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21 April 2024

UAE leads the establishment of the World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance

By E247

The UAE Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Dubai, has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and declarations of intent with national and international bodies dedicated to firefighting to establish the ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’. Aimed at forging an international coalition to reduce global carbon emissions stemming from fires, the alliance seeks to contribute to collaborative efforts worldwide to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, under the umbrella of the International Climate Change Law Enforcement (I2LEC) initiative and in line with the objectives of the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28), which commenced in Dubai on Thursday.

The establishment of the ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’ was officially announced and signed during COP28 at an international conference titled ‘Eco Readiness’ focused on exploring strategies to strengthen international collaboration and coordination to combat fires, with a special emphasis on addressing their environmental consequences.

The MoUs were signed by His Excellency Lieutenant General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defense, representing the UAE; Richard Abbot, Area Commander of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) of the UK; Eric Flores Vice President of the National Federation of French Firefighters (FNSPF); Ajit Raghavan, President of the Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI); John Collie, CEO of the Fire Protection Association (FPA) of Australia; and Milan Dubrovac President of the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF), encompassing around 50 European members. The UAE side also signed ‘Declarations of Intent’ with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of the United States of America, represented by its Executive Secretary, Otto Drozd; and the National Fire Agency (KNFA) of South Korea, represented by its Vice Commissioner, Yil Lee.  

The signatories collectively represent over 56 countries globally, establishing a wide-ranging global alliance dedicated to reinforcing security, disaster prevention, and the well-being of communities worldwide.  

The signing of these MoUs reflects the Dubai Civil Defense's dedicated efforts in environmental stewardship under the umbrella of the ‘Eco Readiness’ programme, an undertaking of the UAE Ministry of Interior. This programme aims to assist nations globally in reducing carbon emissions resulting from fire incidents, ultimately striving for climate neutrality on a global scale.

The programme serves as a centralised platform for a global fire incident database, engaging major firefighting organisations worldwide. The system conducts detailed analysis to determine carbon emissions resulting from fire incidents across different continents. The gathered data is meticulously categorised and shared with firefighting organisations responsible for each respective continent. The primary objective of the programme is to achieve a global reduction in fire incidents and their associated carbon emissions.

In a collaborative effort with the private sector, the Dubai Civil Defense has also launched the ‘Heat Map of Environmental Crimes’, an innovative technological project that provides detailed insights into the characteristics, patterns and data related to environmental crimes. It plays a crucial role in drawing connections between various crimes and climate change, thereby facilitating improved information and data exchange between countries and operational entities. This initiative represents a significant step forward in the international effort to combat both environmental crimes and fires.

The organisations involved in this collaboration actively contribute to global initiatives focused on the exchange of data and information. Their collective effort encompasses strategies to reduce carbon emissions, mechanisms to manage fires, identification of global fire locations, and analysis of their primary causes. The newly established ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’, spearheaded by the UAE, is a culmination of these collaborative efforts dedicated to strengthening the security and safety of communities around the globe. The ultimate aim of this alliance is to promote a secure and healthy environment globally, reflecting a shared responsibility and concerted action in addressing global environmental challenges. 

During the ‘Eco Readiness’ conference, His Excellency Lieutenant General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Dubai, extended his gratitude to all attendees. He highlighted the conference's alignment with and support for the objectives of COP28, hosted by the UAE. This gathering of influential figures from various industries aims to promote worldwide action geared to reduce carbon emissions linked to global warming.

Afaf Al Muhairi, Director of the Strategy and Future Department, Dubai Civil Defense, presented a working paper, while Major Essa Al Mutawa, Director of the Control and Inspection Department, Dubai Civil Defense, discussed the organisation's initiatives concerning environmental preparedness, the heat map and related concerns. He also outlined the environmental objectives that civil defence agencies worldwide must strive to achieve.

A representative from the UAE Ministry of Interior shed light on the International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC) and its role in enhancing the capabilities of personnel in tackling challenges and crimes associated with climate issues. The I2LEC was launched by the UAE in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as a platform to coordinate and enhance the relevant efforts of the global law enforcement community.