(Canberra) – A UAE delegation, led by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, concluded an official visit to Australia to promote collaboration on various environmental fronts.
During the three-day visit, the delegates attended bilateral meetings with top Australian officials and toured multiple environmental and agricultural facilities in the country.
At the Parliament House in the Australian capital, Canberra, the two countries ratified a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on the sanitary and phytosanitary conditions for trade in food, processed food, feed, animal by-products, plants and plant products.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Al-Zeyoudi, on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, and David Littleproud, Australia’s Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, DAWR.
As per the MoU, the two countries are mandated to step up cooperation on trading of plant and animal resources. In addition, with regard to sanitary and phytosanitary matters, the MoU is set to boost compliance in both countries with stringent guidelines that prevent the entry, establishment and spread of diseases.
Speaking on the visit, Dr. Al-Zeyoudi said, “The UAE enjoys deep-rooted economic, environmental and cultural ties with Australia. Our visit aimed to build on our strong bilateral relations and identify new opportunities for collaboration. We also sought to share expertise in relevant areas and signed an agreement that will spur food trade between our countries.”
In line with the nation’s strategy to enhance the participation of the private sector in government-led ventures, the UAE delegation also comprised representatives from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Mawarid Holding.
“We aim to encourage private businesses at home to learn from successful experiences of other countries and replicate such best practices at home for the benefit of the UAE’s agricultural and environmental industries,” Dr. Al-Zeyoudi added.
During the visit, Dr. Al-Zeyoudi attended multiple bilateral meetings with leading Australian ministers and officials including Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific; Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister; and Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
The UAE delegation also visited the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, where a panel discussion was hosted to explore various topics, such as the effects of climate change on water resources and biodiversity. The delegates attended multiple meetings at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
Delivering a lecture to a receptive audience that comprised faculty members, ambassadors and members of the public at the University of Canberra, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment showcased the UAE’s ambitious climate and clean-energy vision and highlighted the concrete actions the country has already taken in this context.