Land and Resources, Environmental Issues
marine dumping, petroleum consumption, Persian Gulf region, desertification, sanitation services
The government of the UAE has sponsored a massive forestation scheme designed to reduce soil erosion, protect crops from wind damage, and beautify cities. Wildlife previously hunted almost to extinction have been preserved through recent conservation efforts. However, the UAE is a major exporter of reptile skins and in recent years has been identified as a hub of international illegal wildlife commerce.
The UAE is contributing to increasing levels of air pollution in the Persian Gulf region. The UAE derives 100 percent (1998) of its electricity from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels, thereby releasing pollutants into the atmosphere. The country has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes, at 33.3 metric tons per year (1996), as well as of petroleum consumption per capita, at 50.4 barrels per year (1998). Pollution from petroleum processing facilities and oil spills also affect the coast.
There are no renewable sources of fresh water in the UAE; most of the country’s water comes from desalinization plants. Almost all residents have access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. The government has ratified international environmental agreements pertaining to climate change, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, marine dumping, and ozone layer protection.
Article key phrases: