Dubai – MENA Herald: His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment called on the UAE youth to engage and be part of the country’s global efforts in protecting the environment, achieving sustainable development and combating climate change.

The statement came in His Excellency’s opening remarks at the Youth Circle held at the Mleiha Archeological Center in Sharjah last Thursday. The circle was organized by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in collaboration with the Emirates Youth Council under the title “Climate Change and Sustainability is our Shared Responsibility.” Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs also attended the event.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi told the audience that sustainability and addressing climate change are not new topics to the UAE. “Our forefathers have long embraced sustainability and were able to live in harsh climate conditions through the optimal and sustainable use of the scarce available resources while preserving them for future generations,” he said.

His Excellency stressed that the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan gave great importance to environmental and sustainability issues. He also spoke to the attendees about the transformation that the country has witnessed, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, in the areas of economic and energy diversification.

He also highlighted the initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, such as the UAE’s Green Development Strategy. which adopts green economy as a strategic option to direct the national economy towards a green, sustainable and low carbon future. He also spoke about the initiatives and strategic solutions, such as green architecture, sustainable transportation and efficient resource consumption, adopted by the UAE to achieve sustainability and to combat climate change.

“Innovation and creativity are the fundamental pillars of sustainable and nontraditional solutions adopted by the UAE in its journey towards sustainability and decreasing the effects of climate change and adapting to it,” said Dr. Al Zeyoudi. He stressed the important role that the UAE youth could play in terms of putting forward ideas and innovative solutions for these issues in order to contribute to achieving the goals of the UAE Vision 2021.

He explained that educating the UAE youth and preparing them to lead the country’s sustainable future is the first goal in the national environmental awareness strategy and that the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will continue to encourage the youth to innovate and be part of global environmental efforts.

He praised the efforts of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “SHUROOQ” in facilitating MOCCAE’s Youth Circle and the participation of youth attendees.

Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs praised the MOCCAE’s role in developing the youth’s knowledge and skills when it comes to environmental issues that are crucial to the UAE. She also praised the Ministry’s efforts in preparing the youth to become innovative and active players in UAE’s efforts towards a sustainable future.

Her Excellency said: “The youth are an important pillar in supporting the UAE’s efforts to raise awareness regarding climate change and sustainability. They play a crucial role in supporting initiatives that develop effective solutions to combat such phenomena, and play an active role in decision-making locally, regionally and globally. Today, more than ever, the youth are responsible for sustaining a more prosperous future and combating challenges that the earth is facing due to climate change.”

She added: “The youth are highly capable in investing their efforts and skills in innovative solutions that align with the global efforts to combat climate change. They are also capable of raising awareness regarding environmental issues in society through modern means of communication in order to spread positive environmental behavior and knowledge about how to protect the environment to achieve a sustainable future.”

Her Excellency emphasized that the youth councils and circles are great opportunities that empower the youth to express their opinions regarding current issues and enable them to find solutions for the challenges that the UAE society faces when it comes to achieving sustainable development. These events also allow them to meet with decision makers to discuss the best ways to contribute their creative ideas to advance various sectors towards a better future.

The youth attending the circle discussed issues related to sustainability and climate change and shared ideas on their importance in achieving a sustainable future in preparing for a post-oil era.

At the end of the event, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment asked the attendees to pledge to carry the responsibility, on both local and global levels, to successfully battle climate change and achieve sustainability. The attendees were asked to write their pledges and hang them on a tree made out of recycled materials. His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi and Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui hung their own pledges first followed by the youth.