Abu Dhabi Ports Group – Protecting habitats and enhancing biodiversity

To sustain the health of biodiversity in our waters and land, AD Ports Group pursue a proactive environmental management strategy which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Engineering and Technical Services (ETS) unit turn the strategy into reality, leading extensive initiatives aimed at minimizing and managing impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

In July 2020 the ETS unit commenced research in collaboration with the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), New York University (NYU) and GHD in coral relocation. Five hundred corals were relocated from Khalifa Port to the environmental breakwater next to the Ras Ghanada Reef. The coral colonies have been monitored over a 3 year period to assess health and survival. Based on the monitoring results, NYU has developed a coral relation best practice guide which is currently being finalized for publication.

In December 2022, the ETS unit commenced a project in partnership with ADQ aimed at enhancing the ecological function of existing concrete quay walls by installing “Eco Wall” panels that are engineered to provide better refuge for intertidal species. In addition, in October 2022, the ETS installed 17 ecological articulated concrete mattresses to encourage the growth of marine flora and fauna and increase species richness. Both the eco seawalls and eco mattresses will be monitored to assess effectiveness and results will inform the design and construction techniques for future port and maritime projects.

The ETS unit undertakes extensive environmental management and mitigation throughout infrastructure construction and into operations. These measures include and are not limited to monitoring air pollution, protecting and enhancing ecosystems and managing water pollution on both land and sea. For these efforts, the ETS unit has won international awards for environmental protection.