Smart Solutions & Services Authority and Environment Authority in Abu Dhabi meet to protect Abu Dhabi’s marine waters
In adherence to the directives of the Higher Committee for Enhancing Marine Water Quality to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s marine environment, the Smart Solutions & Services Authority (ADSSSA) recently met with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EDA) to discuss mutually beneficial projects and initiatives to improve the quality of marine water in the capital city. Both parties tackled the next steps to develop an integrated environmental system to be reviewed at the World Summit of Oceans set to be held in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting was chaired by H.E Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), and H.E Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, Director General of ADSSSA. The two sides agreed to cooperate in implementing their joint environmental projects, including an executive plan for marine environment preservation to be implemented by Abu Dhabi authorities. The plan will cover environmental monitoring, data collection methods and techniques, and optimization of government resources and services through the Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD- SDI) Program.
H.E. Dr. Al Saadi said: “Both institutions aim to harness the power of spatial data for the preservation of the environment, thus contributing to the smart analysis and decision-making process within the government. Maximizing data enables local communities to quickly and smoothly access the latest geospatial information and take advantage of the existing infrastructure developed to meet the highest international standards.”
H.E. Dr. Al Saadi added that ADSSSA has been harnessing all technological resources to support the environment quality sector, in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s efforts to ensure a healthy and sustainable marine environment and develop an integrated environment system in Abu Dhabi.
H.E. Razan Al Mubarak said that the meeting had paved the way for concerned parties to further enhance their joint sustainability efforts, including quality improvement of the marine waters, amid Abu Dhabi’s continuous development. She noted that protecting the local marine waters is one of the government’s main priorities as evidenced by the passage of key relevant laws; implementation of globally accepted environmental monitoring programs; enactment of standards to determine the levels of harmful contaminants present in the marine environment; and strict environmental assessment and inspection of industrial activities and their impact on the marine environment.”
Since 2006, EDA has been implementing a program to monitor the quality of marine water. It has built a network of monitoring stations to collect and measure samples for analysis of the levels of nutrients, organic elements, microbes, heavy metals in water and marine sediments. It has also developed an automated early warning system that can predict the rate of harmful algal blooms (HAB). The system uses automatic buoys that collect data related to marine water characteristics every hour and throughout the week. The information collected is used to develop and enforce policies and legislations to moderate the impact of human activities on the marine environment and protect public health and biodiversity.
The Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure Program managed by ADSSSA aims to facilitate the exchange of spatial data among stakeholders and work to raise the emirate’s geospatial capabilities. The program coordinates different relevant activities to avoid duplication and optimize the use of geospatial resources by the government entities.