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Falaj system an example of UAE's sustainability efforts: Minister

Staff Reporter/Sharjah
Filed on December 26, 2019
Falaj system an example of UAEs sustainability efforts: Minister

(Supplied)

Regeneration efforts carried out to enhance and preserve the ecological and cultural aspects of Wadi Shees.

The traditional falaj irrigation system is a prime example of the UAE's sustainability efforts, said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, on Thursday.

Speaking at the opening of revitalised falaj site in Wadi Shees in Sharjah, the minister said from the early days, "our ancestors have relied on innovation and sustainable water consumption to sustain and develop the country's precious water resources.

The regeneration efforts were carried out to enhance and preserve the ecological and cultural aspects of Wadi Shees through the improvement of the traditional falaj irrigation system that aims to preserve the site's biodiversity while maintaining conventional farming practices.

He added: "The restoration of the falaj system at Wadi Shees helps preserve the ecological and cultural characteristics of the site to familiarise current and future generations with the UAE's heritage and traditions, while also improving water supply. We are proud of this project, which highlights the importance of productive public-private partnerships in ensuring the overall well-being of the UAE and its people."

The project, in partnership with Emirates Nature - WWF and the Coca-Cola Company, was established earlier this year. Combining Emirates Nature - WWF's expertise and experience with the Coca-Cola Company's investment and vision to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to that used in its beverages, the project has successfully enhanced irrigation efficiency in select farming plots and restored the falaj through reducing water leakages, reinforcing weak structures and improving sealings of channels and water tanks.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, director-general of Emirates Nature - WWF, said: "We're proud to have joined efforts over the past year to develop the traditional falaj irrigation system and conserve freshwater."

Murat Ozgel, president, Middle East and North Africa business unit, the Coca-Cola Company, said: "As a business, we are committed to making a difference and have pledged to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to our use in our finished beverages. To do this, we invest in and support community water projects where there is a need to make a lasting impact."

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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