Over 600 students, teachers across UAE celebrate Earth Day

DUBAI, The Emirates Environmental Group, EEG, held its biggest-ever Annual Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition on 23rd and 24th April at the Dubai Knowledge Park.

Over 600 participants, comprising 87 teams, came together from government and private schools across all the seven emirates for the 18th cycle of the competition.

Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of the EEG, awarded the winning team from the Dubai National School Al Barsha – Girls Campus, while highlighting the fact that the school won the top spot for the third consecutive year. She also applauded and awarded the team from Sharjah English School for winning the 1st overall runner-up position and the team from the Philippine School Dubai, who received the 2nd overall runner-up title.

Al Mar’ashi lauded the winning teams for the four topics of the competition. The relevant topics were chosen with the aim to celebrate the concept of peace and to highlight the theme of Earth Day 2018, titled “End Plastic Pollution.” In the Sub-Senior Category, for students between the ages of 13 and 15, the Philippine School Dubai rightly won under the topic of “Impact of Wars on the Environment” and the Sharjah English School received the winning title under the topic “Agriculture: A Feasible Future for the Region.” In the Senior Category, for students between the ages of 16 and 18, the Dubai National School Al Barsha (Girls Campus) won under the topic “Impact of Fashion and Make Up Industry on the Environment” and GEMS Our Own English High School � Sharjah, won the top spot under the topic “Sustainable Built Environment: Are We Achieving It?”

The two-day event welcomed diverse nationalities from both Arabic and English medium schools, hence allowing for a sharing of different perspectives. The teams were judged on their content and presentation by a bilingual jury of environmental experts that included Saeed Mohammed Ali Al Amiri, Fuel Sales Manager at ENOC Group, Nancy Nouamieh, Assistant Vice President, Quality, Safety and Performance Excellence at Abela & Co, Fatima Ali Alblooshi, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, and Enaam Ghazi Abusharkh, Environmental Engineer at The Sustainable City.

Al Mar’ashi welcomed the participants, sharing that the EEG organised the popular two-day event in celebration of Earth Day 2018 and the Year of Zayed. She further added, “I believe that the fundamental vision and mission of the EEG since its establishment greatly aligns with the founding father’s care for education and environmental protection. His teachings on the importance of a well-educated and learned youth and the role they play in transforming the UAE into a better nation are a reminder of the wisdom and perseverance shown by himself and his fellow rulers.”

She went on to say that since 2001, the EEG has been on the path to developing its educational campaigns to reach out to the wider network of schools and colleges. “With each year we are witnessing immense progress, which continues to inspire the EEG as an organisation. In 2017, we managed to rope in over 150,000 students and teachers from 522 educational institutions in nine Arab countries. Our 2018 goal is to surpass that number to see a greater impact as the UAE continues on its path towards sustainable development.

“At the time where issues such as climate change and deforestation remain very present in our lives, the EEG ensures that its events are carried out responsibly and collaborates with the Swiss Climate Protection Organisation MyClimate and the EEG’s active corporate member FARNEK, to monitor its carbon emissions. Hence, through the Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition 2018, the organisation proudly made a sustainable contribution towards voluntary climate protection by offsetting 12.55 tonnes of carbon dioxide, as part of MyClimate’s carbon offset project.”

Emphasising on the importance of the Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition, Al Mar’ashi stated that the event aims to transform students into eager and enthusiastic environmental advocates, by guiding the youth towards environmental research, improved teamwork, leadership and speaking skills. She further expressed the EEG’s appreciation for the Emirates National Oil Company, The Sustainable City, the EEG’s strategic educational partners and the main sponsors for the event.

Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO of ENOC, said, “Encouraging young minds to develop an understanding of sustainability is critical, in light of the current shift across the energy sector to adopt sustainable best practices, and that is why we take pride in being part of the annual Inter College Public Speaking Competition. This initiative is a true testament to the importance of education and the role it plays in instilling a positive mindset among future generations on adopting sustainable practices in their daily lives.”

Sharing his thoughts and excitement about the competition, Faris Saeed, CEO of The Sustainable City a project by Diamond Developers said, “The Sustainable City is delighted to support the wonderful Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition, which furthers the vision of our organisation in inspiring the youth to raise awareness and to take responsibility for the future of sustainable development.”

Source: Emirates News Agency