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India reports 58,097 new COVID-19 cases

NEW DELHI, 5th January, 2022 (WAM) — India has reported 58,097 new COVID-19 cases and 534 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

ANI quoted the ministry as saying that there are 2,135 Omicron cases in India so far.

With the recovery of 482,551 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of COVID recovered patients, since the beginning of the pandemic, now stands at 34,321,803.

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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi plants one million mangrove seeds by drone

ABU DHABI, 12th January, 2023 (WAM) — The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has successfully planted one million mangrove seeds using drones as part of the first phase of a drone mangrove plantation project supporting the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative.

The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative was announced in February 2021 during Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge’s landmark visit to the UAE, where he met with H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, at Jubail Mangrove Park.

This initiative, which is implemented by EAD with a series of local, regional and international partners, supports Abu Dhabi’s ambitious plans to establish the emirate as a global hub for research and innovation in support of the conservation of mangroves and focuses on the importance of mangroves for carbon sequestration to combat climate change.

The initiative supports the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s target, announced during COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, which unveiled a nationwide plan to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030. Following this, the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative was launched in February of this year.

EAD is the first organisation to utilise and plant mangroves at a large-scale utilising ecological principles enhanced by drones. The planting of one million seeds follows a successful initial phase implemented by EAD in partnership with ENGIE, the global energy company, and Distant Imagery, a drone engineering solutions company.

This initial phase focused on planting mangroves via drone in 2020, with up to a 48 percent success rate. EAD then scaled up the project, with one million mangroves planted via drones at different locations around Al Mirfa, in Al Dhafra Region.

The use of drone technology to plant mangroves has several advantages, as the environmental footprint of the methodology is low since it removes the need for intense labour and sapling transportation. It is also cost-effective as it reduces the overall price of mangrove planting, eliminates the need for mangrove nurseries and associated costs, and facilitates reaching remote and difficult areas. The project is also running a trial on incorporating machine learning for future monitoring phases.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, said that the UAE began mangrove plantation in the 1970s under the guidance of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE and also known as the First Environmentalist. He commenced mangrove plantation along the coasts of the islands and mainland of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Eastern Mangrove plantation was the inception of the first mangrove plantation programme in Abu Dhabi.

She added, “Even though the world’s mangroves are declining due to natural and human challenges they are facing, Abu Dhabi has a different story to tell as the plantation of mangroves has continued in the UAE at large and in Abu Dhabi in particular, in a slow but steady manner. A prime example is our latest project of planting one million mangrove seeds via innovative drone technology. This project is one of several programmes run by the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative to support the UAE’s pledge to plant 100 million mangroves in 2030.

With each planting round, EAD has been evolving not only its methodology for seed germination and site planting patterns, but also seed dispersal mechanisms and drones so they can fly longer. The drone is self-designed and engineered to drop seedlings from the air, monitor the growth of mangrove saplings, map the habitat and create 3D imaging.

The Agency plans to further evolve its methodologies and technology. Data has shown that the growth of the seed in-situ using drones has a success rate that remains stable over three years.

In Abu Dhabi, plantation programmes have helped increase the range of mangroves. The increase of mangrove areas in Abu Dhabi was more than 35 percent, and is the result of plantation and restoration programmes and protection laws and regulations that ensure the sustainability of environmental ecosystems.

In the past 10 years, EAD and its key stakeholders, from both the government and private sector, have planted more than 15 million mangroves along the coast of Abu Dhabi.

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Abu Dhabi to host Global Information Technology Challenge for Youth of Determination in October

ABU DHABI, 12th January, 2023 (WAM) — Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Organising Committee of the Global Information Technology Challenge regarding the Emirate of Abu Dhabi hosting the final round of the Global Information Technology Challenge for Youth of Determination (GITC) in October 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The event will see the participation of 310 participants, including 120 young People of Determination representing 20 countries, in addition to the attendance of 450 people, including 400 young people of determination, through video conferencing.

The MoU was signed by Abdullah Abdul-Ali Al-Humaidan, ZHO Secretary-General; and Ankoy Kim, CEO of the Organising Committee of Global Information Technology. The signing ceremony, via videoconference, was attended by senior officials from both sides.

According to the MoU, the two parties will cooperate in the process of preparation until the completion of the activities of the Global Information Technology Challenge, which includes information technology competitions, the INI Forum, and cultural activities sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (Korea), and the Community Fund in Korea.

Al-Humaidan said that Abu Dhabi's hosting of the competition for the first time in the Middle East enhances the UAE's position and ability to organise and host international events and activities, thanks to the support of the leadership headed by

He stressed that the Zayed Organisation, headed by H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the ZHO Board of Directors, seeks to build bridges of cooperation and exchange experiences with all relevant authorities at the local, regional and global levels.

The Global Information Technology Challenge for Youth of Determination began in 1992 in South Korea to reduce the digital gap for people of these categories. Since 2011, GITC has been expanded to include young people of determination worldwide, focusing on the Asia and Pacific region to enhance their participation in society by enrolling in higher education and finding job opportunities. In 2024, it will be developed into a more sustainable competition by enhancing the credibility of the internationally renowned competition and the independence of participating countries.

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UAE Foreign Minister receives Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

ABU DHABI, 12th January, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has received Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This year, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. In this context, the two ministers emphasised their commitment to further enhance the partnership between the Netherlands and the UAE, across various fields.

These fields include, economy and trade, combatting international crime and money laundering, and enhancing energy and food security.

Both ministers agreed to jointly undertake efforts to combat global challenges such as climate change, in order to build a better world for future generations, and looked forward to working together during COP28 in the UAE.

Furthermore, safeguarding the security and future prosperity of their respective populations is one of the main goals of the relationship between the UAE and the Netherlands, which is guided by a strong belief in multilateralism and international cooperation.

In this context, Minister Hoekstra commended the role of the UAE through its non permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council on its role in the field of Women, Peace and Security, and its important role in enhancing regional peace.

The Netherlands reiterated the importance of stability in the region and acknowledged the UAE’s right to self-defence in that regard.
Today, both ministers expressed their mutual desire and commitment to deepen bilateral relations between their countries on the basis of mutual understanding and respect of values.

The meeting was attended by Jamal Jama Al Musharakh, UAE Ambassador to Netherlands.

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