This article originally appeared as a forward in the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency’s Natural Capital Flagship Programme Report, supported by the Natural Capital Coalition.
“Abu Dhabi’s social, cultural and economic fabric is inextricably woven with the land, air and sea resources that have nurtured our ancestors for centuries. Our natural capital is the foundation of our development and is critical to supporting the growth and wellbeing of our people, and it is our duty to protect and preserve these precious ecosystems for the continued benefit of generations to come.
Rising pressure on our natural capital from increased human consumption requires renewed, strengthened efforts to conserve it. To tackle key natural capital issues including the quality of air and water, marine pollution, habitat destruction, toxic waste and the adverse impacts on our biodiversity, the public and private sector need to jointly address the negative externalities of environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, loss of natural assets and pollution-related health costs. The lack of adequate action on the degradation of our natural capital risks the sustainability of our quality of life, and even survival.
The Abu Dhabi Natural Capital Flagship Programme represents our commitment to approaching everything we do through a ‘natural capital lens’. The initiative is geared towards supporting Abu Dhabi businesses and government entities shift towards operating in a more sustainable and resilient way to minimize the environmental costs associated with production. The Natural Capital Protocol is a framework designed to help generate trusted, credible and actionable information that will help empower informed business decisions, as well as provide an integrated and consistent approach to accounting for capitals.
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (the founder of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group), plays a fundamental role in helping organisations in Abu Dhabi assess and evaluate their natural capital impact through internationally- benchmarked methods. Through this collaboration, we hope to position Abu Dhabi among the pioneering cities to adopt this critical and much needed approach. Our collaboration with the Natural Capital Coalition will also allow us to leverage a wide global network of organisations and individuals to share knowledge and best- practice when it comes to promoting the sustainable use of our shared natural capital.
I would like to commend and thank the Natural Capital Coalition and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group for their contributions to this report. This document marks a serious stride towards a sustainable future for all. I hope that this valuable resource helps all relevant stakeholders understand the matter at hand, and outlines the measures we collectively need to take to ensure that we leave this planet a little better than we found it. After all, our future generations depend on it.”
Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Dhaheri, Acting Secretary General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
Read the full report here.