The clearing of natural vegetation, livestock overgrazing on rangelands, and extensive deforestation (in ancient times) have led to desertification. Overpumping of groundwater has brought a rise in soil salinity levels, and effluents from the oil industry have contributed to air pollution. In 1992, the United Arab Emirates ranked among 50 countries with the world's highest levels of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, which totaled 70.6 million metric tons, a per capita level of 42.28 metric tons. In 1996, the total roe to 81.8 million metric tones.
The nation has 0.2 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources, with 67% used for farming activity and 10% used for industrial purposes. The nation's cities produce an average of 0.5 million tons of solid waste per year.
As of 2001, the nation had two land areas protected by environmental legislation. The Al 'Ayn zoological gardens contain some 280 species of wildlife, including the gazelle, which had been on the verge of extinction in the region. In 2001, three of the country's mammal species were endangered. Four bird species were threatened with extinction. Endangered species in the United Arab Emirates are the peregrine falcon, South Arabian leopard, hawksbill turtle, gray wolf, Arabian oryx, Arabian tahr, green sea turtle, and desert monitor.