Abu Dhabi, UAE: About 149 Abu Dhabi schools which have eco-clubs have reduced their water consumption by 54 per cent during the past four years, a senior official said here on Monday.
These schools have cut waste generation by 23 per cent in the same period, said Ahmad Baharoon, Executive Director, Environmental Information, Science and Outreach Management at the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD).
The number of students using school buses instead of cars to commute to schools has increased by 19 per cent, reducing carbon emissions caused by private cars. The clubs took up 428 projects as part of efforts to reduce the overall carbon footprint, Baharoon said in his welcome speech at the second Eco Club Summit organised by the EAD.
Around 390 students and 130 teachers from 120 schools from Abu Dhabi emirate are attending the two-day event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
It is a platform for members of school eco-clubs to engage, network, and share their experiences and best practices.
Under the theme “E-Stemming Innovation for a Safe Future”, the summit highlights the role of eco-clubs in the EAD’s Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) in connecting science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts being taught at schools.
Supported by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and sponsored by BP, it aims to empower schools, teachers and their students to make positive environmental changes within their school.
Dr Nagwa Al Hosani, Curriculum Division Manager at Adec, said Abu Dhabi has successfully integrated sustainability principles in the school curriculum.
Chido Govera, a Social Entrepreneur and founder of the Future of Hope Foundation, shared her inspiring story of becoming a prominent activist, despite dropping out of school at the age of 11. She explained how her simple technique of mushroom farming was empowering the women in rural communities in Zimbabwe and other African countries.
Participants watched a film about the global environmental and humanitarian initiative, ‘Roots & Shoots’, which was implemented in Abu Dhabi for the past year under a partnership agreement between EAD and the world-renowned conservationist, anthropologist and UN messenger of peace Dr Jane Goodall.
Despite harsh climatic conditions, it is remarkable that Abu Dhabi students do a lot of outdoor activities for environmental conservation, Tara Golshan, Executive Director at Jane Goodall Institute, told Gulf News. “It is unique,” she said.
The students showcased innovative projects they implemented to tackle environmental issues within their schools and communities.
An inspirational speaker, 13-year-old Fatima Al Kaabi, from Sharjah British School and a member of the Sharjah Children’s Council, will address the summit on Tuesday.
She is one of the youngest Emirati girl innovators. Regarded as one of the most talented children in UAE, Fatima has won the Shaikh Hamdan and Sharjah Awards for excellence. She was the first place winner in the Robot Olympics in UAE and invented a printer for the visually impaired.
© Gulf News
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