Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Hosts Second Plan Maritime 2030 Charette

by Staff Reporter | December 15th, 2014

The UPC has held its second charette of the year to update stakeholders on the progress of the Plan Maritime 2030: Coastal and Marine Framework Plan. More than 200 Government officials attended Plan Maritime Charette 2, where they learned about the latest plan developments since the first charette (held in June 2014), and discussed the key challenges and opportunities to be addressed in the Framework Plan.

The agencies pro-actively worked together to refine the draft policy framework and formulate the working draft concept framework plan, the key map integrating a balance of use of activity in the coastal and marine areas of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Part of the Abu Dhabi Maritime Strategy, Plan Maritime 2030 has a vision for a “safe, secure and sustainable maritime domain”. Its stated goals include balancing economic growth and societal needs, quality of life with marine conservation, and providing efficient and environmentally aware maritime transport solutions. Participants were informed of the progress made since the last charette, such as the revision of seven technical reports (incorporating agency input), which include:

1. The Socio-Economic Analysis, which was revised to ensure consistency with the other 2030 Plans, addressing supply and demand for all maritime sectors including the oil and gas and transport sectors.

2. The Recreational User Needs and Tourism Study provides the necessary planning guidance for all to access and enjoy the waterfront and marine environment, including new islands as destinations, camping locations, swimming destinations at sea pools and family and ladies beaches in Al Gharbia and the Capital Region. It also included identification of tourism clusters to stimulate sustainable growth in this important sector.

3. The Recreational Boating Study provides locations for jet ski use and facilities, boat launching ramps, public wharves, blue water trails for kayaking and cruising, dhow repairs and storage, and major boating events in Abu Dhabi waters.

4. The Climate Change Adaptation Report, which is a proactive step for resilience planning to mitigate and prevent where possible adverse impacts of sea-level rise and storm-surge impacts to 2100.

5. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Report, which assessed the international, UAE and local legislation, policies, agendas and governance frameworks impacting the Abu Dhabi coastal and marine zones.

The Report has culminated in tailored recommendations to facilitate effective integration of development (use and activity) with effective leadership and management of Abu Dhabi’s resources and environment. The charette introduced the three ‘spatial planning scenarios’ used to guide the formulation of the concept spatial framework plan, to take into consideration factors such as economic diversification, heritage and the environment, and social and cultural factors, so that a balanced approach is used to create a comprehensive ‘spatial concept framework plan’ for the management of the coastal and marine space and resources of Abu Dhabi.

The charette participants also worked effectively on drafting policies, measurable objectives and management actions to facilitate framework plan implementation and five year monitoring.

Among Plan Maritime stakeholders in attendance were senior executives from the UPC, the Higher Steering Committee, the Office of H.H. Deputy Supreme Commander of The Armed Forces – Maritime Security Executive Committee (ODSC-MSEC), Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), Department of Transport (DoT), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (GHQ/CICPA), the Tourism and Cultural Authority of Abu Dhabi (TCA), Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC). Members of the Technical Advisory Committee (Abu Dhabi Foreshores and Waterways Working Group), and other Governmental and non-Governmental organisations with maritime interests also attended.

The next steps will see the Plan Maritime 2030 Project Team incorporate the key messages from the event and proceed with the development of the initial draft spatial framework plan, including plan objectives, policies and management actions.

The maritime economy contributes to about 68 percent of Abu Dhabi 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.

Plan Maritime 2030 is the fourth framework plan to be prepared, and will complement Plan Capital 2030, Plan Al Ain 2030 and Plan Al Gharbia 2030 in supporting the goals of Vision 2030, launched by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Scheduled for completion in 2015, its aim is to ensure the safe and sustainable development of Abu Dhabi’s maritime domain, which is inextricably linked to its long-term economic viability.

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