SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 18th May, 2021) The Arab academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport Branch in Sharjah (AASTS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).
This supports AASTS’ mission to protect the marine environment, enhance fish wealth, and provide research and development services.
The MoU aims to employ AASTS’ capabilities and the expertise of its staff to serve and develop the marine environment and curb marine activities that are contributing to climate change. The cooperation also includes protecting and maintaining the ecological balance in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, which the UAE overlooks.
The MoU was signed by Sultan Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary for the Regions Sector and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE and Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of AASTS.
Prospects for cooperation stipulated in the MoU cover several areas, including protecting the marine environment and developing the country’s natural resources which serve its agenda; providing education and training; conducting specialised research in the field; in addition to building capacities in digital applications, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to develop marine food resources and combat the effects of pollution and harmful emissions.
Alwan said: "To support climate change mitigation and adaptation – a strategic priority of the UAE – MOCCAE works closely with public and private sector stakeholders to incorporate the requirements of climate action in future planning across all sectors with the aim of ensuring a better future for the current and next generations."
He added: "In line with its focus on the marine environment, the Ministry is keen to build synergies with relevant entities that can help sustain its natural resources and biodiversity. Through the MoU with AASTS, we seek to capitalise on the Academy’s rich expertise in this area. We commend AASTS’ role in providing world-class scientific research and academic studies to inform maritime protection efforts in the region."
Dr. Farag said: "Our relationship with the UAE is special. We realise the unlimited support from the UAE’s leadership and decision-makers to protect the marine environment and ensure that the maritime sector adheres to all international standards that are in place to address the issue of climate change. We affirm that we devote all our capabilities that we have built over decades to be the scientific and academic arm that serves the environmental strategy of the UAE and the other Arab countries wishing to build their capacity to combat climate change, protect the environment, and develop their maritime and water resources."
He clarified: "We believe that our partnership with the UAE will have a positive impact on developing the Academy’s other branches, considering that the UAE is listed among the thriving economies in the region. We will contribute to improving and developing the best marine environmental practices and provide support in terms of advisory and scientific studies for various applications and specialisations, ensuring that our actions have a positive impact on the global maritime industry."
The UAE is witnessing intense maritime activity with more than 21,000 commercial ships visiting the UAE ports annually. This makes it necessary to look for optimal means to prevent them from causing pollution of the marine environment and threatening the water and marine food security of the UAE.
Therefore, it is imperative to launch a comprehensive awareness campaign on best practices to protect the marine environment and reduce the carbon footprint of the shipping sector. The media campaign may include platforms targeted at young people, and integrated global public relations campaigns in coordination with local and international maritime organisations and bodies that address the public in several languages.