UOWD students enlightened on environmental governance
Al Hashmi explained the federal structure of the Ministry of Environment and Water and the relevant governing bodies concerned with biodiversity
Dubai — As part of the University of Wollongong in Dubai’s (UOWD) mission to provide students with an opportunity to discuss critical topics facing the community, leading experts were invited to give their views on the growing challenges of environmental governance during the university’s second annual panel discussion, part of the UOWD Envirotalk series.
The event represented different dimensions of the environmental movement in the UAE
Organised by Dr Zeenath Khan, the three-person panel consisted of leading authorities representing different dimensions of the environmental movement in the UAE — Ahmed Al Hashmi, director of biodiversity at the Ministry of Environment and Water; Dr Amer Al Madidy, manager of sustainability and health at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort; and Dr Mohammad Ali Reza Khan, expert consultant on wildlife zoo management at the Dubai Municipality.
As part of the session, the inaugural UOWD Envirotalk Appreciation Awards were presented to Dr Jacky Judas, research manager of the Wadi Wurayah National Park, and Dr Reza Khan for their continued support in making the series a success.
The packed auditorium was given new insights into legal issues surrounding environmental governance, ecological issues, sustainable development and the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain, an environment-friendly hub dedicated to restructuring Al Ain Zoo — the first of its kind in the region.
Al Hashmi explained the federal structure of the Ministry of Environment and Water and the relevant governing bodies concerned with biodiversity, shedding light on the ministry’s strategies and future plans relating to UAE Vision 2021.
Sustainable development was identified as a major factor having effect on environmental governance. Dr Al Madidy provided an in-depth explanation on the impact that architecture can have on the environment, describing the process that was followed to make the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre a sustainable building.
Dr Reza Khan, head of the Dubai Zoo since 1989, discussed the captive breeding programmes that have preserved native species such as the Arabian Oryx, and highlighted the importance of green laws in the UAE and region.
Dr Zeenath Reza Khan, an instructor at the UOWD’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences and organiser of this year’s event, said: “We believe in the power that practical, hands-on experience can have on our students’ ability to absorb information and apply that information to better their academic output.”
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