Sunday 01 October 2023 - 6:15:15 am

ICBA, Zayed University team up to support sustainable development in UAE

DUBAI, 18th March, 2021 (WAM) -- The International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and Zayed University (ZU) agreed yesterday to join forces to contribute to sustainable development efforts in the UAE.

Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi, Acting Director-General of the ICBA, and Dr. Khalid Al-Khazraji, Vice-President of Zayed University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect in the presence of Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, at the ICBA’s headquarters in Dubai.

Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, said, "The food security landscape is evolving at an ever-faster rate, with the adoption and implementation of new forms of technology and advanced research increasingly defining the food ecosystem. This makes human capacity building a priority. This new partnership between the centre and Zayed University will utilise the expertise of both institutions to further human capacity development, with the ultimate aim being to create a sustainable food production ecosystem in the UAE - a key goal of the country’s National Food Security Strategy.

"The ICBA is proving instrumental in enhancing the UAE’s food security agenda, as well as in meeting national and international efforts towards the United Nations’ second Sustainable Development Goal – Zero Hunger by 2030."

The agreement focuses on, among other things, capacity development and agricultural research in areas related to sustainable development.

Dr. Alzaabi said, "By combining scientific expertise available at the ICBA and ZU, we will be able to do more to support sustainable development initiatives in the UAE. We also hope to bring more young people to the fore of sustainable development and encourage them to pursue different opportunities in such areas as agricultural research and agribusiness."

Dr. Al-Khazraji said, "Through the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the emphasis of Zayed University is to provide a high-quality learning experience, to nurture and develop effective health and environment professionals, and to create opportunities of lifelong learning experiences for our graduates."

Under the agreement, the ICBA and the university will exchange knowledge and technical expertise and organise capacity development events, including training programmes, workshops, conferences, and outreach activities.

In particular, the ICBA will be engaged in halophyte-related projects being implemented by the university and the development of agribusiness incubators to stimulate the creation of competitive agribusiness enterprises.

Moreover, the agreement envisages establishing a joint internship programme for students and fresh graduates from the ZU and disseminating information about the ICBA’s research and development programmes through agriculture-focused clubs at the university.

The ICBA and ZU have a long-running partnership. Since 2016, about 30 students and fresh graduates from the university have completed their internships at the ICBA. In collaboration with the university and other partners, ICBA has also organised several major events at the university’s campus in Dubai.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Tariq alfaham