Sunday, June 21, 2009

DM launches environmental "sustainability" initiative

Dubai Municipality has announced the launch of a new initiative called, "sustainability," which comes to coincide with the World Environment Day. The move also comes out of Dubai Municipality's keenness to consolidate the concept of sustainable development in all its work and its various departments.

The Municipality also believes that it has vital a role in the development, which will give positive results and impacts on the operation of the civic body, which in turn is reflected on the whole emirate.

This was stated by Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, who said that the "sustainability" initiative is aimed to provide the civic body with new ideas in dealing with environmental issues and environmental sustainability in order to enhance the opportunities to achieve the goals and dimensions of environmental, societal and economic sustainability, through the application of programs, plans and practices.

He added that the launching of the activities is in line with the directives of the Dubai Municipality to adopt initiatives that contribute to the achievement of excellence, leadership and accomplishment of the Municipality's strategic objectives in the relevant areas of work.

"This initiative shows the keenness of the municipality in applying the concept of sustainable development at the organizational level to protect the environment effectively, the rational use of natural resources, community participation to achieve the needs of everyone, and participation in achieving high and stable levels of economic growth of the Emirate," said Lootah.

He pointed out that the model of sustainability includes the three basic components which are formulated through the close interdependence of each with an integrated model of the concept of sustainability, and these components are the environmental dimension, the social dimension and the economic dimension.

"The inputs that are linked with the basic components, which must be focused on in any plans or programs of action, explain the application of the concept of sustainable development. It is comes into view through an interactive format which interferes with the elements necessary for the protection of the environment, with community participation aimed at improving the quality of life, as well as ensuring the promotion of economic benefit in order to achieve sustainable development in a practical way," said Lootah.

"This is an excellent initiative as it can be applied in various areas of work in the Municipality. The concepts of sustainable development can be applied in various organizational units for their different functions, terms of reference, various operations, whether in the field or in the office, and for the various services provided to customers," he said.

"In case the initiative is adopted in real terms continuously, adhering to applying the standards and practices included in the concept of sustainable development in various areas of work and at all levels, starting from the planning level to minute details of operational and implementation level, it will give positive and good results. This initiative will be an umbrella for various initiatives, practices and projects that will be achieving the commitments of the Municipality towards the issues of environment and sustainable urban development," said Lootah.

The initiative aims to enhance the opportunities to protect and improve the quality of the environment through an emphasis on sound environmental management concepts of operations, services and facilities by the various organizational units of the Municipality, the rational use of natural resources, pollution control with regard to the challenges faced by the air environment, water, soil and adoption of best practices and techniques in the world to protect and improve the quality of the environment. The municipality will contribute to the promotion of opportunities for protecting and improving the quality of the environment in the emirate.

The initiative also aims to achieve economic returns by working hand in hand in activating joint efforts between the stakeholders within the Municipality to push to increase profitability, reduce cost and ensure the implementation of profitable projects that could contribute to raising the economic level of the community of the Emirate by stimulating balanced growth and to encourage investment without compromising the efforts to preserve a sound, sustainable and healthy environment.

It also aims to raise the standard of life by working with community partners to secure a sound society with the highest potential of living, through the adoption of community partnership concepts, improving various aspects of life through initiatives to secure the necessary support in this area, contribute to the promotion of employment opportunities available to members of the community equally, provision of effective services focused on the needs of the community at reasonable costs are far from abstract concepts of profitability. This can be achieved through high levels of satisfaction of the beneficiaries of these services.

The Municipality will work in a systematic method to achieve the objectives of the initiative and establish awareness of the issues associated with sustainability all over the Emirate of Dubai by spreading and reaching good practices and working together with the various categories of customers to enhance the chances of success of such trends.

Dubai Municipality will also work on the development of social and economic agenda, including enhancing the chances of protecting and improving the environment. The civic body will ensure that each employee of the Municipality undertakes the responsibility to act honestly towards the environment in the emirate in a way it enhances opportunities for the preservation of the heritage and environment of the emirate for future generations.

Dubai Municipality will take all the positive steps necessary to preserve the environment in the emirate, particularly with regard to the management of resources, the natural and urban environment, waste management and pollution control. It will form action teams from the departments of the Municipality and develop strategic objectives and action plan and will work to raise awareness, education and promotion of the initiative through media campaigns before launching and implementing it.

Eng. Hamdan Al Shaer, Director of Environment Department said the initiative for institutional sustainability is developed and adopted as it represents a vision targeted to achieve urban sustainability for the city of Dubai.

"Adoption of this initiative will strengthen the capacity of departments to devise and contribute towards the development of strategies related to the corporate plan, and the promotion of economic growth and social and sustainable environmental development in the Emirate of Dubai. It will also help towards strengthening the capacity to make comparisons and determine the level of progress made in the performance of its commitment towards sustainable development. It is also possible to highlight the efforts of all departments to adopt these guidelines so that it reflects the level of the Municipality's commitment in this regard and to contribute to the development of these trends at the emirate level and will make the benefits of becoming a pioneer in the region," he said.

Al Shaer added that in the area of energy conservation, the Municipality has developed a set of objectives that serve to achieve sustainability, through reduced electricity consumption, reduced consumption of fuel in vehicles, use of clean fuels and energy, verifying the use of energy to find potential opportunities and the use of renewable energy sources. In the area water conservation, the civic body has developed a plan to reduce water consumption and reduce the amount of wastewater that is discharged through reusing that and development of water use management plans and initiatives associated with it. In reducing the consumption of resources, the Municipality has developed a plan for reduction of paper consumption and increase the amount of paper re-use and the use of environment-friendly furniture. In reducing the rate of waste production the Municipality has developed a goal to reduce the amount of electronic waste, and reduce the amount of waste generated through recycling and waste re-production line. In the area of environmental protection and biological diversity and the Municipality has developed a goal for the initiatives on climate change and environmental protection and the protection of biodiversity.

In addition to other applications of sustainability, it promotes environment-friendly vehicles, clean fuels, sustainable management of the transport sector, environmental footprint, health and safety awareness and education.

No comments: