The 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum, IREF, organised by the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, under the supervision of National Center of Meteorology, NCM, opened today at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.
Running from 19th to 21st January, IREF serves as a global platform to bring together leading international and national experts, researchers, scientists and stakeholders to tackle pressing water and sustainability issues worldwide.
Commenting on the event and its key highlights this year, Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, said, “The UAE, under the forward-looking vision of its wise leadership, continues to play an instrumental role in tackling vital global issues affecting millions of lives worldwide, including water resource sustainability.”
He went on to explain the history of the research programme, noting that it was launched in 2015 by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The UAEREP is managed by the NCM, Al Mandous continued, adding that the programme “has come a long way in supporting the vital water sector, one of the seven sectors identified by the UAE National Innovation Strategy.”
IREF’s day-one agenda featured several panel discussions and key sessions that drew the participation of top international experts highlighting the latest scientific and technological advancements related to rain enhancement and water security.
Addressing the forum, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAEREP, said, “The collaboration between the UAEREP and its global partners has provided us with multiple opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions to address the global water stress. Over the past few years, the programme, under its slogan ‘United for the Future of Water’, has consolidated its global position as an important platform to strengthen research collaboration and exchange expertise and lessons learnt to advance the rain enhancement science.
“In hosting IREF 2020, Abu Dhabi provides an unprecedented opportunity to outline the latest achievements of programme awardees, as well as showcase the latest technologies, developments and applications in this in this vitally important scientific domain,” she continued.
Al Mazroui added, “Collaboration, coordination and capacity building are among the core activities of UAEREP in its sustained efforts to develop rain enhancement science, while preserving the natural water resources and building a more sustainable planet for future generations.”
IREF aims to provide the scientific community with a platform to discuss the latest scientific and technological advancements with a view to finding new water security solutions through rain enhancement. The forum is structured to energise rain enhancement science via five key strategic pillars that include collaborations, innovation, capacity building, artificial intelligence and applied research.