The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) hosted the sixth National Dialogue for Climate Ambition (NDCA) that explored the role of nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Held under the theme “Promoting the creation and implementation of innovative and sustainable nature-based solutions”, the event took place at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel.
The session convened around 50 representatives of relevant public and private sector entities. Federal government authorities included the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Office of the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and Emirates Green Building Council.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Dubai Municipality; Emirates Nature-WWF, Zayed International Foundation for the Environment, and International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA); were also in attendance.
The event also drew the participation of several local and international companies, including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala, ADQ, TAQA, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Essa Al-Ghurair, Aldar, Farnek Services, HSBC, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Distant Imagery.
The sixth instalment in the series highlighted the UAE’s efforts to leverage blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, saltmarshes, and seagrass meadows, to address climate change.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, praised the outstanding work of EAD in this regard.
“Mangrove forests offer significant climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits. To strengthen our blue carbon ecosystems, we proactively work to expand our mangrove cover. In December 2020, we submitted our second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement that included planting an additional 30 million mangroves by 2030. And less than a year later, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, we announced an increase in our mangrove-planting target to 100 million by 2030.
“The UAE is home to more than 63 million mangroves that form forests spanning 183 square kilometres and capture 43,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The new target, captured in the country’s updated second NDC, will bring up its total mangrove forest area to 483 square kilometres and increase the CO2 sequestration rate to 115,000 tonnes per year,”
For his part, Steven Lutz, Senior Programme Officer and Blue Carbon Lead at GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian foundation and partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), offered an in-depth insight into ways of using ocean-based solutions to capture CO2.
“Oceans absorb around one-third of human-generated emissions, and marine life, such as whales, fish, and sea turtles, plays a key role in this process,”
Lutz pointed out the difference in the carbon sequestration capacity of a living ocean versus a depleted one, emphasising the importance of conserving ocean ecosystems and reversing the overfishing crisis.
The agenda also featured an introduction of the National Carbon Sequestration Project, a presentation on EAD’s efforts, and briefs on projects aimed at transforming captured CO2 and mineralising it into rock. In addition, the participants finalised the “100 Million Mangroves Plantation Plan”, the implementation mechanism for the latest mangrove-planting target.
NDCA is a series of sector-specific assemblies aimed at raising sectoral climate ambitions and informing the UAE’s roadmap to net-zero by 2050.
News Source: Emirates News Agency