Zayed Prize Will Help Achieve Targets Set By Major Environmental Programmes

February 05, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Zayed International Prize for the Environment will help reach the targets set by major environmental programmes including Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Johannesburg Plan for Sustainable Development.

This year the Zayed International Awards ceremony is being held on February 6, 2006, alongside the 9th UNEP Global Conference Special Session/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS/GMEF) 2006 scheduled to be held from February 4th to 9th 2006 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The GCSS/GMEF 2006 UNEP forum being held for the first time in the Arab world, will act as an impetus to raise the awareness on environment protection,” said Dr. Mohammed bin Fahad, Chairman, Zayed Prize, and General Coordinator of the event. Besides, the Zayed Award being presented during the forum will further help intensify efforts on achieving the worldwide targets by the three major environment-related programmes, Dr. Bin Fahad added.

Established in 1999 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a tribute to the environmental achievements of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the US$1-million Zayed Prize is considered among the most prestigious environment-related awards in the world today.

The Zayed International Prize for the Environment recognises and encourages environmental achievements that support and promote the implementation of Agenda 21 in line with the vision and philosophy of the late Sheikh Zayed. The founder and Patron of the Zayed Prize, HH Sheikh Mohammad further envisioned the prize to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development.

It was the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 that adopted the Johannesburg Plan and Agenda 21.

It all began with the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), a pioneering initiative designed to assess environmental data quality, data gaps between developing and developed countries, and data availability at the national, regional and global levels. This was unveiled at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

“The AGEDI was the first Arab Type II Partnership Initiative to provide cost-effective access to environmental data to the developed and developing countries,” Dr. Bin Fahad said.

Agenda 21, the global programme for sustainable development was agreed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. It argued for providing better information, and highlighted the importance of integrating environment and development in decision-making. AGEDI was a direct response to the unfulfilled objectives of Chapters 8 and 40 of Agenda 21. It is also expected to help the global community to measure progress towards environmentally sustainable goals.

A partnership agreement was concluded by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to launch the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), aimed at innovative implementation of the environmental data provisions of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals. This was intended to bridge the environmental data gap between and within the developing and developed countries. Other partners would be sought for the Abu Dhabi initiative from among governments, international organizations, private sector, research centres, the academia and civil society organizations.

The initiative was intended to catalyse worldwide action to provide high quality, updated, relevant and comprehensive environmental data at an appropriate scale for decision-making at community, national, and global levels. In launching the initiative, the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency of Abu Dhabi (ERWDA) announced that it had committed a US$5 million to the initiative and was planning to jointly mobilise resources with UNEP through other donors for a total of $30 million.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education. All by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the countries and leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.


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