UAE's first biosecurity conference begins in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) began the country's first conference on biosecurity on Monday at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.

The MoEW anticipated the two-day event would be attended by more than 120 participants from government and local authorities, as well as representatives of international organizations and universities. The conference is part of an effort to implement the UAE's national strategy for biosecurity.

Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, the minister of Environment and Water, said the country must keep up with the control and monitoring of biological materials. He said UAE must apply the national strategy according to specified timeframes and international best practices.

"Strengthening the control of these procedures and their eventual responses will play an essential role in preventing risks while also reducing negative effects," Bin Fahad said. "The UAE National Strategy for Bio-security is based on three main areas -- reducing the risk of biological agents, natural or human, deliberate or unintentional; building the capacity to detect the presence of biological risks and to deal with accidents of various kinds."

Bin Fahad said the conference is an important platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise on biosecurity.

"The significance of this pioneering event lies in focusing on the segment's emerging issues, the identification of new challenges and the role of legislation in monitoring and evaluating these biological risks," Bin Fahad said. "It also plays an important role in strengthening the capacity and knowledge in the field of bio-security, and building a safe community in order to strengthen the international position of the UAE and to maintain the levels of social well-being of the residents."

The UAE is currently reviewing legislation and laws related to biosecurity at the federal and local levels.