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EPDA Governance Report During The First Half of 2020

27 September 2020

The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah announced in its governance report for the first half of 2020 that it had provided 49,713 services, all of which were provided 100% remotely, whether through digital channels, social media, toll-free contact numbers, text messages, or virtual communication platforms for various categories of customers. Such as industrial and professional establishments, fishermen, fishing workers, farm owners, government and educational institutions, individuals and various community groups, which were classified into 75 types of service based on the authority’s 23 specializations under Decree No. 2 of 2007 and its amendments, as well as its jurisdiction to regulate the profession of fishing under Decree No. 11 of 2015 ; The Authority’s vision revolves around leadership in protecting the environment and sustaining its resources. Its mission seeks innovation and excellence in monitoring and awareness methods, and preparing legislation based on specialized research programs that contribute to environmental protection and the sustainability of natural resources. Dr. Saif Muhammad Al-Ghais, Director General of the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, said that at the level of the group of monitoring services, environmental permits and no-objection certificates, 28,409 transactions were completed, representing 57.19% of the total number of transactions completed during the first half, of which 25,430 air quality measurements were read and 1543 permits. Environmental (issuance, renewal and amendment) for medium and small industrial and professional establishments, and 1511 NOCs, including 458 certificates for licensing liquid water tanks, and 990 certificates for importing and exporting chemicals, and for transporting used oils from Ras Al Khaimah ports, in addition to handling 15 environmental complaints Successfully, With regard to environmental awareness services, the authority has completed 15042 transactions, at a rate of 30.86% of the total number of transactions completed, including 15026 awareness text messages, and 16 activities and campaigns for environmental awareness throughout the emirate, and at the level of environmental sustainability services, the authority has completed 5195 services, including 4908 trees. Local, distributed to institutions and individuals (of which 2,250 local trees were replaced by environmental fines, which is the new service that the authority introduced during the first half of 2020), and finally, at the level of services for organizing the profession of fishing and licensing fishermen, the authority has completed 1023 transactions, including 414 services for issuing and renewing a license Artisanal, pedestrian and picnic fishing, 96 issuance and renewal of a fishing worker's card, 462 procedures for renewing lease contracts for fishing berths, warehouses, and housing for fishing workers, 35 transactions for issuing no-objection certificates to sail and transferring a boat license, etc., as well as 18 transactions for providing berths and warehouses for fishermen and housing for fishing workers. Dr. Saif Al-Ghais noted that during the first half of 2020, the authority planted 300 mangroves in the nursery designated for this purpose in Khor Muzahmi Reserve, and prepared 40 environmental impact studies and an environmental management plan and scope of work, in addition to the participation of 89 governmental institutions. And educational, social and industrial facilities) and work teams and individuals inside and outside the emirate and the state in the prizes organized by the authority such as the International Award for Soft Supervision of a Sustainable Environment, the Student Environmental Protection Teams Award, the Sustainability Award, and the Remote Environmental Innovator Award. The number of Estidama application users reached 4,524 users until End of the first half of 2020. Al-Ghais said that the research team in the Laboratories Department of the Authority was able to prepare and publish 4 scientific papers in international scientific journals on topics of comparing the nutritional properties of the Ghaf tree with other food sources, the Ghaf tree as a food supplement rich in unconventional desert protein, and the Ghaf tree as a potential desert nutrient, and its impact Semi-deadly for marine antifouling paints.

Improved air pollutant concentrations by 40-60%
Dr. Saif Al-Ghais confirmed that the air quality monitoring stations spread throughout the emirate's regions recorded a significant improvement in air quality and a decrease in the rates of air pollutants concentrations at a rate ranging between 40% - 60% from one station to another compared to the same period of the previous year, especially in the rate of carbon oxides concentration in The air, the rate of sulfur oxides concentration in the air and the rate of ozone gas concentration in the air, expecting an improvement in these rates during the coming period, as a result of the continuation of measures and measures implemented by the UAE under exceptional circumstances to control the spread of the new Corona virus.

Al Ghais added: “The authority relies on the results of 14 marine and air monitoring stations, in addition to installing remote surveillance cameras in cement factories within the artificial intelligence system in environmental monitoring of the emirate’s facilities, and linking them to the main center of the authority’s central environmental operations room, with the aim of monitoring pollutants and ensuring access to High quality of data, as the stations transmit data around the clock, including detailed information on air quality and the size of pollutants "

Dr. Saif Al Ghais attributed the high quality services provided by the authority and the highest standards and degrees of customer happiness during the first half of 2020 to the interest of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in environmental work and his deep belief in the necessity of becoming Ras Al Khaimah A sustainable emirate in addition to the continuous follow-up by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah and Chairman of the Executive Council of the extent to which industrial and professional establishments adhere to environmental requirements, as well as the follow-up of His Highness the extent of progress in the implementation of the Ras Al Khaimah government initiatives related to the authority such as the Ras Al Khaimah is empty From plastic, Ras Al Khaimah eco-sign initiative, environmental remote monitoring initiative, desalinated water delivery project to farms, and Taraf tank monitoring system.

Responding to business continuity requirements and providing economic incentives during the Corona pandemic Al Ghais added: “The authority was able to completely transform the provision of its services remotely during the new Corona virus (Covid 19) pandemic, by 100% by providing environmental permit services, handling environmental complaints through the e-government portal, requesting local trees, measuring the carbon and water footprint, and replacing fines. Environment by planting trees through the application of smart sustainability and fully activating the artificial intelligence system by linking air quality measurement stations to the authority's central environmental operations room and mobile operating room using artificial intelligence techniques, and even in the case of incomplete digital services such as fishermen licensing services, no-objection certificates and service provision Awareness raising has been enhanced with social media, toll-free contact numbers, text messages and virtual communication platforms to ensure that customers have access to all the authority’s services remotely without the need to come to the authority’s main headquarters or customer happiness center in compliance with the business continuity program according to the model of the National Committee for Business Continuity in the Government of Ras Al Khaimah

In response to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of the Emirate, and the directives of the Executive Council headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, on the necessity to provide a package of economic incentives and apply them to support business sectors and institutions and ensure the continuity of the economy during the pandemic, where the Authority launched the initiative to replace environmental fines By planting local trees as an innovative qualitative initiative to act as a correction for negative behaviors and an apology for the environment on the part of industrial and professional establishments for which environmental violations were issued, and as one of the most prominent and innovative economic incentives provided by the government of Ras Al Khaimah to all sectors operating in the emirate, and this initiative contributes to reducing carbon emissions, And mitigating the effects of climate change, increasing biodiversity, and increasing vegetation cover. Trees are also filters for fine particles and absorb pollutant gases, and with regard to fees for environmental violations on industrial institutions, including factories, crushers and cement factories, which exceed 50 thousand dirhams annually during the period from 1 April 2020 until the end of the year, the authority decided to postpone it A year.

Compatibility with the concepts of the government excellence system in its second edition Al-Ghais added that the authority’s practices are completely in line with the second version of the government excellence system, in terms of the authority adopting a long-term, flexible strategic direction (the Commission’s plan 20-2030), as well as the authority’s proactive innovation in creating unprecedented services such as delivering desalinated water to farms and replacing fines by planting local trees. The authority also deals with various segments of society in a way that preserves a high quality of life for each customer, not just providing services. Such as monitoring air quality, measuring the carbon footprint and water and launching the Ras Al Khaimah Free of Plastic initiative and the Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Label Indeed, the goal of the authority is to raise the quality of human life in partnership and integration with other bodies and to enhance partnerships, cooperation and integration with the federal government (such as the partnership signed with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment) - a directive that the Executive Council emphasized in its last meeting - and then developing unique capabilities For the authority to create a positive impact for every citizen and resident in the emirate, such as innovation laboratories and pioneering awards organized by the authority as a qualitative transformation in environmental awareness initiatives at the global level, such as a soft control award for a sustainable environment and at the local level, such as the Student Environmental Protection Team Award, the Remote Environmental Innovator Award, and the Environmental Sustainability Award that made a change. Significant environmental commitment on the part of government institutions and industrial companies.

This also applies to what the authority offers to fishermen; As the authority does not provide a simple licensing service, but it is fully living with their requirements, problems and future aspirations, and organizes the fishing profession for them by providing housing for fishing workers in the ports, providing berths and warehouses for fishermen, and ensuring a sustainable professional future for them through its pioneering practices to enhance fish stocks such as tidal basins and artificial caves. And others; With these leading centers, the authority has contributed to enhancing the competitiveness of the emirate and the country, as the UAE got eight first places in the Global Competitiveness Report in the Environmental Field for the year 2020.

The Authority’s contribution to building the preparatory plan for the next fifty under the axis of environmental sustainability Al-Ghais indicated that the authority team has participated in a distinguished way with the government work teams in charge of contributing to the preparation of the preparation plan for the fifty 2021-2071 within the path of infrastructure and environmental sustainability, as the authority presented a distinct vision of future visions, programs, initiatives and corresponding projects under the axes of environment and food security and are still theses. The authority and other bodies concerned with environmental sustainability are under discussion and analysis under the supervision of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.

Launching the water footprint on the smart Estidama app The authority launched the smart application "Estidama" since 2017, when 287 new users benefited from the services of this innovative application during the first half of 2020, bringing the total of those who have benefited from this application since its launch to 4,524 users, in order to enhance community participation in its activities and benefit from technologies. In the modern field of environmental awareness, the idea of implementing Estidama came about.

The application includes an environmental footprint calculator, which is a calculator developed based on international best practices that enables the user to know the impact of his activity on the environment after entering some data related to water and energy consumption, the number of cars, the type of activity and the amount of waste generated. After extracting the result, the application directs some environmental advice and also provides a comparison between the footprint The environment for the user and the global environmental footprint.

In the year 2020, and within the framework of the authority's endeavor to sustain the natural resources in the emirate, the authority developed a smart sustainability application in which the authority adopted a new environmental calculator to calculate the water footprint for members of society and establishments in the emirate to measure the rate of water consumption, as the water footprint is a measure of the amount of water used and is done With which to assess the potential environmental impact associated with water.

Dr. Al-Ghais explained that there is a water footprint for individuals, societies, and even various activities, which is expressed in the volume of water consumed, whether for an individual or for a community or for the production of a specific product. His Excellency added that the principle of the water footprint and the methods of calculating it is an important research development for a group of UNESCO researchers to enable individuals to know their water consumption rates. The calculation method is based primarily on the amount of water in each product in each country separately.

Conclusion of the Environmental Sustainability Award The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah announced the names of the government and private agencies that won the Environmental Sustainability Award in its first session for the year 2020, where 14 governmental entities and industrial companies participated in the award. The Department of Economic Development won first place at the level of government agencies, followed by the second place Ras Al Khaimah Transportation in, then in third place the Federal Electricity and Water Authority, and at the level of the industrial sector, Uteco Company won first place, Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics Company second place, then Stephen Rock Company in third place.

And it comes within the framework of the authority’s endeavor to achieve sustainable development and to fulfill the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the Federation and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, may God protect him, to protect the environment and the sustainability of natural resources under the supervision and follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council. The award is the strategic objectives of the authority represented in enhancing the participation of government and private sectors in environmental awareness, reducing the environmental footprint, and engaging them in contributing to raising the level of environmental awareness towards all segments of society.

The award aims at consolidating the principles of sustainable development and disseminating the concept of environmental culture among the various sectors of society. It also aims to enhance a sense of societal environmental responsibility, and to activate targeted and distinguished environmental activities in the environmental field. It seeks to appreciate and encourage the outstanding contributions in the field of environmental preservation by institutions seeking to achieve Excellence and innovation Distance Environment Innovate Award
The authority launched a remote environmental innovation competition to keep pace with the current change in the education system in the UAE, which calls for carrying the learning message everywhere without relying on being in schools and universities. From this standpoint, the Environmental Protection Authority has initiated a competition for students urging them to create models from previously used materials that are recyclable, and by using the Microsoft Teams program that students usually use in remote study, and the students, through a live broadcast with the jury decided by the authority for a period of two hours, make Models and explanation of the idea.

This competition aims to enhance family cooperation and stimulate creativity among students and arouse the enthusiasm of honest competition. It is also a new activity that can be practiced during the period of adherence to the national instructions not to leave the house except for necessity.

As for the competition, its standards and conditions, the competition was open to students of all ages from all emirates of the country, and that the participant must design the model directly in front of the committee by hosting the participant through the Microsoft Teams program, and that all the content actually used is previously used materials, and that it contains On the sense of creativity and innovation and the possibility to benefit from it.

8 schools won the Student Environmental Protection Team Award
The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah announced that 8 schools won the Student Environmental Protection Teams Award in its third session for the year 2020, as the Authority received 36 entries in the award for the schools and individual participations categories, and the authority had launched this award since 2017 in partnership with the Ministry of Education In order to enhance the vision of the national agenda of the United Arab Emirates 2021 in achieving sustainable development and achieving the development vision of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah 2030 and its strategic directions under the axis of sustainability |, where the issue of environmental protection and the sustainability of natural resources is supported by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the Union Ruler The Emirate - may God protect him, and the Authority’s initiatives and projects are also supervised and monitored by His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council.

The number of schools participating in the third session of the award, in its two main categories, reached 23 schools, and the number of students participating in the student environmental protection teams reached 447 students. The authority contributed to providing a standard environmental dress for them, and it also provided 500 local trees for free based on Request from school administrations participating in the award.

The outputs of the environmental protection teams' initiatives participating in the award for this year, which were characterized by diversity and richness, included 90 different environmental activities in various fields such as energy conservation, biological and biological diversity, increasing the green area and the importance of local trees, recycling and food security, and the total number of local trees that were made They were planted in schools or in their external surroundings and within the local community 1672 local trees (Al Ghaf, Sidr Al Samar and Al Nakhil) were planted through afforestation campaigns in the participating schools, and the total number of innovations that contribute to solving some environmental problems reached 54 environmental innovations, and teams organized 30 internal environmental competitions for students, and 39 environmental festivals to celebrate various global and local environmental events, and the total number of awareness campaigns that were organized reached 45 awareness campaigns that included various environmental axes such as cleaning and afforestation campaigns, energy conservation and recycling. The teams removed 55 damas trees due to the damage they cause to the environment, and the total number of environmental artworks that were submitted from The different schools and their use as a means to raise environmental awareness and promote environmental culture among students are approximately 25 environmental artworks that included plays, songs, art exhibitions and the use of puppet theater, in addition to the success of most teams in the continuity of their activities during the third semester of last year during the distance education period due to the pandemic Corona, as environmental practices have moved from schools to students' homes through planting local trees, recycling and implementing energy conservation initiatives.

Athan School for Basic Education - the first cycle - won the first place ever, followed by Kindergarten in second place at all, then in third place in all, Al Dhait School for Basic Education in the first cycle, while Athan School also won first place at the level of basic education Khatt Secondary School for Boys won first place at the level of secondary education, and Al Mataf Kindergarten won first place at the kindergarten level. And based on the award criteria, the Azan school got the best school in implementing the planning and implementation standard, and the same school also got the best school in implementing the environmental awareness and education standard, and the Khat school got the best school in implementing the green patch promotion standard, and as for the standard of consumption rationalization Energy Bin Zaidoun School for Basic Education got the best school to implement this standard, and the Tunb School for Secondary Education for Boys won the best school in implementing the environmental innovation standard, and Al-Ula Kindergarten won the best school in applying the standard for continuous learning and development, and the Azan school again got the best school In applying the results and impact criteria, and finally Al-Kharran Basic Education School got the best school in applying the media coverage standard.

Individual Winning Categories
As for individual participations, it falls under 4 categories, including the creation of an environmental cartoon character that promotes the environment and sustainable development, and the student Waad Muhammad from Al Hamham School won the first place, and the short story category represents writing a short story that draws on the events of the reality in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The age stages of evaluating the participations in this category, in which the student Ghala Ahmed from Al-Wadi School won, and the individual participations contain the category of photography to depict the features and aesthetics of the land and marine environment and its biological diversity, and was won by the student Shatha Muhammad Al-Mansouri from Julfar School, and finally, in the fourth category, the student won Abdullah Ahmad Al-Dhahouri from Al-Wadi School for his participation in a short environmental awareness film on an environmental issue in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Al-Ghais concluded his statement by saying: “The aim of the Student Environmental Protection Teams Award is to prepare a generation that contributes to protecting the environment, preserving its sustainability, and promoting innovation among student environmental teams in solving environmental problems and cooperating with schools in highlighting special contributions in preserving the environment and seeking excellence. And innovation, the award also provides a new approach to environmental awareness through the educational approach, which depends on the transfer of environmental awareness to schools and from there to various groups of the local community by encouraging them to raise the level of environmental awareness of the authority and their formation of awareness monitoring teams in each school to enhance the concept of environmental protection and the sustainability of its resources, It should be noted that the Student Environmental Protection Teams project won first place in the outstanding government project category in partnership with the Ministry of Education in the categories of the Government Excellence Award in Ras Al Khaimah for the year 2017.


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