De Niro brings star quality to fight against climate change

American actor Robert De Niro, speaks during the World Government Summit in Dubai, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP/Kamran Jebreili)
Updated 11 February 2018
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De Niro brings star quality to fight against climate change

DUBAI: The government of the UAE has teamed up with Hollywood star Robert De Niro to raise awareness about the dangers of global climate change.

The Climate Project is a two-year initiative to share knowledge on coping with climate change, and to promote what was called “finance-able” climate resilience projects in developing countries.

De Niro, a long-standing campaigner against the effects of climate change in the Caribbean and especially the hurricane-ravaged island of Barbuda, said the ability to attract investment depended on the quality of projects a country proposed.

“If a country is strong, people will want to invest. In Barbuda, we’re there to help, to bring back what they had before, and investment is part of that, it’s really that simple. Community agriculture and sustainable development are key,” he said.

In a veiled criticism of the climate change-denying policies of the Trump administration, he added: “The situation in my country is not helpful, but we will fix that. When a country’s leaders fail to take a position, ordinary people have to write to their representatives and be on top of them to bring about change.”

The Climate Project will be run by the UAE ministries of foreign affairs and international co-operation, and climate change and environment. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, the climate change minister, said it would deliver climate initiatives and products to 10 million people by 2020.

“Through an innovative approach which brings together communications and media experts with scientists, thought leaders and government representatives, the project will produce products aimed at both the general public and decision makers. It is aimed at developing climate resilience standards,” he said.

The project will focus on three main areas: Gender and youth, because women and children often bear the brunt of climate change challenges; extreme weather events such as hurricanes and earthquakes; and sustainable solutions that offer long-term remedies to, and defenses against, climate issues.


Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

Engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (SPA)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

  • The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017,
  • Under the agreement, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space censoring system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.

JEDDAH: Saudi engineers and researchers have completed work on a payload for a Chinese space vehicle that will explore the moon, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017, the SPA said, quoting Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The joint venture intends to study and explore the moon, "particularly the invisible side of it to provide scientific data for researchers and specialist in space research and science."
As agreed upon by the KACST and the Chinese Space Agency, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space sensory system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.
"The payload was readied in a record time of no more than 12 months during which the Saudi research team faced numerous challenges, most prominent of which was the importance of manufacturing a compact payload with a high capacity of less than 10.5 cu.cm and a weight of no more than 630 grams on the Chinese satellite," the KACST head said.
The payload consists of photographic and data processing units, among others, that is not only light in weight but also able to endure the space environment.
The equipment is capable of taking photos from different angles and altitudes that varies according to the lunar orbit changes, Prince Turki was quoted by the SPA as saying.
"Saudi Arabia's taking part in this great event would boost, no doubt, its efforts to develop its satellite technologies and use it in several fields of reconnaissance and distance censoring as well as space telecommunications, in addition to proceeding with the march of catching the world race in this field," he said.