All UAE schools in Abu Dhabi join EAD’s sustainability initiative

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700 schools from across the UAE to join the Sustainable Schools Initiative by the end of this year 

Abu Dhabi, July 11, 2023: The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced that all schools in the emirate have now pledged to join its Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI), recognised by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 

The achievement, as part of the Year of Sustainability initiatives, was realised in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Emirates Schools Establishment and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). 

This initiative will foster a culture of environmentally friendly practices across all schools in the UAE and establish a forward-thinking sustainable minded generation. 

To mark the occasion, EAD organised an event, the Private and Charter Schools Open Day, hosted by ADEK, to educate school principals and introduce them to SSI in a bid to encourage them to lead their students to adopt eco-conscious activities in their daily lives. 

The Open Day is an effort to align the educational ecosystem with national priorities and raise awareness on environmental issues in the lead up towards COP28. As part of the Open Day, youth in their role as future leaders, will offer solutions to combat climate change. 

For the first time in the global forum’s history, this year’s event will include an Education Pavilion, providing a platform for educating and inspiring the world about the UAE’s climate change education. 

Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of Environment Information, Science Outreach Management Sector at EAD says, “At EAD, we have been doing this for decades since the launch of our Sustainable Schools Initiative in 2009 where we had set a target of enlisting all schools in Abu Dhabi. Today we have realised this ambitious goal but it does not stop there. We have also set another target of having 700 schools from across the UAE to join the Sustainable Schools Initiative by the end of this year, and I am optimistic that we can achieve this noble goal.” 

Baharoon also announced that EAD will be hosting the 12th World Environmental Educational Congress in January 2024 and urged schools to submit applications for abstracts allowing them to share their knowledge and play a significant role at the congress. 

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the MoE for the Care and Building Capacity Sector says, “At the Ministry of Education, we will exert all efforts to enhance the role of education in addressing the climate crisis and highlight the progress made by the UAE in the field of climate change. We will develop environmentally friendly educational materials, curricula, and schools, and we will equip educators with the professional training they need to effectively impart knowledge and skills to students, who will capitalise on the learnings they will gain through education to build a prosperous future.” 

Khuloud Al Dhaheri, Executive Director – Education Partnership Sector at ADEK says, “As educators, we have a unique opportunity to model and promote sustainable practices and climate actions within our school community and beyond, inspiring our students to become environmentally conscious and responsible leaders of tomorrow.”