EEG and U.A.E. educators take a step forward towards sustainability

ABU DHABI: Emirates Environmental Group held its 13th Annual Teachers’ Workshop under the umbrella of “Sustainability: The Way Forward”. Educators from all over the nation attended this event held in Dubai Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf on March 27th, taking a step forward towards sustainability. Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group, set the base of the structure for the day by discussing the theme which will be centralised, “What is our greatest challenge today? Fresh-water availability, access to energy, pollution, food security, unusual and unpredictable weather patterns…every one of us has a long list. The bigger question is what should be addressed first? The unique thing about these challenges is that they are interlinked and interdependent. So, it is up to you, where to start from. Climate Change and the needs of growing population in terms of number and prosperity suggest we must work hard and together to protect and manage our resources which are finite. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. The when, how and where to prepare will be answered here in this workshop – Sustainability: The Way Forward.” “The Teachers’ Workshop began in 2001 as part of EEG’s endeavor to develop environmental literacy and build the capacity of teachers’ analytical skills towards environmental challenges. It is still served as a medium for increasing capability to engage students in problem solving and taking actions towards the state of the environment in this day and age. 13 years later, this workshop is still going strong, widening its scope to building the capacity of any professional interested in this field,” Al Marashi said.

Mr. Richard Barwell of Metito gave a descriptive presentation on the management and treatment of water, in addition to practical examples on how one can implement water saving in everyday life or on the level of an institution. Dr. Toufic Mezher of Masdar Institute, who is well known for his publishing work, gave a background on the energy sector, its development and the relation to the field of policy. Another interesting addition to the work shop was a practical, interactive presentation given by Dr. Ryan Penny of The Wellness Brothers. His goal was to have people live well for their personal good and the good of our environment; he preached training and effective lifestyle changes.

A presentation by Mr.Tijo Mathew Joseph concluded the workshop by discussing the issue behind CO2 Emissions and how one can calculate their carbon footprint in order to take steps towards bettering its effect. Mathew included a practical activity which exemplified his lecture, teaching people methodologies of calculating their footprint.

Throughout the day, the attendees of the workshop were asked to interact and work hand in hand through the like of activities planned for the day. In addition to the practical examples, certain activities were planned that challenged the educators’ analytical skills. Manners in which educators can explain environmental subjects to employees or students through linkage of perceptive rationalization to an image were one of the strategies presented. Other activities with incentives were given as a challenge to the participants in an effort to keep the fire of the workshop going.