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UAE Delegation Discusses Sustainability Technologies, Best Practices in Agriculture with Dutch Officials

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi: The visit aimed to build on the UAE’s strong bilateral relations with the Netherlands and identify new opportunities for collaboration A UAE delegation, led by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has concluded a three-day official visit to the Netherlands. During the visit, the delegates explored key topics of shared interest with Dutch officials, including the use of smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and precision agriculture to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural production and to combat plant pests and diseases.

Other members of the delegation comprised Dr Kaltham Kayaf, Head of the Animal Health Section at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Abdul Nasser Al Shamsi, CEO of Rawafed, Omar Al Jundi, CEO of Badia Farms, and Mohammed Khalfan, General Manager of Al Dahra Holding.

From June 26 to 28, the delegation met with Carola Schouten, Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Marcel Beukeboom, Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Reina Buijs, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegates explored new areas of cooperation with relevant entities in the Netherlands and exchanged experience in climate change research. Discussions focused on leveraging the latest technologies to collect climate data that can be used to shape strategies and policies.

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi highlighted the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017-2050, its vision and projected deliverables. The plan garnered high praise from the Dutch officials as an impressive contribution to global efforts in combating the impacts of climate change.

Speaking on the visit, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE enjoys deep-rooted ties with the Netherlands that bind our two nations on multiple fronts. Our visit aimed to build on our strong bilateral relations and identify new opportunities for collaboration. We also sought to share expertise in relevant areas, and lay a solid foundation for future partnerships between the private and public sectors in both countries.”

He noted that the UAE delegation included top officials of private agricultural companies to strengthen the position of the private sector as a vital partner of the government in its quest to achieve sustainability, and to allow companies to exchange best practices on an international level.

As part of the agenda, the delegates toured Deltares – an institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure, where they learned about climate change, groundwater and salinity modeling methods used in the Netherlands. In addition, they gained firsthand experience of the operations of Delta Flume, Deltares’s unique facility that enables the testing of extreme waves on dikes, dunes and breakwaters at full scale.

During their visit to the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, the delegates inspected an integrated system for improving air quality through storing and recycling carbon dioxide for use in diverse sectors – for example, to increase agricultural production. They also learned about the utilization of solar panels on Dutch roads to generate electricity.  

Moreover, the delegation toured the Wageningen University & Research – a world-class educational institution dedicated to life sciences, agriculture and environmental science, and received a briefing on the environment-related majors offered at the university, as well as its cutting-edge technologies used to convert seawater into drinking water.

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