MoCCAE kicks off ‘Our Generations and Sustainable Schools’ initiative



Abu Dhabi / Emirates Business

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi, on Saturday has launched the “Our Generations” initiative and the “Sustainable Schools” initiative as its execution arm.
The launch was announced at a press conference in Festival Arena, Dubai in the presence of HE Dr. Thani Ahmed AlZeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, HE Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi, the Minister of State for Public Education Affairs and HE Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi.
Delivering the keynote speech, Dr. AlZeyoudi said: “These environmental initiatives are launched in collaboration with concerned authorities with the aim of imparting awareness on proper environmental practices and healthy lifestyle among the new generation through schools. They also aim at incorporating sustainability and climate change in our school curriculum to cope up with the nation’s moral values and the national green agenda and strategy.”
“The Our Generations initiative is a leading initiative and an integrated educational program that is designed to provide students with ample opportunities to have a strong environmental consciousness and eco-friendly culture as well as to participate in practical environmental activities. The initiative also aims to raise awareness about the fundamental factors that cause environmental problems, and to equip students with positive attitudes towards their environment since childhood,” the minister added.
Dr. AlZeyoudi also explained that the sustainable schools initiative is one of the pioneering initiatives launched by the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi in 2009 with the aim of connecting the school community including students, parents, authority members and employees with environmental issues prioritized in the UAE and strengthening their contributions towards achieving the sustainable development in line with the UAE vision 2021.
HE praised the successful sustainability practices implemented by 148 schools involved in the initiative all over the UAE such as reducing environmental footprint, minimising school waste, increasing recycling rates, rationalisation of energy and water consumption and wastewater reuse.
“The ministry works to educate the young generation about the ongoing efforts at local and global levels to combat climate change issues and the concrete steps taken by the nation and the global community such as the UAE’s Green Agenda and Paris Agreement,” he elaborated.
HE Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi, the Minister of State for Public Education Affairs, confirmed that the Ministry of Education has given environmental issues a great deal of attention which was reflect by including environmental in the new curriculum designed within the ministry’s plan to develop education. She stressed that the ministry is keen on highlighting the importance of environment sources and its impact on the development of societies, the definition of sustainable environment, as well as the need to raise awareness on environmental challenges in the school community as a whole.
H.E. Jameela Al Muhairi said: “The Sustainable Schools Initiative has achieved great success in enriching the sustainable environmental status in Abu Dhabi schools, and accomplished outstanding results in terms of achieving a positive environmental footprint at schools. Therefore, we plan to transfer this experience to the rest of the schools across the UAE, so as to achieve effective environmental outcomes which contribute to the preservation of a sustainable environment in our schools and in our beloved country. We are currently focusing our efforts on experimenting the initiative at selected schools as a first step and more schools will follow at later stages.”
H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Sustainable Schools Initiative represents an innovative model of education for sustainable development, which stems out from the solid experience of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi in the planning and implementation of environmental programs and activities in schools. It is also an important development in environmental education initiatives, as it focuses on the knowledge associated with the trends and objectives of the reality of everyday life.”
“Sustainable Schools Initiative continues to make consecutive successes since its launch in February 2009 in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council to promote the vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to spread the sustainability concept through education, where it had received great support from public and private schools in Abu Dhabi. One of the most important achievements of the initiative was gaining recognition from the United Nations Environment Programme for the dissemination of the initiative regionally and globally, which confirms its success in achieving UNEP’s sustainable environmental development goals. The success of the Sustainable Schools Initiative encouraged us to launch the Universities Sustainable Initiative in 2014, to reach university students who will be able to drive positive environmental change in society, and to find innovative ways to reduce the environmental footprint in their universities and communities.”
The press conference also witnessed the signing of MoU between MoCCAE and EDA regarding the joint cooperation in the implementation of the Environmental Awareness Programme in the educational institutions. Both sides will coordinate the implementation of sustainable schools and universities initiatives across the UAE.
A group of government and private schools will be selected from across the country for an experimental implementation of the sustainable schools initiative, so as to apply the practice in all schools after the successful experiment.

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