The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) was legally established in 1996 under an Emiri decree. Led initially by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the agency builds upon a heritage of environmental stewardship, aligning with the emirate's post-oil transformative journey and the abandonment of some traditional Bedouin practices.
In 1990, the UAE joined the global CITES agreement to prevent illegal wildlife trade. Launched in 2002, the UAE Falcon Registration Scheme issues passports to falcons with proper legal documentation. It has given out more than 40 000 Falcon Passports and significantly supported customs authorities in law enforcement.
Initiated in 2007, the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Programme aimed to bring Arabian Oryx back into their native habitats. Working with international partners, this programme has been so successful that the Arabian Oryx status improved from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List.
The Liwa Strategic Water Reserve, created jointly in collaboration with Department of Energy (DOE) and TRANSCO, serves as the world's largest fresh groundwater reserve for emergency. It not only secures water availability but also innovatively assessed 118 000 wells across the emirate in a ground-breaking inventory project.
Today, EAD partners with schools and other institutions across the UAE, focusing on equipping the younger generation for a more sustainable future. With far-reaching programmes like the Enviro-Spellathon, where 1.8 million students across the UAE were engaged through the online I-Enviro-Spellathon since 2001.