The Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, revealed that the Ministry is implementing a new project this year, to link the laboratories for monitoring the safety of agricultural and food products in the country with a single platform, with the aim of standardizing data, in partnership with the private sector, so that the state has a laboratory monitored product, and within a series Production from farm to market, noting the ministry’s intention to issue a ministerial decision to unify the supply chain of food products from farm to sale.
This came during his attendance at the Federal National Council session, which was held yesterday, to discuss the topic of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment policy regarding achieving sustainable development of fishery, animal and agricultural resources, during which the Council approved a draft federal law on access to genetic resources and their derivatives, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from Its use included heavy penalties for violating its provisions, up to a maximum of two years imprisonment, and a fine of five million dirhams for the unlicensed circulation of genetic resources and their derivatives, whether by importing or exporting them.
The session started with directing a question from Council member Shatha Saeed Al Naqbi to the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, about “procedures for fishermen to obtain live bait”, as the minister emphasized that the ministry is cooperating with local authorities in the various emirates of the country to lay down all the legislation concerned with regulating fishing in a manner. Balanced, in a way that ensures non-impact on the environment and marine life, achieves its sustainability and preserves the safety of fishermen, explaining that the decision to prevent fishing by enclosure aims primarily to protect marine resources, especially small fish, in light of the availability of other methods of fishing.
He said: “We must work to intensify awareness-raising campaigns for fishermen on the importance of respecting fishing laws, and to ensure that any decisions taken in this regard are aimed primarily at the public good, and to protect their source of livelihood, so bringing or fishing live bait should not be restricted to the bottom of ships, which is dangerous. Fishing is found along the country’s coasts. ”
He added, “The ministry takes into consideration the interest of the fishermen, but it puts in the first place the interest and security of the Emirates and the sustainability of its resources, which are more important than the fisherman’s access to small fish as live bait.”
In her intervention, Al-Naqbi made proposals, and said that they may contribute to supporting the profession of fishing and fishermen in the country, including providing material compensation to fishermen during the deprivation period of a specific variety, and forming a committee of fishermen, each according to their region, to determine the time and method of the fishing season, and the establishment of a national fish export factory in the city of Kalba To support all UAE fishermen, as this factory will contribute to making an Emirati national brand, raising the quality level in the local markets, as well as providing jobs and fish products at competitive prices.
She suggested working Mashad along the eastern coast with known specifications and locations to develop fish wealth in accordance with laws and regulations, granting permits to fishermen to obtain live bait under commercial ships at specific times, and under the control of the concerned authorities until fishing is permitted by a total precautionary method, and establishing farms to raise live bait, and applying the method. Total enclosure under the supervision of fishermen in certain locations, and the distribution of similar vessels along the eastern coast to allow fishermen to fish under them.
The minister replied, saying: “The proposals submitted by the member are in the interest of the fisherman, and the ministry supports proposals that support this sector in accordance with the laws regulating.”
Regarding the draft laws referred by the committees, the council approved a draft federal law regarding access to genetic resources and their derivatives and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use, which aims to protect and preserve genetic resources and limit their depletion and sustainability to benefit from them, as well as regulate their access and circulation, In order to contribute to the preservation and sustainability of biological diversity in the country, it also guarantees the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and their derivatives, and associated traditional and heritage knowledge, practices and innovations, in addition to the inventory, compilation, classification and documentation of genetic resources and their derivatives and associated traditional and heritage knowledge and practices. Innovations, promotion and encouragement of research that contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
The most prominent articles of the bill included the definition of “genetic resources” as any material of plant or animal origin or micro-organisms or other assets that contain units carrying heredity, and of actual or potential value. The materials also included the inability of any person to obtain genetic resources and share. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use unless he has a permit to do so, and it is not permissible for any person to import or export genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use unless he has obtained approval from the Ministry.
The draft law included heavy penalties for violating its provisions, ranging from a fine from one million dirhams to five million dirhams, and imprisonment from six months to two years, or both penalties for violators of its provisions, with penalties doubled in the event of repetition.
In response to the interventions of the members of the Council, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment confirmed that the ministry encourages fish farming projects despite the scarcity of land that can be cultivated on the coasts, and it has distributed 150 thousand of tilapia fish to farmers to benefit from them, but the main role is on the private sector and there are existing farms. , Adding that the organic product is more in the rise in prices, and this is a global affair, but there are organic products that are produced and marketed without any problems.
The minister pointed out that the ministry has reduced the service fees that fall under its umbrella, and has also adopted projects to support youth, pointing out that there is an agreement with the private sector to train young people on the production cycle from the farm to marketing, and the outputs of this project require approximately 14 months, and the first experience will start next month .
The minister said: “The food safety law is federal and applies to all Emirates, and there are decisions that are going well, and work is underway to ensure the product from the farm to the market, and there are meetings with the localities, and we are working to regulate the control of the product extracted from the farms and is under implementation, and every party It will play its role for all the Emirates, and the law is one that applies in all the Emirates, in accordance with some legislations. We are working to unify procedures, and we will issue a ministerial decision to unify the supply chain from farm to sale. ”
19 parliamentary recommendations
During the Federal National Council’s discussion of the policy of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment regarding achieving sustainable development of fishery, animal and agricultural resources, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment confirmed that the Council adopted 19 recommendations, which dealt with the fisheries, agricultural and animal sectors, and explored the future of these sectors, and decided to return them to the Committee on Health and Environmental Affairs To reformulate it according to what was discussed under the dome, after he called for preparing a future strategy for the agricultural, fisheries and livestock sectors, conducting applied experiments for modern technologies, and adapting them in accordance with the environmental conditions of the state, with the aim of raising production capacity, reducing production costs, ensuring food safety, and preparing Partnership programs with higher education and scientific research institutions, to encourage scientific research in government universities and colleges, use artificial intelligence to achieve state goals, ensure sustainable food security, and prepare innovative national projects to implement partnership programs between the Ministry and the Ministry of Food Security, in a manner that ensures achieving the goals of the National Food Security Strategy . The Council also called for the establishment of cooperative societies for farmers and livestock breeders at the local level, to support and market local agricultural and animal products, and to encourage them to continue the profession of agriculture and animal husbandry, and to establish a special association for Emirati beekeepers to provide support for this vital and important sector, market Emirati honey products, and enhance its capacity. Competitiveness.
Increase sales of food products
The Minister of Climate Change and Environment said that an increase in the volume of sales of food products was monitored through three main sales outlets, from 80 million dirhams in 2019 to 120 million dirhams during the past year. He added, “We are working on linking all laboratories in the country with a single platform for data standardization, as well as involving the private sector. During this year, we will have a laboratory-controlled product, and within the production chain from the farm to the market.”