Also present on the occasion were His Highness Eng. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Head of the Tourism Development Department of Abu Dhabi, and other dignitaries.
Abdul Rehman Al Midfa, UAE - Minister of Health, said that the UAE
has become a role model for all countries in the region in the field
of environmental protection and this progress has been made thanks
to the efforts of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Late President
of the UAE through his endeavours to enhance the environmental conditions
for wildlife while enabling the UAE to emerge as one of the leading
countries as regards environmental protection. Al Midfa also emphasised
the parallel support provided by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin
Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE who has undertaken to further
build on the massive infrastructure projects initiated by Sheikh
Zayed decades ago.
Al Midfa said 'Sustainable transportation remains the main focus
of this conference and is considered one of the main issues that
is facing the countries of the region as per the UN Report for 2002'.
Al Midfa noted that the UAE has always considered environmental
protection as the main pillar of its future policies and holding
events such as ENVIRONMENT 2005 will enhance and strengthen co-operation
between governmental and private sectors in the region.
Al Midfa said that most of the western countries have worked steadily
to bridge the gap between sustainable development and protection
of the environment by maintaining stability between the needs of
the current and future generations. Nevertheless environmental concerns
are rising due to the massive levels of development the industry
is witnessing as a whole. Al Midfa stressed that developed countries
have a responsibility towards developing and under0developed countries
and are required to transfer the latest technologies and exchange
expertise and models to enable developing countries to utilise new
developments in a proactive manner.
Midfah explained that the UAE has been able to in the last few years
develop a sustainable model, which is focussed on delivering to
the expectations of the leaders of the UAE in becoming the region's
hub for business, transportation and environmental leadership. The
UAE has managed to so away with doing away with leaded fuel. The
UAE also strives to establish international cooperation with all
related parties and managed to launch the international summit on
Sustainable Development in 2002.
Dr. Klaus Toepfer, United National Under Secretary General and Executive
Director of UNEP said that the UN is determined to develop co-operation
between all regions and considered the exhibition in Abu Dhabi as
a prime opportunity to highlight the most pressing issues that the
region is being affected by as well as a great venue to exchange
points of view. He added that the UAE, thanks to the policies of
Sheikh Zayed, has managed to sustain the massive development.
Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, UN Under – Secretary General and High
Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing
Countries and Small Island Developing States commended the UAE's
efforts at reducing environmental risks in the region and in particular
the role that His Highness Sheikh Khalifa has played in this regard
through his patronage of this event.
He affirmed that the conference holds a great deal of importance
because it tackles a sensitive issue linked to massive development,
trade and economic growth that the world has witnessed lately. Ambassador
Chowdhury considered 2005 to be a focal point that will introduce
many regional and international programmes aimed at reducing the
side-effects environmental pollution including the UN memorandum
on Sustainable Transportation.
H. E. Margaret Wolf, Vice Minister and Parliamentary State Secretary
from Germany expressed her amazement at the massive development
that the UAE has seen lately saying that the UAE is a great model
for modern urban development and environmental harmony. She remarked
that Abu Dhabi was like an oasis in the desert despite the harsh
and challenging weather. She added that she would invite international
organisations and specialised interest groups to visit the UAE so
they can learn from Abu Dhabi, which has emerged as a role model
for all new cities of the world.
Mr. Adrian Loader, Director Strategic Planning, Sustainable Development
and External Affairs at Shell International said that Shell is planning
to invest between US$ 5 and US$ 6 billion to establish special production
facility in Qatar that will introduce new types of fuel that have
low percentages of lead carbon content. He added that Shell and
other international companies possess the know-how and technology
that can provide better solutions that reduce environmental risks
especially in the transportation sectors where it is expected that
by 2030 international consumption of auto fuel will reach around
18 million barrels per day.
ENVIRONMENT 2005 is organised by the General Exhibitions Corporation
(GEC) and Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency
(ERWDA). The international organising partner for ENVIRONMENT 2005
is Messe IMAG. Running in parallel with the exhibition, a scientific
conference is also taking place under the theme 'Sustainable Transportation
in Developing Countries'.