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University of Oxford explores cooperation with MBRF on UAE environmental infrastructure study

H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb receives delegation of Environmental Science professors.

A delegation of Environmental Science professors from the University of Oxford met His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), to explore cooperation with MBRF on a major study on environmental infrastructure in the country, particularly Dubai.

The delegation included Professor Sarah Whatmore, Head of the University of Oxford School of Geography and Environment and Professor of Environment and Public Policy; Professor Jim Hall, Director, Environmental Change Institute and Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, School of Geography and the Environment; and Professor Charles Godfray, a Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the British Ecological Society and Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb said MBRF hosted the delegation as part of its efforts to promote awareness about environmental protection and sustainable development in the UAE through joint cooperation with prestigious institutions as well as extending support for research in the field.

During its visit to the UAE, the delegation held a series of meetings with top officials at key entities. In a meeting with Lt. General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chief of Police and Public Security in Dubai, they discussed the environmental initiatives of Dubai Police, especially the police volunteers’ coral regeneration project and programme to plan a million trees.

The delegation held a meeting with the Director General of the Dubai Municipality H E Hussain Lootah along with members of the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality, during which they discussed ways to achieve strategic environmental goals as well as built and natural environmental legislation and standards to ensure sustainable development in Dubai. The delegation also met a group of academics at the UAE University who are keen to participate in joint environmental research on the UAE’s environmental infrastructure. The Oxford academics are committed to developing environmental research and learning capability among UAE academics and educators with a view to creating world class environmental skills as well as a well-informed community of students and young people.

Professor Sarah What more said this was the first visit of the delegation to the Middle East aimed at discussing issues related to energy, fuel and food with specialists in the UAE.

The Professor highlighted aspects of support that can be provided by Oxford University to the UAE based on their extensive international experience in the fields of environment and sustainable development.

Professor Charles Godfray pointed out that renewable energy,reduced carbon emissions and sustainability of water resources are the most important issues for the UAE.

He said that during their meetings with competent authorities, the delegation stressed the need to instill conservation habits in the public and raise awareness about reducing waste.

Professor Jim Hall said the cooperation with the environment authorities in the country will be followed with the development of a comprehensive plan for a range of long-term environmental research and studies involving younger generations.

The next phase of research will be determined by Oxford University in cooperation with authorities concerned in the UAE, the Professor said.