Under the Patronage of H. E. Engineer Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Civil Aviation Department and a Member of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah Executive Council, and an honorary member of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), EEG celebrated its partners during its annual Gala Dinner organised yesterday at Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in the presence of a large gathering of dignitaries and representatives of the media.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co- Founder and Chairperson of EEG said in her speech “Partnerships and collaborations between stakeholders from all sectors of the society are vital to ensure the progress towards a sustainable future. In the past few years, across the world, people from youth to governments are realising, discussing and highlighting the looming and on going threats of climate change. But to effectively control and reduce these unprecedented impacts, we all need to work together, all entities across all sectors of the society, from the local level all the way to international liaisons. Thus, I am truly grateful to all the entities that supported EEG in the year 2021.”
In her speech, Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi expressed her sincere thanks to the EEGs’ partners and sponsors of the event, namely, McDonald’s UAE – Platinum Sponsor, Wasl Properties – Special Sponsor, Chalhoub Group and Adeeb Group – Silver Sponsors, Farnek – Carbon Neutral Partner, and Arabia CSR Network – Sustainability Partner.
She said that what started as a promising organisation armed with a vision to contribute to the green development of our country, today stands tall at the national and regional level as one of the largest “green platforms” that participate strongly in community level to preserve the environment.
She referred to the successes achieved by the group since its inception, noting that the “Clean Up UAE” campaign collected 1,564,184 kg of waste, with the participation of more than 845,996 individuals, since its launch in 2002, as well as the EEG’s recycling programmes collected more than 25 million kg of recyclable, in addition to planting more than 2,106,526 native trees in the UAE. The Chairperson also revealed that the number of students participating in EEG’s educational programmes since 2001 has reached 1,092,939 students from 6,450 schools and universities in the UAE and the Arab region despite the restrictions of the Corona virus, and added that the group organised to date 200 panel discussions and community lectures.
She added, ” As the first Non-Government organisation dedicated to protecting the environment in the UAE, we have pioneered in promoting sustainable practices, whether it is in encouraging families through diverse collection drives or with our corporate members in improving their waste management systems and providing them various opportunities to give back to the society.
Our efforts remained focused and strong even during the past two years of the pandemic. We migrated many of our activities to digital platforms, for the rest we continued our work with full safety and precautionary measures in place. As part of our ISO 14001 standard certified environmental management system, we also look closely into health and safety, and emergency preparedness, and have integrated the same into the system.”
To further illustrate the importance of partnerships, the theme of the gala dinner was “United Humanity, A Sustainable Planet”, where Mrs. Habiba said: “The group is a member of the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Partnership on Marine Litter and endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Convention United to Combat Desertification, the group is always working with various United Nations bodies to achieve sustainability goals. In 2021, campaigns and group discussions around almost all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals have effectively contributed, and the gala dinner draws particular attention to Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, which is a vital goal to address because it will play a role pivotal in achieving all other goals.”
The Patron of the Annual Corporate Gala Dinner – H.E. Eng. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi stated: “As the nation and the world shifts its focus towards creating an economy that has enhanced innovations, it is vital that we as leaders focus on the responsibilities that support and underpin platforms that impart great value in spreading the message of sustainability to all. It gives me great pride and joy in seeing that EEG has brought together the Government, the Private Sector and the Academia to help them achieve their strong community based initiatives and programmes that have been designed with the aim of achieving sustainable development of our Country and beyond in mind.”
Highlights at the dinner included a dazzling performance of the classical violin that kept the audience entertained during dinner time.