DUBAI, 11th December, 2022 (WAM) – Under the patronage of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and in association with the Ministry of Community Development, the 21st cycle of the nationwide campaign, the “Clean UAE” reached its 4th stop – the Emirate of Dubai. Armed with the successes achieved in the previous stops in Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) in association with Dubai Municipality, Management of Saih Al Salam Protected area, Dubai Economy & Tourism on 10th December opened 4 sites at the Saih Al Salam covering a stretch of 10km2 divided into 4 sites.
The launching of the campaign this year coincided with the International Volunteer Day and the continuation of the UAE national day celebrations. It witnessed huge participation from various segments of the society who came together to present a beautiful image of the UAE’s diverse society. 6,395 volunteers flocked in the early hours of the morning to the Saih Al Salam Area where the campaign was being held.
The opening ceremony was held in the presence of and the active participation of Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment. The event also witnessed the presence of several officials from the Government and Private sector organisations.
Mariam AlMheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said in her speech: “Volunteerism reflects our values in the UAE, and has seen an impressive uptake as an important social practice to give back to the community. We perceive the work of volunteers as an integral part of our efforts to protect the environment and sustain its natural resources, as it raises public awareness of the importance of our fragile ecosystems and engages a wider community in conserving them, in line with the objectives of the government. The ‘Clean UAE’ campaign is a shining example of community engagement in a noble mission.”
The Minister noted that the UAE Cabinet has approved the ‘Clean UAE’ campaign to foster the spirit of volunteerism in the UAE community. Launched on International Volunteer Day, the 10-day campaign aims to enhance the role of federal government employees as well as the general public in cleaning up tourist destinations across the country in line with the World’s Coolest Winter campaign and to support environmental work and the preparations for the 28th UN Climate Conference (COP28), set to take place in the UAE in November 2023.
The Minister commended EEG for organising the campaign and for its valuable contributions to environmental protection.
This was followed by a speech by Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co- Founder and Chairperson of the Emirates Environment Group. Ms. Habiba Al Mar’ashi stated “Emirates Environmental Group initially rolled out this campaign in 2002 with the aim of inculcating sustainable practices amongst the different sectors of the society in the UAE. This year it has been rebranded to ‘Clean UAE’, the journey is on-going since the last 20 years with a consistent message; environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility.”
“The group has been at the forefront in driving strategies and campaigns that align directly with UAE’s move towards ‘circularity’. The aim of the leadership is to reduce landfill waste to zero by 2030, it is an ambitious one but we are confident that strides achieved through this campaign are very much aligned with achieving the set targets and help accelerate UAE’s transition to NET ZERO and sustainable ecosystems.” – added Mrs. Al Mar’ashi.
Adorning campaign t-shirts and caps, equipped with reusable cotton gloves and biodegradable bags the participants cleaned an area of 10 km2. A total of 11,300 kg of waste material was collected from the 4 sites; it was further segregated by EEG team and the volunteers to remove the recyclables and the rest was handed over to the municipality for further processing and disposing. The segregated recyclable materials were then uploaded on EEG trucks and sent to the recycling facilities in the UAE.
As an accredited body to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), EEG ensures that it maps all its programmes and activities with the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and it does the same with the objectives and outcomes of the “Clean UAE” i.e. Goal #3: Good Health and Well-being, Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; Goal #12: Responsible Consumption and Production; Goal #13: Climate Action; Goal #15: Life on Land and Goal #17: Partnerships for Goals.