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UAE Hosts Panel Session at COP26 to Highlight Country’s Achievements in Rain Enhancement Research and Application

Glasgow-Scotland: 05 November, 2021: The National Center of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), hosted an expert-led panel discussion at the UAE pavilion in 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland to highlight the UAE’s achievements in rain enhancement research and its application.

‘Titled Rain Enhancement: Innovative Solutions to Attain Water Security’, the session outlined the program’s crucial support for the development of innovative rain enhancement technologies as well as NCM’s future plans to drive new research innovation in water security research.

In addition to sharing updates from the cutting-edge research projects carried out by the program’s nine awardees, the session also presented an overview of the UAE’s cloud seeding efforts, and the program’s vital role in promoting research, development and innovation in this growing scientific field.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said: “We are delighted to participate in this important international event to highlight the urgent need to take practical steps to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on countries and governments. The NCM delegation is actively taking part in its various sessions to showcase the UAE’s achievements in rain enhancement research and the country’s leading status as a global hub for developing viable solutions to tackle climate change, water security and sustainability.”

He added: "The NCM team will also share their insights on how cloud seeding is contributing to global water security given its close association with climate change, while highlighting the need to step up research efforts to achieve the sustainability of water resources. In playing a crucial role in advancing this important scientific field, the UAE reiterates its commitment to deploying innovative solutions to address the challenge of global water stress.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), and one of the key panelists, said: “COP26 serves as an excellent platform to debate important issues related to rain enhancement science, and elevate awareness about the program and its achievements in advancing cloud seeding research. In participating in this event, we aim to deepen our collective resolve to find reliable, feasible and cost-effective solutions such as cloud seeding to address water scarcity and achieve water security.”

She added: "The session offered us a unique opportunity to showcase the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science and the importance it accords to innovation and novel technologies to drive further development of rain enhancement research. This is in line with the country’s pioneering role and sustained efforts to address water scarcity and its far-reaching consequences.

As part of her participation in the session, Alya Al Mazroui gave a brief account of the research work undertaken by the program and its meaningful contributions to achieving water security. She also spoke about the idea behind the program, its objectives, and the progress, achievements and contributions made by the nine research projects received its grant to cloud seeding through leveraging the latest technologies. She also shared the updates of the program’s fourth cycle, the results of which will be announced in January 2022.

Al Mazroui also discussed the instrumental role played by the program in supporting global research endeavor, noting that water scarcity and water security have become pressing issues that demand immediate international attention and harnessing modern technologies such as cloud seeding to ensure viable and effective solutions that complement existing water resources.

Al Mazroui also highlighted the program’s efforts to promote capacity building across the globe through empowering youth, and collaborating with universities, and academic and research institutions worldwide.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al Abri, Director of the Meteorological Department at NCM, highlighted the UAE’s specialized expertise and state-of-the-art infrastructure to carry out cloud seeding operations. This comprises more than 100 meteorological stations, an integrated network of radars covering all parts of the country, custom-designed aircrafts , and a factory to produce high-quality hygroscopic salt flares for use in cloud-seeding operations.

Since its inception, the program has achieved wide global recognition, helping the UAE to bolster its leading status in rain enhancement research. It has become a focal point for facilitating global research collaboration and knowledge transfer to ensure sustainable water resources for countries at risk of water scarcity.

In May 2021, the UAE announced its bid to host the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28) in Abu Dhabi in 2023. The move received wide endorsement due to the country's track record in promoting innovation in clean technologies and as well as its long-standing expertise as a global leader in renewable energy.