Wednesday, 3rd March 2021: UAE’s premier community organisation devoted to protecting the environment – the Emirates Environmental Group – celebrated its 30 years of success at a gala event held under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Sheikh Salim Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi – President of the Ras Al Khaimah Civil Aviation, Member of the Executive Council – Government of Ras Al Khaimah and Honorary Member of EEG. It was attended by its Board of Directors, executive committee members, corporate sponsors, government entities and diplomatic corps.
Known in the country as the environmental entity that cuts across sectors and works with every organisation and individual in the UAE, the EEG’s member network comprises students, individuals, families, academia, corporate members, federal and local government agencies, as well as reputed regional and international institutions.
According to Habiba Al Mar’ashi, this has been one of the primary reasons behind EEG’s success to create meaningful change and positive environmental awareness and action in the UAE.
“EEG has been blessed to have had very good and reliable partners throughout this journey. Our sponsors have not just supported us financially; they have also supported us with people and expertise. They have supported us by believing in our vision and making environmentally-friendly changes in their own business operations. EEG’s partners and sponsors have always made decisions that have helped EEG and the UAE’s natural environment.”
A total of 39 organisations, from both public and private sector, were recognised and appreciated for their support to EEG in the year 2020 at the ceremony held with the support of the sponsors which included wasl – Special Sponsor, McDonalds UAE – Platinum Sponsor and Adeeb Group & Chalhoub Group – Silver Sponsors.
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi – Chief Scientist at Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), delivered the keynote address at the Gala Dinner.Dr. Ismahane’s keynote message stated “There is no doubt that we need to adopt a holistic, coordinated approach to work collectively and build back better. We have the opportunity to “build back better” after COVID-19. We need to make our food systems more sustainable, more resilient and more inclusive. This transformation of the agri-food systems is an integral part of the solution to achieve the Global Development Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals we all committed to.” She further commended EEG’s perseverance and pioneering work in the field of sustainability to achieve success in the past 30 years.
The Emirates Environmental Group engages the community through the means of education, action programmes and community involvement. Established in 1991, it is the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001 certified and the only organisation of its kind in the UAE with accredited status to the United Nations Convention to Combating Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
In the past 12 months, the EEG has marked several achievements despite the challenges faced by COVID-19. It partnered with 530 schools and close to 150,000 students from 5 Arab countries in its environmental public speaking competitions, environmental drawing competitions and students’ workshops.
For its waste management efforts, since its inception, EEG has collected more than 23,000tonnes of paper, aluminium cans, glass and plastic, not to mention close to 170,000 mobile phones and printer toners. The collections have resulted in saving72,625 m3 of landfill space, saving of 516,296 Million BTU of energy, 261,672 gallons of gasoline, and the mitigation of 89,021 MTCO2E. This is equivalent to saving 444,074trees from being felled. EEG is also actively involved with various large-scale volunteering activities that engage with people across all emirates, such as clean up campaigns which has succeeded in engaging almost one million people from all walks of life in hands on clean-up of massive land spaces around the country and tree-planting activities. To date, EEG has planted more than 2 million native trees across the UAE.
In demonstrating EEG’s deep commitment with regards to practicing the values to it advocates, the Gala Dinner was conducted as a Carbon Neutral Event which has made a sustainable contribution to CER credits by offsetting 2.40 tonnes of CO2 Emissions, which is equivalent to 2.40 Credits as certified by our sustainability partner Farnek.
Furthermore, EEG conferred an Honorary Membership of the Group to the following individuals for playing an important and integral role in the journey of EEG:
- E. Abdulla Al Saleh – Undersecretary – Ministry of Economy – UAE
- Ismahane El Ouafi – Chief Scientist – FAO
- Sunil John – President – Middle East – Asda’a BCW
The Emirates Environmental Group has a global vision as it aligns its work with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and translates this into strong and high-impact work on the ground at the national level by working with hundreds of corporations, government entities, Academia as well as thousands of families and the society at large