Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation releases new book on ‘Bio-Stimulants for sustainable agriculture in oasis ecosystem’

ABU DHABI, The General Secretariat of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation has released a new book entitled “Bio-Stimulants for sustainable agriculture in oasis ecosystem towards improving date palm tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress”, in English.

Authored by Dr. Abdelilah Meddich, Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Science Semlalia, Morocco, the book mainly highlights the Bayoud disease, drought, salinity, the lack of organic substance in the soil and its mineral content, and the spread of pests, as it is considered one of the main reasons for the losses of date palm farmers during the past decades. These problems can be addressed by exploiting the use of bio-fertilizers in the production of sustainable crops.

Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, confirmed that publishing this book aims of spreading the culture of date palm and agricultural innovation among various target groups, using a scientific approach that contributes to knowledge sharing, which in return, will help in developing the date palm cultivation sector, and the creation of a positive environment that stimulates creativity and innovation in the agricultural sector.

Dr. Zaid also added that the chapters of this book were developed to identify an innovative approach with the aim of developing agricultural sustainability in fragile ecosystems of the date palm oases, and establishing biological efficiency, by integrating organic amendments, such as compost with natural soil microorganisms such as beneficial bacteria and fungi populations including arboreal fungi (AMF), and phyto-growth-promoting rhizomes (PGPR).

These bio-fertilizers also contribute to the development and production of date palms that are resistant to harsh climatic conditions, and can overcome environmental stresses, he added.

The book also identifies the processes and mechanisms developed by treated date palms in selecting exotic and local bacteria and fungi, to understand the agricultural, physiological and biochemical foundations of biofertilizers towards sustainable agriculture, which contributes to reducing environmental problems associated with the use of chemical fertilizers, widely worldwide.

The book presents research in a practical framework relevant to developing and improving the growth of date palm trees, and meeting the needs of creating inexpensive, carbon-neutral and environmentally friendly products to improve the food chain supply, maintain sustainable oasis management, and increase the yield of date palm in the ecosystems of arid and semi-arid lands, as well as related crops. This book will certainly provide useful information on the various strategies adopted through agricultural use of beneficial microbial assemblies and bio-fertilizers and the interactions and positive effects of their implementation on date palm oases under biotic and/or abiotic stresses caused by climate change.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE pledges AED 367 million to support education of women and girls around the world

ABU DHABI, The UAE has announced a pledge of AED 367 million (US$100 million) to the Global Partnership for Education )GPE( to support the strategic plan for educational programmes in developing countries, over the coming five years (2021-2025).

This came during the participation of Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, in the GPE Replenishment Summit organised by the United Kingdom and Kenya and the GPE to renew pledges on 28th and 29th July 2021 in London.

In her remarks, Reem Al Hashemy affirmed the UAE’s keenness and sustained efforts to provide quality education to children around the world. She also underscored the UAE’s determination to work in cooperation with its regional and international partners, such as the GPE, to develop the skills women, girls, and youth need for long-term success, in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

Al Hashemy also emphasised the UAE’s firm belief in the pivotal role of education in supporting the sustainable development of societies around the world. This belief, Al Hashemy noted, has driven the UAE to host the RewirEd Global Education Summit in partnership with Dubai Cares and Expo 2020 Dubai and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

RewirEd will be held at Expo 2020 Dubai with a clear vision to reshape the educational landscape for a prosperous, sustainable, innovative, and accessible future for all while showcasing the country’s development aid.

Moreover, Al Hashemy highlighted the key role of UAE foreign aid in nurturing international partnerships to support key sector development in developing and least developed countries, with education as a priority.

The UAE is working to ensure the provision of education to women and girls to support the fourth goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda, Al Hashemy explained, adding that the UAE also plays a prominent role in advancing the efforts undertaken by the GPE.

Al Hashemy noted that many partner countries need support to enhance their national education systems, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic, which had major implications on the continuity of education in many countries that lack the appropriate infrastructure to provide e-learning.

In 2018, the UAE pledged US$100 million to support the GPE at the 3rd replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal, becoming the first Arab and Middle Eastern member in GPE.

The Global Partnership for Education is the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries. Established in 2003, the programme works in partnership with donors, governments in developing countries, international organisations, the private sector, teacher associations, and civil society institutions.

Source: Emirates News Agency

DEWA, Stanford University to develop advanced system for PV production

DUBAI, The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA), using its Space-D programme, has collaborated with Stanford University to develop an advanced system to forecast Photovoltaic (PV) production in the short term at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model with a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030.

The new system reduces errors in the forecast to less than 10 percent. This supports DEWA’s efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 percent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050, said a DEWA press release on Thursday.

The system uses modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, high-density cameras on the main satellite and a network of metrological stations to predict irradiance, dust and cloud movement, which can affect PV performance.

“We are collaborating with Stanford University at DEWA’s R&D Centre through our membership in the Energy 3.0 programme from the university. The R&D centre focuses on enhancing partnerships, especially among the academic community and harnesses all capabilities to anticipate the future, develop long-term proactive plans to keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and innovate disruptive technologies to provide world-class services that enhance the quality of life in Dubai,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said.

Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, said that the collaboration also exchanges knowledge and experience to resolve critical energy issues worldwide, accelerate innovation, research and studies in advanced renewable and alternative energy.

“The R&D Centre supports DEWA’s efforts to overcome challenges in the energy sector when generating electricity from solar and clean energy. This supports the Centre’s goals to become a global platform for promising solutions that enrich the scientific community in the UAE and the world,” said Dr. Saif Saeed Almheiri, Vice President of Research & Development at DEWA.

“I am pleased and honoured to be able to collaborate with DEWA on this world-leading solar project. Improving the ability to forecast solar PV output will help not only Dubai but the entire world, as we shift increasingly to a clean solar-based economy,” said Prof. Adam Brandt, Associate Professor of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Sheikha Fatima congratulates high school graduates, their families, praises efforts of teaching staff

ABU DHABI, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), has congratulated the high school graduates, and the top students in both the science and humanities streams, following the announcement of their results for the academic year 2020-2021.

Her Highness wished them success in their future educational journey.

On this occasion, Sheikha Fatima said, “I am pleased to greet all the high school graduates, especially the outstanding ones for their exemplary achievement. I am also pleased to congratulate their families for the achievement of their children, thanks to their continuous support and encouragement.”

She also thanked the teaching and administrative staff, who made the exceptional efforts during the current health situation.

H.H. Fatima added, “Day by day, the UAE assumes the position it deserves in the educational field, in line with the vision of the wise leadership headed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, and the country’s strategies for the next stage, which are based entirely on the quality of the output of our educational system.”

She noted that the UAE’s education sector is also based on building qualified cadres for future benefits, enhancing the role of technology in serving the educational process, ensuring the best educational practices and modern curricula, and devoting innovation in an effort to build a generation equipped with the right skills and proud of its national identity.

Sheikha Fatima stressed the importance of the Emirati family’s role in taking care of their children and investing their time in an optimal way, especially their free time during school holidays and providing them with the life skills and educational experiences to enrich their knowledge, develop their personality and broaden their horizons and imagination.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai gears up to host RewirEd Global Education Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai

DUBAI, RewirEd, the first of its kind global platform that seeks to reimagine the future of education, is set to host its flagship global education summit (RewirEd Summit) from 12th – 14th December 2021, during the Knowledge and Learning Week at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Led by Dubai Cares, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), and delivered in partnership with global stakeholders, the summit aims to be a catalyst in redefining education to ensure a future that is prosperous, sustainable, innovative and accessible to all.

Part of the broader RewirEd platform, which is set to attract around 2,000 participants, the RewirEd Summit, aims to collectively explore new approaches to education challenges and discuss a shared vision and concrete action plan to shape the future of education.

“The RewirEd Summit in Dubai promises to be the largest in-person global education gathering will offer all key stakeholders from around the world a strategic platform to rally for education,” Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO at Dubai Cares and Commissioner General for the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, said.

“Expo 2020 Dubai also provides us with a unique opportunity to have a global conversation on the future of education, especially given the education disruption we have witnessed during the past 15 months due to the pandemic,” he noted, adding, that the summit will not only tackle current global education challenges but also explore entirely new approaches to rewire education, so that children and youth everywhere can receive an education fit for the future.

“The Summit reflects Dubai’s role as a bridge between cultures and a facilitator of global dialogue and knowledge exchange. Let’s work together as one united global community to reshape education by 2030,” Dr. Al Gurg further stated.

“We have to be the first generation in history where every single child goes to school, but COVID-19 has set us back,” Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the UK, said, adding that it is time to develop not just some of the potential of some children, but all the potential of all children.

“The RewirEd Summit is going to make a huge difference and is a turning point for education,” he went on to say.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the global learning crisis and cast a spotlight on the digital divide and the skills gap that keep millions of young people from education, jobs and opportunities that they need,” Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director at UNICEF, said. “We need to reimagine education and close these gaps and put digital solutions and skills in the hands of every child and young person, to help them and their economies recover.”

UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited and Dubai Cares are joining forces to rewire education and help young people access the skills and opportunities they need at the RewirEd Summit, she added.

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society at WEC, said, “Events like the RewirEd Summit are critically important because they create a vital space for innovative new approaches to education to emerge and for leaders to converge on shared solutions that leave no one behind.”

Over the course of the Summit, speakers will discuss three key specific themes including ‘Youth, Skills and the Future of Work: What future skills do our youth need, and what opportunities do we have today to ensure equity in skills development in a post-COVID-19 world?’; ‘Innovation in Education: How can we develop innovative and scalable solutions to ensure that children and young people globally can build strong foundations for lifelong learning and well-being?’; and ‘Education Financing: How can we create new alliances amongst private and public sector partners along with financial institutions to build novel education financial infrastructures?’.

Key international organisations including UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, the World Food Programme, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, have joined forces with the RewirEd Summit.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai Customs launches IPR Movie Award among university students

DUBAI, To raise awareness around the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) and in conjunction with the national efforts, Dubai Customs launched its IPR Movie Award for private and public university students.

The award will help entice and encourage creativity among the students and spread the IP protection culture among society members. Dubai Customs will receive the participating projects as of 4th July 2021, and the focus will be on engaging as many participants in the award as possible to raise public awareness.

“We are keen that the new generation share the responsibility in raising awareness around protecting intellectual property rights,” said Yousef Ozair Mubarak, Director of IPR Department. “Now the stage is theirs to create and innovate ideas on how to protect public health and environment from the hazards of counterfeited goods. The IPR Movie Award is the latest initiative that the IPR Department developed to encourage genuine creativity and raise awareness; thus, encouraging investors to spend on new products without being afraid of losing to illegitimate competition from counterfeiters.”

Mahbooba Baqer, Head of Awareness and Education Section added, “The Award has a clear and simple goal, which is to protect genuine ideas, products and innovations. New ideas, no matter how simple they are, are the foundation to develop societies. This will help also raise awareness and shed a light on Dubai Customs’ leading role in this regard. The IPR Department organised 46 initiatives and events last year that targeted 2,358 individuals, and in Q1 this year, we organised 12 events that targeted 1,394 individuals.

“Participation is open to every university student in the UAE, and the ideas must be genuine and new, and in high resolution and clear sound for easier publishing.”

Source: Emirates News Agency