UAEREP concludes successful participation at COP22

MARRAKECH, 27th November 2016 (WAM) – delegation headed by Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), concluded a series of productive meetings with leading policy makers and researchers at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

Running from November 6 -18, 2016, the Conference of Parties (COP22) in Morocco marked the maiden participation to a COP event for the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science and also its foray into the African continent that will be expanded as part of the Program’s goals for 2017.

Commenting on this successful round of discussions at COP, Dr Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology, said: “Our presence at COP22 enabled us to reach out to key policy makers and leading researchers operating in Africa.

We are committed to building stronger bonds and enduring relationships with scientists and technologists from this continent. We are delighted to have received a remarkable level of interest, and are encouraged to see such rising awareness and appreciation. This international attention validates NCMS’s leadership in rain enhancement research, development and implementation. As a result, we expect to receive many more innovative research projects from this part of the world in the next Cycle of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science”.

The meetings at COP 22 served as an opportunity to explore the exchange of innovative ideas on rain enhancement research with partners and stakeholders in Africa and beyond – including policy makers, scientists, technologists and media – in an effort to encourage deeper understanding and collaboration in one of the most promising fields of atmospheric research.

Speaking on the team’s successful inaugural participation at COP 22, Alya Al Mazroui said: “Our participation in Cop 22 holds special importance for the Programme. We have had the honor of meeting with key government and international organizations that not only share our views on the necessity of providing alternative sources of fresh water for the benefit of local communities in Africa, but are also promoting international collaboration in research and technology. Our discussions have emphasized the importance of Africa as a region where innovative technologies can serve for the greater good.”

While at COP 22, the delegation met with a total of 35 representatives from governmental and international organizations, such as the United Nations, the African Ministers’ Council on Water, the International Water Association, the Brazilian Business Council on Sustainable Development (CEBDS), the Moroccan Meteorological Service and the African Union.

Speaking on the importance of international collaboration, Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission stated: “Water security is one of the key priorities of the African Union and its members. Under our Pan African University Programme, we have set up faculties across the content to build capacity in science and technology. We strongly believe that unless we build a pool of African researchers, innovators and technologists which is badly needed by our continent, we shall not be able to meet our immense demand. Therefore, the research grants offered by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science to support researchers is most welcome.”

Oseloka Zikora, Programme Coordinator at the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) added: “We live in a global village: what affects you affects me. We have to work together, and join forces to ensure mutual benefits, in Africa and beyond”.

Promoting the Programme’s Third Cycle, the delegation also held discussions with a number of international and local researchers from Morocco, Chad, Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Sahel and South Africa, and exchanged key insights on the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science and its objectives.

As part of the UAEREP delegation’s efforts to exchange ideas on rain enhancement innovations and solutions, the team finally held a successful panel discussion entitled, “Rain Enhancement Science and Technology and its Contribution to Global Water Resources Adaptation” on November 14 at the COP22 Gulf Countries Council Pavilion.

Headed by Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, with the support of Maxx Dilley, Director at the Climate and Water Department of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Lhoussaine Youabad, Head of Communications at the Moroccan Meteorological Service and Dr. Jolly Wasambo, Project Coordinator of the African Union, the panel examined the state of research today, as well as various water solutions and innovations, and the benefits of rain enhancement science for populations all over the world.

During the panel discussion, Maxx Dilley, Director at the Climate and Water Department of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated: “Creating the evidence base for rainfall enhancement will depend on enhanced scientific understanding of basic cloud physics and cloud-forming processes, as well as on methodologies for evaluating the efficacy of rainfall enhancement measures. The UAEREP initiative is a welcomed contribution, given its focus on research and methods in these areas. The World Meteorological Organisation will continue to collaborate with the Program, provide guidance and looks forward to the results that will be generated from the research currently being conducted.”

At the panel, Alya Al Mazroui also announced that the UAEREP will be hosting the First International Research Progress Workshop on Rain Enhancement during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on January 18 to 19, 2017.

This International Workshop will present an overview of the newly awarded research projects from the Second Cycle of the Program, showcase updates on the research projects awarded during the First Cycle of the Program, as well as provide a platform of choice to discuss innovative technologies to tackle water security challenges globally.