DUBAI, 2nd May, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment reviewed its efforts to eradicate the red palm weevil and illegal logging at its second meeting of 2019 in Dubai.
Chaired by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the meeting reviewed some of the key environmental initiatives that had been implemented or are currently underway across the UAE. In addition to the council members, key environment stakeholders from federal and local entities in the country also attended.
The council reviewed the progress by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, in its campaign initiated in 2018, to eradicate the red palm weevil by leveraging the latest technology, as well as treating the afflicted trees.
Next on the agenda was the issue of illegal logging. Cutting off native trees and selling the timber to hawkers or at local markets, violates Federal Law No. 24 of 1999, related to the protection and development of the environment and Ministerial Resolution No. 18 of 2018 that focuses on the cultivation of local plants and the conservation of nature. The members called for raising awareness, placing warning signs and securing roads in mountainous and desert areas, enforcing more stringent penalties and expanding the country’s overall green cover.
The meeting also highlighted the risks of hawkers selling palm seedlings. These included the spread of red palm weevil, which causes enormous financial losses to the country and farmers, and the introduction of palm species of unknown origins and types that are then sold to farmers as high-quality palm trees for a hefty price.
Council members reviewed the recommendations of the Coordinating Council of Municipal Affairs from its last meeting that focused on hawkers selling palm seedlings and convened MoCCAE officials and representatives of local municipalities.
The recommendations urged the entities concerned to launch extensive campaigns to raise awareness and suggested that local authorities ban the selling of palm seedlings on highways and seize the vehicles used for their sale. The Coordinating Council of Municipal Affairs had also recommended in the last meeting that MoCCAE follow-up and coordinate with local authorities to prevent any violation of the federal environmental regulations.
Council members also presented an overview of the progress achieved in the National Climate Adaptation Programme, particularly with regard to infrastructure and health sectors.