The Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate

Climate Change, Sustainability, Resource Protection, Endangered Species, Renewable Energy...

Across the world, societies are becoming increasingly aware of the issues that affect life on Earth – our newspapers, magazines, television and cinema reflect on a daily basis our collective interest in our shared planet, Earth. Yet, even as we gain knowledge on a daily basis about how our living, physical, natural, and man-made environments are all interconnected, we are well aware that our understanding and appreciation of the environment has only begun to scratch the surface. This is a journey, and although collectively we have a long way to go, the direction is set.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi, like its neighbours in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region, has a desert and marine environment of great beauty and value – the adaptations of the living world to Abu Dhabi's unique climatic conditions and physical geography are of immense scientific interest. The climate and physical geography, including the Emirate's water and oil resources, provide clues as to how the living world, including human societies, has changed and adapted over the ages. Gaining an understanding of this environment, and the challenges being faced, is crucial to developing appropriate policies and responses so that we can offer our children a sustainable future.

This Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate is designed to serve the diverse stakeholders of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the wider community. It will be published in hard copy, digital and online formats, in both Arabic and English. It also represents one of the key products of an EAD major programme, the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI).

The AGEDI Programme

The Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) is a multi-faceted programme that provides simple, user-friendly access to high-quality environmental information through a variety of information products.

AGEDI was conceived by EAD in 2001 and launched by the UAE Government in 2002, during the United Nations World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. AGEDI operates on the local, regional and global levels, with EAD as its lead agency. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is AGEDI's main partner on the regional and global levels.

EAD and UNEP are currently implementing AGEDI Plan 2007–2012, a five-year strategy for the development and dissemination of interrelated environmental information activities and projects. In parallel with continuing national and international efforts, products developed at the Abu Dhabi level will be expanded to meet national, regional and global environmental information needs.

About this Atlas

Often atlases are predominantly collections of maps or are technical in nature, targeting a narrow subject matter and/or an expert audience. Consequently, the information needs of key users, especially senior decision-makers, business executives, policy-makers and community leaders, are often neglected, as well as the wider public with a growing interest in environmental issues that impact their lives.

The Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate aims to be different. It has been prepared to address this information gap and embrace a wide constituency of readers in an innovative and compelling manner. The Atlas presents information within a common story and narrative, interwoven with complementary stories, case studies, facts and statistics, illustrative figures, anecdotes, photographs and thematic maps that highlight the most significant environmental aspects of the Emirate. The Atlas is designed to be highly accessible and communicative, presenting concepts and scientific information in a manner that is understandable to a wide audience.

The Atlas showcases the remarkable story of Abu Dhabi's environmental heritage and highlights its profound influence on the past, present and future of human and cultural development. By informing and educating the reader, it aims to raise awareness and present a call for action to protect the environmental richness and diversity of the Emirate.

About Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD)

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) was established in 1996 to preserve Abu Dhabi's natural heritage, protect our future, and raise awareness about environmental issues. EAD is Abu Dhabi's environmental regulator and advises the government on environmental policy. It works to create sustainable communities, and protect and conserve wildlife and natural resources. EAD also works to ensure integrated and sustainable water resources management, to ensure clean air and minimise climate change and its impacts.