The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, has implemented robust and flexible business continuity management arrangements to minimise the impact of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and help keep the UAE population safe during this time.
As part of these arrangements, MOCCAE has expanded its digital presence through making new services available through its website and app as well as via its toll-free call centre 8003050. The Ministry has added five services to its digital offering, with three more scheduled to go live by the second week of April. In total, it currently provides 60 electronic and smart services to the public.
The newly launched services include issuing and renewing registration certificate of veterinary product companies, issuing and renewing registration certificates of veterinary products, and issuing import permits for veterinary products.
The batch of services to be launched comprises approving veterinary raw materials for import and issuing import permits for veterinary raw materials, disinfectants, veterinary equipment and supplies, and animal care products.
As fishermen and farmers can now access MOCCAE’s services remotely, 29 of the Ministry’s customer happiness centres have suspended their operations and stopped receiving visitors in a bid to protect public health and safety.
Sultan Alwan, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Regions Sector and Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said, "MOCCAE’s business continuity arrangements target the vital sectors that fall within its remit to achieve two goals. The first is to continue to offer uninterrupted services to its customers while they comply with the government directives of staying home, and the second is to adopt flexible food products import procedures to ensure continuous supply at all times. To meet these goals, the Ministry is collaborating with the concerned authorities across the UAE."
MOCCAE is coordinating with the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA) to allow fishermen with expired licenses to practice fishing until end-May 2020.
The Ministry’s electronic and smart services for fishermen include renewing fishing boat licenses, transferring fishing boat ownership, selling and replacing fishing boats, adding and replacing fishing boat engines, issuing and renewing vice-captain cards, and changing fishing methods.
To support crop and livestock farmers remotely, MOCCAE offers them a host of services, including submitting requests for agricultural and veterinary extension services, registration of agricultural holdings, and modification or deletion of basic information on agricultural holdings.
MOCCAE has leveraged its social media platforms and posted signage at its agricultural and veterinary extension service centres to inform the target segment about its electronic and smart services. As the Ministry’s extension service centres stopped receiving applicants, the extension services team visits the customers’ farms to provide the services they have requested.
To ensure a continuous supply of food products, MOCCAE has joined forces with the Ministry of Economy and other concerned departments to implement flexible importer requirements and expand the number of approved source countries. In this context, MOCCAE is coordinating with these countries to agree on the health certificates that will accompany consignments, as well as the technical and health requirements.
The Ministry complies with the highest health and safety standards to prevent animal pathogens from entering the country.
Preventive measures start with evaluating the health situation in the exporting country as per the periodic reports of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO.
All live animals must be quarantined, undergo external parasite treatment, and receive a vaccine against internal parasites at the source country. Once the consignments arrive at the UAE’s borders, they are only allowed to enter the country after examining the shipping documents and conducting eye and laboratory tests to ensure the animals are disease-free.
Moreover, MOCCAE works to increase the share of local plant and animal products in the market through implementing existing agreements and forging new deals with major retailers to sell foods produced in the UAE in their outlets across the country.
In line with the government directive to stop charging administrative penalties for licensing violations, MOCCAE has suspended fines on 15 of its licencing renewal services in a bid to encourage the public to stay safe at home.
If required, customers can update their information through the Ministry’s website, app, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, MOCCAE adheres to the directives of the Ministry of Health and Prevention across all its premises.
These include the provision of protective face masks and sanitiser gel dispensers, installing thermoscanners, and regularly disinfecting the premises. Other measures include accepting only soft copies of health certificates and certificates of origin to eliminate handling paper documents, and maintaining social distancing.
Moreover, customers currently cannot use the happiness indicator devices at the centres. Instead, they can evaluate their experience online or through the call centre.
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