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Food Security Issues

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Food Security Issues
01.04.2020
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Introduction

Food safety is a considerable challenge with interconnections and interdependencies in a world food system. It strongly depends on precipitation, soil, adequate water, climate, and other factors provided by nature and is affected by trade, urbanization, and changing economic issues. The UAE faces an acute food shortage since little agriculture was started in the region. Money generated from the sale of fuel is used to import food for the citizens, but with the growing population, the massive imports might cause an economic crisis in the country. The world population is estimated to grow by one billion by 2030, which means the food-importing countries like UAE could face a lack of supplies, and, as a result, it has set its vision 2030 food strategic plan (Sabry, 2015). The essay focuses on sustainable coasts as a strategic issue in the UAE and the causes that are likely to affect them, which, in turn, might influence the supply of fish in the region. These causes include environmental degradation of the ecosystems and the economic progress of the country, especially the transportation of massive tons of oil through the coast, which is likely to result in erosion of the coastline. Political influence is behind the construction of buildings along the coast, and, as a result, the sediments move into the water endangering aquatic life.

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Strategic Issue

A major strategic issue for the United Arab Emirates is sustainable coast, fish, and fisheries that are significant to the UAE agricultural sector. The coastal products can be a big boost to food supplies in the region, which has an acute food and water shortage. The government is optimistic about a rising amount of fish caught annually through the increased number of registered fishers and registered boats. According to the Food strategic plan vision 2030 for the UAE, this can be achieved easily by the incorporation of aquaculture (Rozsa, 2014). The method uses controlled and human-made environments to facilitate the growth of fish for human consumption. The process contributes to about 50% of the world’s fish consumption and is used to improve fish stock and thus the economy (Rozsa, 2014). This strategy in the UAE would be implemented through the introduction of species that were significantly reduced in the past years. Adoption of aquaculture can help in safeguarding marine life and biodiversity to facilitate fish farming in particular and the fish industry in general.

The government has adopted laws to guard various marine areas, and this has demonstrated positive results with some marine animals and species. The provision of sustainable coasts would ensure the availability of a sufficient amount of seafood for the growing population of the Emirates. In the plan, the government aims to educate fishers and producers on the ways to provide sufficient fish supply and to establish fish reserves in many caves. The adoption of aquaculture would contribute to a 25% fish supply increase by 2030 (Rozsa, 2014). Implementation of laws geared toward the protection of the UAE coastline would help achieve Vision 2030 strategic plan that involves neighboring countries to deliberate on issues that can help the UAE have sustainable coasts. Safe shore will not only enhance the food supply but also contribute positively to the economy of the region. However, in the next ten years, the UAE is likely to experience the shortage of food supplies as a result of unprotected coasts. This problem will be a consequence of some causes ranging from political influence to environmental hazards, economic reasons, and security issues.

Environmental Causes

Environmental hazards to the coastline can potentially lead to a significant shortage of fish supply in the UAE. This shortage will be caused by the release of sediments from palm islands in Dubai construction of the water systems. The changes introduced to the ecosystem contribute to adverse changes in the area of wildlife, erosion of the coastline, alongshore sediment transport, and regular wave patterns. The sediments have suffocated and caused serious harm to the local marine life as well as affected the amount of sunlight reaching seashore vegetation. The affected alongshore sediment transport has changed the erosion patterns also exaggerated by altered wave modes in the emirate Gulf leading to obstruction of Islands. The megaprojects that had been previously started in Dubai have brought much attraction from the environmentalists who feel that aquatic life was neglected at the cost of the constructions occurring in the region.

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In 2007, the world wildlife fund declared human pressure on the global ecosystem in the UAE to be the largest in the world (Chang, Lee & Hsu, 2013). The depositing of sand into the water bodies significantly influences the maritime environment, and the silt clouds the crystalline waters hence destroying marine life. These effects are likely to cause the death of fish that would otherwise be a source of food to the citizens in the upcoming years. Along with reducing the consequences of the construction of the island for marine, the government should enact the laws that ensure no sand or sediments are released to the water bodies and implement island monitoring programs that can measure the impact of the deposits on the aquatic life. Encouraging foreign private sectors to invest in marine would also help curb the menace and facilitate achieving the region’s objective. The leadership should participate in regional affairs that concern conservation of the environment and more specifically address maritime needs.

Political Issues

The government’s decision to build a series of buildings along the coastlines attracted much criticism from environmentalists (Ianchovichina, Loening & Wood, 2014). The buildings erected by means of political influence are at the expense of the environmental cost and marine life degradation. Construction of the structure in a formally protected region, which is a natural habitat for various fish species, is expected to result in small fish supplies considering the population that is on the rise and thus needs a bigger supply. The structures may achieve some short-term political objectives, but the long effects are not apparent since they lead to more harm than good to the environment. Scientists admitted that the Emirate’s ecosystem along the coastline was forever damaged, and severe changes, unfortunately, have long-term effects (Ianchovichina, Loening & Wood, 2014). The government has to shoulder the responsibility to safeguard its environment, and not even political influence should overrule the duty. Politicians and other regional leaders should be at the forefront to support the introduction of aquaculture, which will enhance fish supplies in the region.

The Emirates government can achieve better results pertaining to aquaculture through collaboration with United Nations organizations. These organizations are involved in environmental preservation and aim to provide an efficient monitoring program for sustainable coasts. In response to the coastal harm caused by the construction works, the government has started to finance programs that will ensure the plantation of corals in other places. In the future, the political implication of the artificial marine structures in the UAE will deserve the utmost caution. While breaking waters will increase the chances of coastal erosion and sediments, the sediments will lower the rate of growth of the corals. Deposition of carbon into the water system by some sites denies aquatic animals the much-needed oxygen, which eventually will kill them. The construction deposits have hardened shores, altered water flow patterns, and the worst – blocked paths used by the organisms to develop from nursery to adult stages. More negative effects will be seen in the local population and to prevent this, the government should implement proactive monitoring and a sustainable management plan.

Economic Causes

The growing economic prosperity in the primary urban centers within the Emirates has led to an increasingly urban population and, as a result, placed a heavy burden on coastal marine life. There is a call to increase the marine protected areas along the coastline. A well-organized plan by all UAE countries that aim to safeguard marine life and streamline environmental leadership into an integrated approach would be sufficient to marine life areas (Allison, 2015). Damage to coral reefs requires significant attention as they are a focus of recreational fishing and diving activities. Moreover, the coral reefs also protect the coastline from inundation and erosion. Only about 3% of the coral reefs are considered safe, and this is a major endangering risk to aquatic animals. The government should be careful to ensure a balance between the economic needs of the growing region and safety of the marine life which provides significant input into the food shortage supply experienced in the area.

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Several economic factors have caused irreversible health damage effects that negatively influence economic progress, large commercial shipping machines, and population. Approximately 20% of the fuel used in the world passes through the Emirate’s coastline on a daily basis (Allison, 2015). Oil production is a primary source of income in the region has largely contributed to the degradation of environmental ecosystems. The effects of oil production are evident due to open chemical dumping, heavy ship traffic, and oil spills into the water bodies. The extraordinary economic growth and significant developments along the coastline have led to the damage of the natural habitat of various species and marine life in general. Marine protection has beneficial effects on the country’s economy as a result of the commercialization of important fish species. Considering the critical effects of damaged marine life, the region is at risk and the issue requires global attention. The government should take global measures and enforcement strategies supported by relevant data and research.

Conclusion

The UAE should be actively involved in matters connected with marine life conservation and the promotion of aquaculture type of agriculture to ensure adequate fish supply to the region. This move will translate into a reduction in the money spent on food imports. Commercialization of particular fish species could as well lead to fish exportation that will boost the region’s economic growth. Adoption of laws to enlarge the marine protected areas will ensure the safety of coral reefs and minimize coastline erosion. Since the degradation of the environmental ecosystem is a global issue, the region should observe the world’s guidelines on environmental conservation, and this will help achieve its vision 2030 of safe and protected Marine areas and Gulf coastline.

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