Sustainable Development – The UAE Federal Law
As we see a rise in global warming, we also see an increase in the awareness about it due to its noticeable effects on our living ecosystem. Trying to overcome the problem, sustainable development is a solution that we hear a lot. It refers to a new way of development that keeps in consideration the natural resources used as they must be replenished to be enough for the later generations. Therefore, it is also referred to as the development which ensures that life on this planet continues without lack of resources. This is important as the needs of today’s generation should not affect the aspirations of the future one in any way.
To strike a balance between sustainability and urbanization, UAE came up with a federal law that inculcated provisions for sustainable development. It made the people that are in charge of the development going on in the country answerable. It enforced their duty to give priority to environmental protection, pollution control and saving natural resources during the process of developing economic and constructional plans and even when executing and establishing them.
The Law also vested the power to the Federal Environmental Agency as it would have to coordinate with concerned authorities to prepare, issue, revise, develop and update criteria for environmental protection in order to authorize development projects. During all this, the agency has to keep in mind to strike a balance between development and environmental protection. All this using the technology that is available and keeping the most economical in a manner that the pollution remains controlled and the healthy environment is not disturbed.
These standards and rules set by the Federal Environmental Agency for sustainable growth and protection of our environment are to be followed at all times except in cases of emergencies in order to protect lives or ensure the safety of the work area. However, these acts of non-compliance must be brought into the notice of the agency and the concerned authorities as to prepare them beforehand for damage control.
In addition to these environment protecting clauses, the Law also prohibits derogatory or damaging acts to the animal lives that play an important part in maintaining our healthy ecosystem. These include the ban on hunting, killing or capturing birds, wild and marine animals that are mentioned in the law. It is also prohibited to own, transport, be seen with, trade or offer these animals living or dead for sale or as gifts without obtaining a license from the responsible authorities. Moreover, it is forbidden to harm the nests or eggs of the mentioned birds. These regulations are authorized to provide areas for licensed hunting keeping in mind the conditions and the necessary supervision needed for issuing the license.
UAE did make these rules and regulations but in order to make sure that they are implemented and followed by the local public, punishments are to be regulated in order to reinforce these laws. This is why the law also prescribed sanctions in case of violations of the above mentioned prohibited activities. The degree of the sanction depends on the category to which the harmed animal belongs to. If the bird or animal that has been disturbed in its ecosystem belongs to the first list provided by the agency, then the punishment includes jail for a period of at least six months and also a fine of 20,000 Dirhams. Then the agency comes to the second list. If rules related to animals in that list are violated, the period of imprisonment is a minimum of three months and a financial fine of at least 10,000 Dirhams. Similarly, the punishments for the third list of animals go down to jail for one month and a fine of 5000 Dirhams. Keeping such high level of punishments and a large number of financial amounts as fine is to emphasize the level of damage that occurs when such rules are violated.
In addition to these punishments, in case of breaking any other regulation that is in the law is violated, the punishment fine ranges from 500 Dirhams to a maximum of 10,000 Dirhams. If the violation, in any case, is repeated, the punishment is doubled for both the imprisonment time period and the fine that is to be paid.
The Law has also included the Polluter Pays Principle which is as clear as the name itself. It means that the person who by any means or negligence either intentionally or unintentionally brings harm to the ecosystem, he or she is to pay to compensate for the loss that is suffered by all people due to this one environment damaging act of the person. Not only the compensation for the loss, but the person is also supposed to bear the costs that are to be paid in order to revert the damage or remove the effect. Stay Green, Stay Crime Free.