The UAE is a major player in mobilising international efforts to protect the oceans.
The UAE has established its position among the list of the most prominent countries supporting efforts to protect the oceans and the marine environment at the global level, in line with its vision and commitment to push international efforts to reduce the repercussions of climate change and achieve sustainable development.
The UAE ranks high in the international indicators related to the protection and health of the oceans, as it occupies 15th place in the indicator of low ocean pollution in the Prosperity Index report and 20th in the goal of the Ocean Health Index – clean water within the Sustainable Development Goals Index issued by the Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation. and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Today, the UAE is celebrating the “World Oceans Day”, which was approved by the United Nations on June 8 of each year as an occasion to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the oceans and protecting them from pollution, given their major role in daily life, as they are one of the most important sources of food on which humans depend. It is also an important economic resource, with more than 40 million people expected to work in ocean-based industries by 2030.
In addition to their role in securing food, the oceans play a very influential environmental role, producing at least 50% of the world’s oceans. Of the oxygen on the planet, the oceans absorb approximately 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, preventing the effects of global warming.
During the past few months, the pace of the UAE’s efforts in the field of ocean protection at the global level has escalated. Last October, on the sidelines of the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and the Biodiversity Summit, the UAE, in cooperation with the governments of Fiji, Kenya, Norway, Palau, Portugal and Sweden, organized a table meeting Roundtable for a group of ocean protectors to discuss updates and work achievements for 2020 and 2021.
The agreement to target 30% of the oceans by 2030 was one of the most important outcomes of the meeting. The outcomes of the meeting also included offering the possibility of reaching financing or investment agreements for the cost of managing marine protected areas, reaching an agreement and a global treaty to reduce plastic pollution of the marine environment, and reaching work mechanisms from Its role is to promote sustainable fishing stocks, which have fallen from 90% in the seventies of the last century to 65% today.
Participants in the meeting proposed dedicating up to $30 billion annually to climate action efforts that in turn contribute to protecting the health of the oceans.
The UAE joined the Global Ocean Alliance launched by the United Kingdom, with the aim of enhancing the protection of the oceans and the marine environment, globally, from the pressures it faces, such as pollution, climate change and overfishing, because of their economic and environmental value of high importance to the sustainability of the planet.
The alliance consists of 32 member states, and calls, as part of its action strategy, to protect at least 30% of the oceans around the world by 2030, through the expansion of marine protected areas, and the UAE is the first country to join the alliance in the Middle East.
At the local level, the UAE has worked to enhance the protection of the marine environment through an integrated system of efforts, including creating a legislative structure, constantly updating, that created a general framework, to meet the challenges of marine environment pollution and overfishing, and issued many decisions that contributed to the preservation of many types of marine environments. Vital fish, by defining their fishing seasons, and the lengths and sizes allowed to be caught.