Following National Environment Day on 4th February, the UAE has stressed the need for us to live responsibly in order to preserve resources for future generations.
Emirates Nature and World Wide Fund for Nature (Emirates Nature-WWF) – a non-profit organisation created to drive positive change – urged communities, individuals and institutions to adopt sustainable social practices and change consumption habits.
Under the day’s slogan, ‘Sustainable Production and Consumption’, the group marked the occasion with a new community programme called Connect with Nature, launched together with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. The programme aims to raise awareness among young children and encourages them to explore nature and wildlife in the UAE.
Commenting on the occasion, Laila Moustafa Abdullatif, director-general of Emirates Nature, highlighted the growing threat caused by rising populations and the rapid pace of urban development, which have caused demand for resources including water and energy to swell.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of climate change and environment, added that celebrating the 22nd National Environment Day during the Year of Tolerance added more value to the occasion and stressed the need for people to take responsibility: “The principle of tolerance is not restricted to human interaction and includes in its scope the peaceful coexistence between people and their surrounding environment. To ensure we live in harmony with the environment, we must follow the steps of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in embracing wholeheartedly sustainable production and consumption patterns.”
He continued, “[Sheikh Zayed] realised that unsustainable consumption patterns amplify the existing environmental challenges.
“I urge people to consider our natural resources as a national heritage that we live with today and later pass on to future generations.”