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Sharjah Shows the Way in Caring for the Environment

The Emirate of Sharjah is spearheading the region with projects that will build the foundations for a greener and sustainable future and develop Sharjah into the Environmental Capital of the Middle East.

As part of the emirate’s strong commitment and concern for the environment,  authorities are proactively encouraging and inculcating responsible environment practices and a culture of respect for the environment among its residents and citizens, said His Excellency (HE) Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre.  

HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi emphasised that in line with the vision and guidelines of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah has always followed a tradition of respect for  nature and ecological resources.

 “As an emirate that boasts one of the most diverse and ecologically rich landscapes in the region with a long coastline and picturesque beaches along the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf, rich flora and fauna, precious environment resources such as the mangroves of Kalba and the largest number of parks, wildlife and natural reserves in the country, Sharjah is conscious of its responsibility to protect its environment and natural resources,” said HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi.    

“Sharjah has undertaken a number of historic and ground-breaking initiatives in the past few years to ensure its residents embrace best and healthy environment practices, policies that are in accordance with internationally recognised conventions and guidelines by the United Nations for sustainable development and progress for all”, he added.

The communities in Sharjah are encouraged to adopt an environmentally sustainable lifestyle through various awareness and education initiatives.

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the UAE, and also has the highest development rate. All development activities in Sharjah are mandated to follow sustainable development practices. In an effort to protect the environment in the midst of rapid growth and development in the Emirate, the Sharjah Government and Bee’ah have been very proactive towards activities that promote environmental protection and awareness. The Government has pushed for increases in the greenery areas in the Emirate that will not only provide recreational areas for families, but will also help reduce the environmental footprint.

The launching of the much acclaimed Bee’ah initiative in 2007 by the emirate was a huge step in this quest for a healthier environment.  Bee’ah is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions in environmental and resource management through integrated waste management, renewable energy, facilities management and sustainable development. Besides, it also offers environmental consulting and research by providing education and awareness about environmental preservation.

Through its waste collection division Tandeef, Bee’ah plays a vital role in providing coherent and sustainable environmental solutions to meet the challenges of the community it serves.   Through its team of 3,500 employees and a fleet of  more than 550 waste collection vehicles, Bee’ah not only keeps the emirate clean but it also recycles thousands of tonnes of waste material for reuse and for providing energy to the community. 

Sharjah is also in the process of setting up the region’s first and world’s largest Waste-to-Energy facility which will use state-of-the-art gasification technology. The Waste-to-Energy plant by Bee’ah will recycle 400,000 tonnes of waste annually to generate 85 megawatts of energy.

“All these initiatives aspire to protect the emirate’s environment and its precious natural resources, encourage a healthy lifestyle and reduce the emirate’s ecological footprint”, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi pointed out.

It is worth mentioning that despite the massive economic development, industrialisation and considerable electricity consumption in the country, the UAE remains within the ‘green zone’ in ecological terms, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. 

 

A WHO report for the Eastern Mediterranean, Regional Strategy for Health and Environment 2014-2019, has noted that “the UAE has a very low mortality resulting from environmental consequences such as air pollution compared to other countries in the region.”

 

The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water’s Air Quality Department also asserts that the country’s particulate matter (pm) of 2.5 levels do not exceed WHO guidelines. This is a result of the importance the country attaches to improving air quality by achieving 90 per cent of the WHO Air Quality guidelines as a target by 2021.

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