Western region students have eyes on Earth Summit

7 years

Students from Madinat Zayed and Ruwais colleges were impressed with the Eye on Earth Summit which they recently attended.

They learnt so much about what needs to be done to secure the environment for the future and what is already being done in Abu Dhabi.   They had no idea how seriously Abu Dhabi takes environmental issues and really want to see their country develop these ideas.  It was exciting to see how so many different and diverse organizations were working together to bring this about, in so many ingenious ways, from big projects like the 2030 development plan for Abu Dhabi to small projects, like taking care of a particular animal.

The Eye on Earth Summit was held at ADNEC from December 12-15, under the patronage of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Bringing together experts in the fields of environmental, geospatial and societal data, one of the main goals of the Summit was to encourage governments around the world to support the work required to make quality data and information available to those who need it, especially in emerging economies.

Students loved the detailed scale model of the development planned for Abu Dhabi over the next twenty years. It was so large and detailed, and it seemed they had thought of every way to make the city environmentally friendly for all our futures.

They were lucky enough to listen to Jane Goodall talking about her life working with great apes, how she went from her comfortable home in England to live near the chimpanzees in Africa, so that she could study their lives and collect data to inform research, safeguarding their future.

One of the small projects students really liked was the Wonderbag, a heat retaining, insulating cooker.  Food is brought to the boil, put in the bag, left to continue cooking in its own heat and then served.  It saves around two thirds to three quarters of the fuel needed to cook in the conventional way.  That means less journeys for the women to gather wood, less smoke and pollution, less destruction of the forests so essential to world health. Less money spent on paraffin, gas or electricity. They are cheap and easy to make, thus also creating local businesses for the women. So simple but really impressive. Business students wanted to find out more.

Baheia Derweesh, who accompanied the students tor the summit said;  “It was a great learning experience for all of us. I really liked the plans for Abu Dhabi in the future and the way everyone is working together to bring it about.  I was particularly struck by the police plans to use environmentally friendly ways to clean up any chemical spills and the plans to plant more parks and trees in the city.  It seems everyone is trying to find ways to be more environmentally conscious.”