Expo 2020 Dubai, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Ministry of Education, launched the ‘Sustainability Champions’ programme for all schools across the UAE aimed at leaving a lasting renewable energy legacy for the nation.
Public and private schools have an opportunity to showcase how they are playing their part in ensuring a sustainable future in the UAE. Initially, two selected schools will benefit from the installation of photovoltaic panels by Expo 2020 and the support for the schools’ sustainability programmes.
This is one of many initiatives Expo 2020 Dubai’s Youth Connect offers the UAE’s young people to ensure they are a core part of the journey to Expo 2020 and beyond. Other examples include the volunteers programme, Expo field trips and school roadshows.
The Sustainability Champions programme was inspired in many ways by the achievements and values of the UAE’s founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said: “Since the country’s inception, the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, instilled the importance of protecting the environment and preserving its natural resources in the hearts of UAE citizens and residents. As raising an environmentally responsible generation is among the top priorities of our visionary leadership, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment works relentlessly to launch initiatives that contribute to achieving this crucial goal.”
He added: “Through the Sustainability Champions, organised in cooperation with Expo 2020 Dubai and the Ministry of Education, we aim to educate the UAE youth on the vital significance of sustainable habits and environmental conservation for the future of our country. The programme offers students an opportunity to become real partners and actively participate in developing sustainable solutions.”
Her Excellency Jameela Al Muhairi encouraged all schools in the UAE to take part and showcase their efforts in making their schools more sustainable, contributing to a national priority.
She said: “Educating our students about sustainability practices and climate change has been at the top of our agenda. The Sustainability Champions programme dovetails neatly with our efforts by encouraging schools to show their strongest commitment to real changes that reduce their environmental footprints.”
She added: “Schools are becoming increasingly sustainable due to the Ministry’s efforts to put in place projects to gradually upgrade all of its school buildings in ways that make the learning environments more engaging, productive and innovative.
“Moreover, different curriculum areas have been enriched with concepts related to sustainability in order to raise students’ awareness of the importance of the country’s future projects and plans to safeguard such achievements and build on them. As a result, the future generation will enjoy a better sustainable life and safeguard it for the generations to follow.”
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali said: “Sustainability is a core pillar of the Year of Zayed, and it is also at the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai as one of our three key subthemes alongside Opportunity and Mobility. For us, sustainability is more than just conserving water and energy at the site; it is about making a tangible impact in the UAE and around the world by influencing and catalysing actions that take us a step closer to a sustainable future. It all starts with our nation’s youth.
“We are proud and honoured to launch this initiative with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Ministry of Education that supports the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision for living in harmony with the environment. Through the Sustainability Champions programme, we hope to nurture a fresh interest and enthusiasm in our schools and our youth for sustainability.”
Alya Al-Ali, Director of Youth Connect at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The Sustainability Champions programme isn’t only about providing photovoltaic panels to schools; it is about creating a meaningful legacy for sustainability in the UAE through human development, reflecting the pillars of the Year of Zayed. We are starting the programme with two schools for now, but soon, we will welcome many more all over the UAE to join our growing network of Expo 2020 Dubai Sustainability Champions.”