UAE Launches National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, Ne'ma

UAE Launches National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, Ne'ma

The initiative developed by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Emirates Foundation, and Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will contribute to achieving the UAE’s target of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030 to meet the country’s food security strategy and UN sustainable development goals.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has witnessed the launch of the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative Ne'ma, to encourage public and private sector entities to collectively address food waste and encourage responsible consumption to preserve food resources for a sustainable future.

The launch of Ne'ma initiative aims to address food loss and waste and establish a nationwide strategy to encourage the adoption of positive behaviours and rational consumption of sustainable resources, in line with the national values of the UAE.

Present at the launch event were H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Crown Prince Court; Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of the Frontline Heroes Office; in addition to a number of officials.

Ne’ma will coordinate the efforts of government authorities, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations to reduce food loss and waste throughout the food supply chain from production to consumption, which will cover farms, companies, suppliers, retailers and individuals.

The initiative aims to conduct a specialist study to determine the baseline for food loss and waste and implement legislation and stimulate innovation in technical solutions while focussing on success stories in this area and supporting them through a platform for organising and unifying the joint efforts of individuals and society, as well as spread community awareness and highlight the importance of adopting positive behaviour.

The initiative also aims to establish widespread partnerships with the private sector, government authorities, social entities, hotels and restaurants, retailers, universities, schools and other partners.

The strategic goals of the initiative include discovering the main reasons for the behaviour that cause food loss, changing negative medium and long-term behaviour and promoting positive ones.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said,

"Guided by the values of our founding fathers and ancestors when it comes to rational consumption of food, we are determined to transmit our values and behaviour that is deep-rooted in our Emirati society to our current and future generations to achieve sustainability."

He urged all members of the society to adopt a culture of shared responsibility and commitment and correct societal behaviour and practices that cause food waste to ensure the sustainability of the nation’s food resources and other blessings that Allah Almighty has bestowed upon the country.

For her side, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said food loss and waste represent a global challenge. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) noted that 30 percent of the world's food production is wasted annually, equivalent to 1.3 million tonnes.

"In light of the country’s ambitions to establish a sustainable future and under the framework of consumption rationalisation and promoting sustainable behaviours, the Ne’ma initiative aims to reduce food waste by 50 percent, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal No.12.3, through two main pillars. The first is to coordinate with all public and private organisations to reduce food waste, and the second is to raise awareness about sustainable behaviour in food production and consumption," she added.

The initiative began activating its partnerships with the private sector, non-governmental organisations and local communities. Further information about the initiative is available at info@nema.ae.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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