EAD, Borouge target university students with 'Sustainable Campus Initiative'
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 05 - 2013 at 13:19
- PRESS RELEASE
The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), together with Borouge, a provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, will be targeting university students in Abu Dhabi from 19 to 25 years old with the launch of a new programme called Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI).
Coinciding with the UAE 16th National Environment Day, the sponsorship agreement was signed at EAD's headquarter on Monday by H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD and Mr. Abdulaziz Al Hajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge).
The SCI aims to educate university students on the most pressing environmental issues such as water conservation and energy and empower them to act towards addressing them. The initiative is designed to build and strengthen leadership capacity amongst the youth of Abu Dhabi who are key players in advocating, working towards, and shaping sustainable communities.
The SCI is an extension of EAD's long-established environmental education programmes such as the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) which the EAD introduced in 2009 in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and sponsored by British Petroleum (BP).
Since its launch three years ago, EAD's SSI gained positive feedbacks from the government and private schools in Abu Dhabi. After the pilot phase was successfully completed, the number of participating schools increased from 26 schools in 2009 to 110 schools up to the current academic year.
One of the main focuses of the SCI is to encourage youth to replace their negative environmental impact - 'eco footprint'- with a positive impact 'handprint'. It also aims to build a strong network for Emiratis youth by helping them interact with their counterparts in the local, regional and international organisations to exchange ideas, views and best practices.
Through the SCI, the participating universities and colleges will be required to establish environmental clubs (also known as eco-clubs). The eco-clubs will be responsible for conducting green audits and providing the students with the opportunity to promote sustainability in their community present their local efforts in regional and international forums and actively volunteer to get hands-on experience in preserving the environment.
To facilitate dialogue between these youths and their counterparts around the world, EAD is going to establish an online portal that will serve as a forum for networking and knowledge exchange.
"Environmental awareness is an essential element of engaging and challenging our youth in the long term," says H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD. "Through the Sustainable Campus Initiative, we aim to reach university students who can act as powerful leaders of positive environmental change in society, and who can empower those around them to find creative ways to reduce the ecological footprint of the campus. By arming students with the right resources, tools and knowledge, we can show them that by acting now, we can together work towards a more sustainable future for this nation."
Al Mubarak said, "Investing in the creation of an environmentally-conscious generation of young professionals is a holistic effort, and partnerships like the one we have with Borouge are helping us to do just that."
"The Sustainable Campus Initiative is in line with Borouge's continuous commitment to sustainability and social responsibility and focuses on increasing awareness about the importance of preserving the environment in which we work and live," said Abdulaziz Al Hajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge).
"As a leading industry partner in the Abu Dhabi community, Borouge supports health, safety, environment and education-related activities that improve the wellbeing of the communities in which it operates and highlights the role that our innovative plastics solutions play towards addressing major global challenges such as climate change, food protection, water, energy and healthcare," he said.
Al Hajri added, "We are already actively engaging with schools in Abu Dhabi raising the consciousness towards the environment and now with this venture with the EAD we extend our efforts to the universities, not only to increase their active involvement in environmental issues but also to enhance their knowledge of the petrochemical and plastics industry in Abu Dhabi."
Borouge has confirmed its financial support for the Sustainable Campuses Initiative for the next four years. A joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world's major oil and gas companies, and Austria based Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions; Borouge is a groundbreaking international partnership at the forefront of the next generation of plastics innovation.
Other partners supporting EAD's Sustainable Campus Initiative within the UAE include the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Higher Education Department at ADEC, the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority - ADWEA, the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), and the Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi (CWM). The Initiative has also garnered the support of organisations outside the UAE such as South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN), TUNZA and the Australian Youth Climate Association.
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