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Abu Dhabi Partners With RTI International To Support Emirate’s Environmental Management Sector

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) Has Partnered With The U.S-Based Research And Technical Services Firm RTI International To Assist The Emirate Of Abu Dhabi In Enhancing Its Existing Environmental Protection Programs

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has partnered with the U.S-based research and technical services firm RTI International to assist the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in enhancing its existing environmental protection programs. The 10-Year Strategic Partnership: “Building a World-Class Environmental Programme” was announced today (Monday) during a ceremony held at RTI’s offices with the attendance of HE Majid Al Mansouri, EAD’s Secretary General, HE Richard Olson, USA Ambassador to the UAE and Dr. Victoria Haynes, President and CEO of RTI. EAD will be drawing on RTI’s extensive international regulatory, scientific, engineering, legal and technical expertise to achieve world-class environmental protection programs. RTI will assist EAD in coordinating with its relevant stakeholders to determine the most cost-effective and efficient options for attaining environmental goals and objectives. Through this 10-year partnership, RTI will provide the Emirate with various services. These range from technical and managerial support services such as accreditation of environmental consultants working in Abu Dhabi and the processes and criteria used in evaluating environmental studies, to conducting risk assessments and establishing compliance monitoring programs for the numerous industrial, infrastructure, and development projects that are underway in the Emirate. H.E Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD said “Environmental permitting, which began only seven years ago in the Abu Dhabi Emirate, is considered one of the principal tasks carried out by EAD”. He said in this short time, there have been a number of significant accomplishments, in this area which are a result of the considerable amount of hard work and effort on the part of EAD, who has put together an exceptional workforce in this field. More recently, there have been a number of factors that have contributed to our success. These include transforming EAD’s role from an operational, research body to a supervisory, regulatory body within Abu Dhabi Emirate’s political framework, aiding the different Technical Sectors in the consideration of issues related to sustainable development within their operation plans and programs, and implementing systems specific to environment, health, and safety management, which greatly simplifies environmental permitting, thereby increasing the process’ efficiency. In addition to outsourcing different Agency activities with the goal of enhancing them and building the capacity required to accomplish the EAD program and project goals, and utilizing highest-level expertise and best international practices in materializing Abu-Dhabi Emirate’s vision of achieving sustainable development within the next twenty years. “We believe this 10-year partnership is going to usher Abu Dhabi into a new era. While we have brought in an international partner, we are very keen on building UAE national capacity. 30 of our employees will be working closely with RTI. We are expecting that within five years, UAE nationals will be providing 50% of the environmental services and expertise,” Al Mansouri said. According to EAD, this partnership represents the largest investment to date in environmental management capacity building in the region. “We are pleased that the Government of Abu Dhabi has selected RTI for this important effort. Abu Dhabi’s commitment to balance economic development and environmental protection is vital to the sustainability in this unique part of the world. We look forward to assisting efforts to develop a comprehensive and forward-looking environmental management program in Abu Dhabi,” said Dr. Victoria Haynes, President and CEO of RTI. “Most relevant to our project here in Abu Dhabi is our experience gained over many years supporting the U.S. federal government’s environmental science and regulatory programs” she added. Dr. Haynes also noted that more recently, RTI has applied it is extensive expertise in environmental science and resource management to nations in Asia and Africa, and the Middle East. RTI also has conducted several projects in energy, environment, health and education in Abu Dhabi in recent years. About Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) Established in 1996, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) is a governmental agency committed to giving environmental protection, regulation and natural resources conservation a high priority on the national agenda. EAD works through national, regional and international partnerships to address the Emirate’s environmental challenges. EAD is providing a direction for government, business and the community to build environmental considerations into the way we work and live without compromising Abu Dhabi development. In 2007, EAD achieved the 4th highest score out of 22 organizations in the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellent Government Performance.

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