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Khalifa Award News Thursday 29th, February , 2024

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Abu Dhabi hosts the launching of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment points out the importance of empowering oases to confront climate change.

The Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, announces the launching of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development,

In cooperation with Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, and the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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    • H.E. Dr. Amna Al Dahak: We support the idea of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development.

     

    • H.E. Dr. Mohammed Sadiki: We announce the establishment of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development.

     

    • H.E. Dr. Abdulhakim ElWaer: The oasis is an authentic agricultural ecosystem that contributes to combating desertification and achieving food security.

     

    • Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid: The initiative is one of the most important fruits of regional cooperation for the development of oases.

     

     

    H.E. Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, expressed her appreciation and support to the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development initiative, propose by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco, in cooperation with Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, in an effort to preserve and develop this enormous agricultural, cultural and social heritage, enhance its role in food security, and preserving biodiversity, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announces this during the opening on Monday, 26th of February, 2024, during the (second) high-level Agricultural Ministers’ Conference of the Date Producing and Processing Countries, regarding the establishment of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development, which was organized by Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests in the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, H.E. Dr. AlDahak also praised the efforts of the Award’s General Secretariat in its cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture regarding the establishment of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development.

     

     

    Her Excellency also expressed her thanks and appreciation to our partners in the ministries of agriculture in the date-producing countries and our colleagues in regional and international organizations, for the great efforts made, at various levels during the past years towards date palm oases. We all place our hope in this initiative to achieve the best in empowering the oasis residents to face the challenges of climate change, which now affects everyone and does not exclude anyone, as no specific country is immune from the repercussions of climate change around the world.

     

    Food security

    H.E. Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, confirmed the importance of oases in enhancing food security, especially today’s ministerial meeting comes at an ideal time after the end of COP28, which was the most comprehensive conference of the parties. Food security and the spread of modern, climate-smart agricultural technology in the world had great success during the conference.

    The UAE has spared no effort to bring the world together at the “UAE COP28 Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action,” which was signed by 159 countries, as the issue of food security and its connection to climate change has become a driver for global climate action, and a goal to contribute to eliminating hunger in the world.

     

    Efforts of the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture

    H.E.  Dr. Mohamed Sadiki, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco, announced the establishment of the International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development, in cooperation with Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and with the participation of respected ministries of agriculture, of date-producing countries.

     

    H.E. Dr. Sadiki, also pointed out that, despite the strategic importance represented by oases, most oasis systems, are like other their fragile ecosystems across the world, suffer from various constraints such as isolation, salinity, and genetic drift of species, plants, animals and severe droughts leads to desertification. There is also a decline in vegetation cover, including date palm trees, which adapts well to the climatic conditions of the oases and faces many challenges. Therefore, it has become necessary to give priority to intensifying efforts aimed at finding more effective preventive measures and solutions, which will enable oases to adapt to the challenges they face and overcome the constraints that limit their sustainability. From this standpoint, the Kingdom of Morocco, out of its belief in the joint efforts required by the oasis regions among all concerned countries, presented the Sustainable Oases Initiative during the COP22 events that were held in the Kingdom of Morocco, in the city of Marrakesh, in November 2016.

     

     

    Award’s efforts

    Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, also expressed his appreciation to Their Excellencies the Ministers of Agriculture of the date-producing countries for their great support and endorsement of the “International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development” initiative, which was launched by the Award’s General Secretariat, in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests in the Kingdom of Morocco. The initiative is one of the most important fruits of regional cooperation that the Award’s General Secretariat began 3 years ago, with the Ministry of Agriculture in the Kingdom of Morocco, represented by the National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Tree Areas, where the initiative was presented during events of the Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow 2021, the Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh 2022, and the Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai 2023. Today we meet to announce the proposal to establish an independent international body to support oasis systems in countries that include date palm oases exposed to the effects of climatic changes, in partnership and cooperation with all ministries of agriculture in date-producing countries. In addition to a number of relevant regional and international organizations, with the aim of supporting and activating sustainable development in oasis systems and including them at the heart of relevant regional and international agreements, in order to achieve the following goals:

    1. Preserving the agricultural heritage, the genetic bank of biodiversity, and the cultural heritage of the oases.
    2. Empowering the oasis community in its keenness to preserve the biodiversity of the oases and enhance its food security to confront climate change.
    3. Preserving the tangible and intangible heritage of the oases in facing climate change.
    4. Targeted oases in date-producing countries shall obtain the GIAHS certificate from the FAO, which is a certificate granted to the oasis as an agricultural heritage system of global importance.

     

    FAO's efforts

    From his side, H.E. Dr. AbdulHakim ElWAER, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative, Regional office for the Near East and North Africa, FAO, added that the oasis is considered an authentic agricultural ecosystem that was patiently developed by men and women over thousands of years in arid lands, where date palm oases in the Middle East and North Africa region play a role. It is important in combating desertification, preserving agricultural biodiversity, and providing food and shelter to the thousands of years inhabitants of oases. Date palm agro-ecosystems have been a rich source of nutrition, biological and cultural diversity for thousands of years. Oasis ecosystems include a rich genetic diversity of date palm trees, in addition to more than a hundred species of plants, crops and other organisms. The genetic diversity of the date palm has been an essential factor for the success of its cultivation, as it has created locally adapted palm species that are resistant to extreme heat, drought and salinity. Therefore, the dynamic preservation of oasis ecosystems will play an important role in preserving local irrigation systems, biodiversity and the various environmental services provided by the oases. Hence, the importance of establishing the “International Authority for Oases Sustainable Development” with the aim of empowering oasis residents to face challenges, especially climate change, and achieve sustainable development.

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