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Key updates to forthcoming Plan Maritime 2030 to be unveiled at International Marine Environment Conference

The UPC, Urban Planning Council, will use an upcoming marine environmental conference on ‘Integrated Marine and Coastal Management’ to provide updates on the Plan Maritime 2030: Abu Dhabi Coastal and Marine Framework Plan, the first comprehensive coastal and marine spatial plan in the region. The conference, which runs from 3rd to 4th November in Fujairah, brings together scientists, private sector companies and government officials to discuss issues including long-term strategies for marine conservation, responsible tourism in coastal areas, and the sustainable integration of urban settlements in marine ecosystems.

As a leader in coastal and marine spatial planning in the MENA region, the UPC will give the opening technical presentation to delegates at the Al Fujairah First International Marine Environment Conference. The UPC’s maritime planners will present the highlights of Plan Maritime 2030, which is in the final stages of completion.

Plan Maritime 2030 is planned to be completed by the end of 2015. When released, it will provide a wide-ranging strategic planning framework to ensure the safe and sustainable development of Abu Dhabi’s maritime domain.

"Much of the success of Abu Dhabi, and indeed the UAE as a whole, is directly linked to its marine areas, therefore ensuring a balanced approach to developing the maritime and coastal areas to enhance economic growth while at the same time protecting these assets is vital. This has led to the preparation of Plan Maritime 2030," said Abdulla Al Sahi, Acting Executive Director, Planning and Infrastructure Sector, UPC.

"As a result of our strong relationship with Fujairah, the International Marine Environment Conference is the ideal occasion to release updates about Plan Maritime 2030. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fujairah Municipality in 2013, we are always eager to share our knowledge and experience in planning with other emirates across the UAE, and of course with regional and international visitors," said Mr. Al Sahi.

Leading a panel session entitled Strategies, Policies and Legislations for Coastal Zone Management and Protection of Marine Life, the UPC’s invitation to present at the conference highlights the organisation’s growing status as an international leader in creating integrated sustainable urban strategies and cements its position globally as a front-runner in coastal and marine spatial planning.

While the focus at the conference is on the environment, the UPC, through Plan Maritime 2030, brings a broader perspective by looking at all of the uses in the maritime environment and their natural, economic, social and cultural value.

The UPC’s successful integration of coastal and marine spatial planning with its existing land development frameworks will be among the key issues on the agenda.

In the presentation, the UPC will highlight ten key factors that were influential in developing Plan Maritime 2030, including climate change adaptation, marine water quality, the blue economy, coastal and marine natural resources, cultural heritage, recreation and tourism, access and landscapes, maritime transportation, maritime utilities and safety and security.

The first stakeholder charrette for Plan Maritime 2030, held in June last year, saw the UPC present an analysis of existing conditions and engaged attendees in a discussion on opportunities and constraints. At the final charrette, participants were introduced to three ‘spatial planning scenarios’ used to guide the formulation of a draft concept spatial framework plan, to take into consideration factors such as economic diversification, heritage and the environment, and social and cultural factors.

Plan Maritime 2030 is the fourth framework plan to be prepared by the UPC, and will complement Plan Capital 2030, Plan Al Ain 2030 and Plan Al Gharbia 2030 in supporting the goals of Vision 2030.

The UPC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fujairah Municipality in December 2013 to provide support in developing Plan Fujairah 2040, along with all supporting policies, regulations and manuals for street design, public realm, mosque development, safety and security and community facility planning.

The maritime economy contributes to about 68 percent of Abu Dhabi’s GDP, according to data that incorporates sectors including recreation and tourism, extractive industries (e.g. oil and gas), energy, commercial (ports), aquaculture and fishing, marine services and transportation. 

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