UAE ‘growing fish in the desert’


THE United Arab Emirates is tapping technological advances in ensuring food security and public health to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, Minister of State for Future Food Security said this as she called for the equitable deployment of technologies to meet UNSDGs during the Federal National Council-International Renewable Energy Agency joint parliamentary forum in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“The UAE has doubled its seafood production in just the last year. We are farming local and high commercial value species using technologies adapted to the UAE environment. We are, quite literally, growing fish in the desert,” Al Mehairi said.

The minister said urban farming is also on the rise in the UAE, and that the private sector has a critical role to play to complement the government that’s formulating strategies to safeguard natural resources.

Al Mehairi said artificial intelligence, hyper-connectivity, renewable energy, gene-tech and fully automated industry and transport are changing how people live, work and socialize.

“If we are to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), we must ensure that these technologies are deployed in a way that is positive for humanity as a whole; that the dividends are distributed equally; and that no country or continent is left behind,” she said.

The FNC-Irena joint forum, held ahead of next week’s World Future Energy Summit, focused on the role of global legislators in implementing the UNSDGs, particularly renewable energy deployment and leveraging energy-water-food nexus.

A joint parliamentary forum of the Federal National Council and the International Renewable Energy Agency saw legislators from around the world come together in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to discuss solutions in implementing the UNSDGs.