His Highness Hamdan bin Zayed, in his capacity as Chairman of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), has approved Executive Regulation for Environmental Assessment and Licensing.

Executive Regulation aims to ensure a healthy and safe environment for the population, protect the environment, and preserve natural resources.

The issuance of the regulation was based on Law No. (16) of 2005 regarding the reorganisation of EAD and its amendments, and Federal Law No. (24) of 1999 regarding the protection and development of the environment and its amendments and regulations. Through the articles of the regulation, all procedures, conditions and requirements for environmental licenses and the accreditation and registration of environmental consultancy offices in Abu Dhabi have been established.

The regulation aims to organise and improve the agency’s procedures in the field of environmental assessment and licensing of establishments, projects and activities that are subject to environmental licensing, inspection and enforcement. This is in addition to regulating the accreditation and registration of environmental consultancy offices working in the field of environmental consultancy, studies and research. The framework also covers the work of these offices, in order to monitor their efforts in order to provide the best environmental consultations and studies.

The provisions of the regulation apply to all facilities, projects, activities, strategic projects, strategic plans, and programmes that may have an environmental impact.

Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD Secretary General, said: ‘’The issuance of the executive regulation regarding environmental assessment and licensing is in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi to continue improving environmental management in the emirate. This regulation crowns ongoing efforts to ensure the continuity of development in the emirate in alignment with the regulation. We aim to improve and protect the environment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and ensure its development and preservation for current and future generations.

“The application of the regulation will support the implementation of environmental management systems that cover all issues related to environmental protection as well as preserving the environment and safeguarding human health. The regulation also supports strategic priorities that will help us achieve our desired long-term goals.”

Eng. Faisal Al Hammadi, Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Sector at EAD, said: “EAD has started implementing the requirements of the regulation after preparing plans that include many procedures and initiatives that will roll out in the next few years. This will help facilities to obtain an environmental license and attract investment. At EAD we will also assess the impact of implementing the regulation in a way that ensures it achieves its declared long-term objectives.

“The regulation will help organise environmental licensing procedures for various sectors, setting controls and mechanisms of application and monitoring, further protecting society and the environment from the potential negative impacts of projects and facilities during their construction and operation phases.”

The regulation also highlights the information, data, documents, and files that must be included or delivered during the environmental licensing phases or later during follow-up. This is in order to ensure the accuracy and validity of the data that contributes to EAD’s decision-making process and helps strengthen its documented database.

The regulation included details of the obligations of the owners of facilities, projects and activities, and items that support innovation, research, and environmentally-friendly technologies. Items were also included in the regulation to educate owners of facilities, projects and activities about the requirements and conditions of environmental licensing.