- What is the UAE environmental health project?
- What makes the UAE environmental health project unique?
- Who is collaborating on the project?
- What results will the project produce?
- How are UAE government agencies involved?
- Who is funding the project?
- How are researchers from different countries able to communicate and work together?
1. What is the UAE environmental health project?
project was commissioned by the Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) on
behalf of the federal government of the UAE, in collaboration with the
World Health Organization Centre for Environmental Health Activities.
The purpose is to develop a science-based national strategy and
implementation plan to reduce the environmental causes of human disease
associated with rapid economic and industrial development in the UAE.
2. What makes the UAE environmental health project unique?
UAE currently has no national strategy on environmental health.
Following the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in
Johannesburg, the government of Abu Dhabi-the largest emirate of the
UAE-created the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI)
to develop a data-base of high-quality environmental data for the
emirate. This development was followed by a series of steps taken by
the EAD to produce comprehensive reports regarding the environment and
health in Abu Dhabi. These efforts were limited to examining Abu Dhabi.
The UNC-RAND-UAEU project extends this information gathering and
strategy development work across the entire country. In addition, this
project will apply state-of-the-art methods from the natural and social
sciences to the process of strategy development.
3. Who is collaborating on the project?
The key partners on the project are
• The Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), which originated the project and is providing funding
• The World Health Organization Centre for Environmental Health
Activities, which provided technical support to EAD in creating its
vision for the project
• The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health (SPH), which was
chosen by EAD and the WHO to implement a study that will provide the
scientific basis for a national environmental health strategy
• The UAE University (UAEU) Department of Community Medicine, which
will collaborate with UNC in coordinating and implementing the
epidemiological component of the project
• The RAND Corp, which is subcontracted under UNC to support risk
assessment, identification and assessment of mitigation strategies, and
development of the draft strategic and action plans
• Resources For the Future, which will analyze economic consequences of
alternative strategies for reducing environmental risks in the UAE
• The Norwegian Institute for Air Research, which will support the team
in reviewing the UAE's existing network of outdoor air quality monitors.
4. What results will the project produce?
The project will produce:
• Specific recommendations for the UAE government on which
environmental risk factors present the most significant threats to
public health in the UAE and how best to mitigate those risks
• An estimate of the environmental burden of disease in the UAE and the associated costs of this disease burden
• An updated, comprehensive health survey of Emirati citizens
• New data on indoor air quality and exposure
• Maps of environmental exposure, contaminant concentrations, and
nationwide mortality and morbidity rates by geographic region
• A written review of the UAE's ambient air quality monitoring network.
5. How are UAE government agencies involved?
UAE government agencies are providing oversight of the project through membership on a project steering committee.
In addition, agency staff are working with the UNC-RAND-UAEU team to
provide data and other information needed for the study; please see technical committee.
Agency officials also will be involved in a series of workshops focused
on prioritizing environmental risk factors and risk management measures.
6. Who is funding the project?
The Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi funds the study on behalf of the UAE federal government.
7. How are researchers from different countries able to communicate and work together?
Although geographically dispersed, the researchers are able to communicate using email, video conferences, and frequent travel.