earth observation and remote sensing satellites. The UAE Space Agency informed H.E. Dr. Al Zeyoudi of current earth monitoring satellite projects that are able to gather accurate scientific data on the UAE’s environment, including greenhouse gasses and other issues related to climate change and sustainability.
The talks also outlined prospects for working with international bodies in which the Space Agency has membership. The UAE Space Agency will facilitate access to global datasets covering a range of environmental issues, in order to inform and advance national efforts to combat the effects of climate change.
H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The issue of climate change is one of the UAE’s highest priorities, due to its impact on our ecosystems and economy. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is cooperating with strategic partners in the public and private sectors to lay the foundations for tackling this issue nationally and internationally. We are taking the necessary measures in order for us to be fully prepared to manage present and future risks. This joint cooperation with the UAE Space Agency underscores our belief in the important role of innovative technologies and practices when it comes to combatting climate change. Such collaboration across these important areas will allow us to provide cutting-edge solutions for climate change, in line with our national objectives and aspirations.”
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi added: “The UAE Space Agency is committed to upholding national policies on climate change, and maximizing their efficacy wherever possible. Space technologies play a crucial role in these plans, as earth observation, remote sensing and monitoring are vital to understanding specific issues, developing targeted responses, and updating policies as necessary.”
The UAE is classified with a high level of vulnerability from the effects of climate change, which include increased temperatures, less precipitation and rising sea levels. As such, the UAE was one of the first oil-producing countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and recently launched the National Climate Change Plan that combines previous existing policies into one comprehensive nationwide strategy.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi said: “We have had a highly productive meeting with the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and look forward to our continued coordination wherever space technologies and environmental issues meet. This is an area in which the UAE Space Agency is already playing an active role, and earlier this year we welcomed the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to the Emirates Space Innovation Group. We believe the space sector will be key to ensure the UAE has a sustainable environment for generations to come.”