Local newspapers in the United Arab Emirates and media outlets reported new news regarding an urgent decision by His Highness Hamdan bin Zayed regarding violations and fines. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed issued a decision regarding the schedule of violations and fines for violators of environmental legislation in Abu Dhabi.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, representative of the ruler in the Al Dhafra region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, issued a decision regarding the list of violations and administrative fines for violators of environmental legislation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with the aim of strengthening the role of the regulatory and supervisory authority, and supporting the mechanism for addressing activities and actions that negatively affect the environment. The environment, and covering all practices harmful to the environment that are not included in the applicable environmental legislation in order to enhance the level of compliance with the environmental legislation in the Emirate.
This decision comes to activate the system of violations and administrative fines stipulated in Law No. (10) of 2020 amending some provisions of Law No. (16) of 2005 regarding the reorganization of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, according to which the authority was granted the power to impose an administrative fine on acts violating the provisions of this The law, its regulatory and executive regulations, and the regulations, policies, decisions and circulars implementing it, which would support the oversight role of the authority and enable it to effectively exercise its role in preserving the environment and biodiversity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
This decision contributes to the authority having a legal tool that enables the inspectors to apply the list of violations and administrative fines to establishments, projects and individuals directly, which will reduce the number of judicial referrals for environmental violations. Or its environmental damage in return for reducing the value of the prescribed violation by 25%, which will motivate establishments and projects to reconcile with the authority to reduce the value of violations, provided that the causes of the violation are removed first (if required).
Violations have been classified into three categories: violations of development and industrial activities, violations of wild fishing, biodiversity and reserves, violations of marine fishing and discharges into the marine environment. And committing the violation for the second time and repeating the violation more than twice, and the value of the prescribed administrative fines range from 1000 dirhams to 1,000,000 dirhams, depending on the nature of the violation, the extent of the damage it causes to the environment and the rate of its recurrence.
It is noteworthy that the Abu Dhabi government’s interest in protecting the environment was evident in the development programs and plans in its various dimensions, as it was concerned with the economic and social effects on the environment. Sustainable development, and the environmental vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was based on the principle of preserving the environment with the need to preserve all the ambitious economic goals of Abu Dhabi and identify what sustainability requires in all areas and sectors it includes.
The authority, as the competent authority for all environmental affairs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is primarily concerned with protecting the environment, wildlife and biodiversity through conducting scientific research, developing and implementing appropriate policies for sustainable development, and carrying out environmental control and protection activities, especially with regard to studying environmental impact assessment, issuing environmental licenses and inspection. Environmental monitoring of projects, facilities and activities within the various sectors in the Emirate to ensure environmental compliance to limit or reduce the extent of damage to the environment and reduce the environmental footprint.