Archive for December, 2011

Swiss Business Council – Environment

December 18, 2011

Welcome to the Environmental Committee of the Swiss Business Council

The Swiss Business Council is the first business council in the UAE engaging in environmental conservation. With a specific environmental programme, we aim to involve our members and the entire Swiss community in the UAE to contribute to the conservation and improvement of the natural environment in the region.

In October 2009, the SBC formally established the SBC Environment Committee, which closely co-operates with the Swiss Business Hub GCC in Dubai, the Embassy of Switzerland in Abu Dhabi, and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Dubai.

On the occasion of the World Environment Day on 5 June 2010, the Swiss Environment Initiative was launched. For more information, please visit www.Swiss-Environment.org.

The winner of the “Swiss Business Council Environment Award 2010” is ABB UAE in appreciation of their valuable contribution to protect the UAE’s natural environment.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the Swiss Business Council.

See on-line at: http://www.swissbcuae.com/?rub=53

GHD – Abu Dhabi Emirate Environment

December 18, 2011

The Government of Abu Dhabi Emirate is committed to protecting and conserving the environment, and to protecting and promoting health and safety for all inhabitants of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.

As the Consultants for the Abu Dhabi Emirate Environment, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) Project, GHD has been working with the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD) since early 2007, to develop the EHSMS Regulatory Framework and associated Environmental Quality Standards and Technical Guidelines associated with water, land, air, noise, waste, biodiversity and health and safety.

In addition, GHD has been working for other clients on environmental impact assessment (EIA) projects and development of construction environmental management plans (CEMP’s) for a number of developments in Abu Dhabi. These projects have allowed GHD to gain a strong productive working relationship with EAD and a robust understanding of their environmental and permitting requirements and processes.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the GHD.

See on-line at: http://www.ghd.com/global/projects/abu-dhabi-emirate-environment/

Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) – Our Story

December 18, 2011

Our Story

The lack of quality, quantifiable environmental data has proven a major hindrance to the global process of achieving sustainable development.

The result is that throughout the world socio-economic and environmental decision makers are being challenged to make vital decisions without the necessary data.

In this spirit, the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) was launched on 2 September 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a Type II Initiative.

Today Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD)champions AGEDI locally, whilst the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) champions it regionally and globally.

Initially contributing to the development and launch of AGEDI was UAE’s concern about the approach and criteria used for the results of the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), produced by the World Economic Forum in February 2002. The UAE in this Index was ranked 141 out of 142 countries, with an ESI of 25.7.

It was recognised that the application of non-Region specific measures and associated indicators presented skewed results. The need to ensure readily accessible, accurate and relevant data from which to inform sound environmental management, monitoring and performance was emphasised.

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan a Steering Panel was formed and entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the proposal to establish AGEDI. Made public on May 2, 2002, international dialogue then took place which initially promoted the Initiative in the United States and to the United Nations.

Today, AGEDI works with Partners, Members and stakeholders throughout the world to achieve a more sustainable future through ‘best-impact’ access to environmental and societal data. Our focus is on the support of developing countries and emerging economies. Amongst others our Partners (link to our partners subpage) include UNEP, EEA, MoEW and WWF-EWS.

We welcome you as part of our future.

 
 
 
This piece is taken from the website of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI).
 
 

Sorouh – Environment

December 18, 2011

“With God’s will, we shall continue to work to protect our environment and our wildlife, as did our forefathers before us. It is a duty, and, if we fail, our children, rightly, will reproach us for squandering an essential part of their inheritance, and of our heritage.” Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, 1998

The Abu Dhabi Government considers that a more sustainable approach to building design is needed to meet the needs of future generations and to ensure sustainable development.

The Government recognizes the need to implement sustainable or ‘green’ building to consider all economic and environmental effects of construction. Green building minimizes the environmental impact of a building, while providing a safe, functional and comfortable living or working environment.

It embraces a holistic approach, sympathetically integrating the local and built environment with the underlining principles of minimizing the use of valuable resources, like water and energy. Simultaneously, it adheres to high standards of quality of performance in design, construction, operation, maintenance, and waste management.

The Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi is responsible for stipulating requirements necessary to implement green building.

Abu Dhabi’s sustainable buildings and communities program, Estidama, was launched on 28th May 2008 by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council in collaboration with the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Municipality, and Masdar – a global platform initiated in Abu Dhabi to identify solution to energy security, climate change and the development of expertise in sustainability.

 

This piece is taken from the website of Sorouh.

See on-line at: http://www.sorouh.com/en/article/abu-dhabi/abu-dhabi-environment.html

Sorouh – Estidama

December 18, 2011

The word Estidama means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic. However, the primary objective of the program is to ensure sustainable design, operation and maintenance of all types of buildings and communities in the Emirate.

Estidama Abu Dhabi’s sustainable buildings and communities program was launched on 28th May 2008 as a joint collaboration between the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, The Environmental Agency, Abu Dhabi Municipality, and Masdar.
The word Estidama means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic.  However, the primary objective of the program is to ensure sustainable design, operation and maintenance of all types of buildings and communities in the Emirate. The first program of its kind that is tailored to the region, Estidama aims to promote a new “sustainability at large” mindset among the government, developers, operators and individuals.
Conceived to support the realization of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Estidama is initiated under the direction of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council in collaboration with a number of government agencies and developers who share the vision to transform Abu Dhabi into the sustainable Arab capital.


Abu Dhabi
leads the world in creating the right environment for sustainable development, with specific sustainability principles. Sorouh Real Estate PJCS takes its role in developing Abu Dhabi’s future seriously, and follows these principles closely in its developments such as alghadeer and Shams Abu Dhabi.

Benefits of Estidama Program:
•    Reducing Energy Consumption
•    Reducing CO2 emission
•    Reducing Land Consumption
•    Raising the Quality of the Urban Environment
•    Reducing the Government Subsidies for Water and Energy
•    Sustaining the Image of Abu Dhabi

 

This piece is taken from the website of Sorouh.

See on-line at: http://www.sorouh.com/en/article/abu-dhabi/estidama.html

Geant Hypermarket Dubai – Environmental Policy

December 18, 2011

No-Plastic/ Jute Bag Campaign:

In order to encourage customers to reduce the use of plastic bags and look at alternatives i.e. environment friendly reusable jute bags, Geant / Le Marche introduced a 30 fils charge per plastic bag effective Feb 2008. The customer has the option of returning the plastic bag for which the amount of 30 fils shall be returned to the customer. The proceeds raised through the contribution by the customers are being donated to the EWS-WWF led Environmental education and awareness programmed. Reusable jute bags of 2 sizes are available at Geant / Le Marche at a price of Dhs 5/- & Dhs 7/- respectively.

Customer Awareness in Geant/Le Marche stores: 

Glimpses of the environment degradation and the impact on the wildlife due to usage of plastic bags have been put up in the form of posters across Geant/Le Marche stores. Additionally, other cashiers are trained to ask the customer whether they really need plastic bags.

Interactive Enviro-Spellathon:

Effective October 2008, Geant / Le Marche  supports the EWS-WWF Interactive Enviro-spellathon which was launched to educate the children about the natural habitats of the UAE and provides important lessons on how to care for and protect the local environment.

Art Competition:

In order to inspire young artists with “No-plastic” initiative coupled with artistic talents of young students from the schools across the UAE, Geant/ Le Marche also sponsored the environment art competition in May 2009. The various art works including the prize winning entry were on display in the Ibn Battuta Mall.  The best individual painting was the theme “Wildlife of the seas” and the student was awarded a laptop computer. A prize was also awarded to the best school for the highest standards of the entries.

Environmental Adventure Day: 

Students with the various art work entries were sponsored for an Environment Adventure Day where the students were given an opportunity to explore the natural habitat in the Fujairah Wadi which is home to several rare and endangered wildlife species.

Since February 2008, a total contribution of about Dhs 600,000/- has been made to the EWS-WWF and this initiative has continued to benefit UAE environment through the sponsored joint initiative of EWS-WWF & Geant/ Le Marche.

 

This piece is taken from the website of Geant Hypermarket Dubai.

See on-line at: http://www.geant-uae.com/supermarket_enviromental_policy

The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) – Environmental Programmes

December 18, 2011

There is a strong felt need for environmental education in the UAE today. There are many environmental issues in the country that require the attention of the community, ranging from desertification, global warming, energy conservation, sustainable land use, water scarcity and waste management. These are critical issues to the country’s sustainable growth and development. The Emirates Environmental Group believes that all sectors of society should be involved in the task of protecting the environment, as a practical concern and as a fulfilment of everyone’s social responsibility. Protecting the environment nonetheless should begin with education and raising awareness, especially among the youth. Keeping this in mind, EEG developed an educational strategy in 2001 which is implemented annually in the form of a cluster of programs of which the following ones are most popular

Environmental Drawing Competition

The event is open for participation to all the Primary-School students in the UAE. There are 2 topics given to two categories of students. Group A: 6-8 years and Group B: 9-11 years. Instead of the students gathering in one place, the schools are asked to have the drawing competition within their schools and then select 5 best entries per theme to be their official entries for this competition. This activity provides the students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents and capabilities as well as express their views on the given topic in the form of “Art”. This competition aims to create awareness among students about environmental issues and increase their sense of responsibility in protecting the environment.

Inter School Environmental Public Speaking Competition

Under the theme of Tomorrow’s Environmentalists, EEG throws every year an open challenge to the student community across the country. The sub-seniors, in the age group of 13-15 years and the seniors, in the age group of 16-18 years are invited to build and present strong cases on different contemporary issues and questions relating to the environment. Two topics are given to the sub-seniors to choose from and the seniors are also given two topics. A panel of bi-lingual experts is roped in to evaluate the performances. It gives the participants a wonderful opportunity to showcase knowledge and build talent to tackle sensitive environmental issues, and serves as a good networking platform among government and private schools from all over UAE.

Inter College Environmental Public Speaking Competition

Resting great faith in the capabilities of our youth, EEG has designed the Inter College Public Speaking Competition giving the youth an opportunity to express their discernment about environmental problems and offer solutions, to enhance their confidence and personality, to showcase their potential in playing an important role in and for the environment. It is a contrivance. It is similar to the above program with an exception of catering to older students. What started as participation from the students of UAE has been successful in attracting the youth to partake in this event. Since 2006, EEG has been successful in making the competition into a regional event, with participation of teams from all GCC countries.

Students’ Workshop

With the goal of promoting and strengthening the state of environmental education in our Educational system, EEG initiated the Students’ workshop. It is a much-anticipated annual activity that has successfully generated knowledge and awareness among large sections of the student community. Under the theme of  “Tomorrow’s Environmentalists”, it caters to primary, sub-senior, senior and university levels from all around the UAE. It aims to give first hand information through environmental experts, to these future denizens of sustainable development, who need to give their commitment towards environmental preservation. The age groups chosen vary from 10-22, corresponding to the targeted level. The speakers chosen for the sessions are well known experts from the academic, public and private sectors, locally and globally.

Teachers’ Workshop

Under the theme of Environment across the Curriculum, EEG developed the Teacher’s Workshop by inviting international as well as regional speakers to train our trainers. Being the key activity of our Educational Component, EEG works towards building the capacity of teachers about environmental issues in order for them to then pass this knowledge on to their students, schools and their community. The Teacher’s Workshop is open for participation to all interested individuals and organizations as well. EEG started to have one day teachers’ workshop which catered to English speaking teachers. With the increase in the scope as well as in the popularity of this program, it was able to expand the horizon to involve the government teachers and successfully manage to organize an additional workshop for the Arabic speaking teachers.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the Emirates Environmental Group.

See on-line at: http://www.eeg-uae.org/activities/educational-programmes

The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) – Community Outreach

December 18, 2011

Emirates Environmental Group believes in a world where environmental observations improve daily life. As an active member of society, EEG conducts numerous outreach activities in schools and other sectors of the community on environmental awareness and other relevant development-related topics. EEG recognizes that education is a core component of sustainable development. Therefore it extends its knowledge and experience in providing lectures, exhibits, site visits among others to promote green thinking, sustainable living, and encourage active involvement. EEG’s major engagements with its stakeholders are:

Clean Up UAE

EEG’s vision since its conception has been to bind together all the different sectors of the community, to act as one, with a common goal of being good stewards of the environment by way of a national cleanup campaign. Through the years, it has become a national symbol of environmental action and a bench-mark in a cross-sectoral involvement. Initially conceived in December 2002 as a collective grassroots initiative to sweep the nation clean, the Clean Up UAE campaign has successfully evolved into a nation-wide event that battles against environmental degradation nurtured solely through volunteer participation. It is a pioneering activity that has fruitfully rallied unrelenting support from sponsors, volunteers and government agencies.

Million Tree Campaign

The UAE’s desert habitat is no stranger to rapid and vast urban expansion, which continues to threaten precious natural habitats and green spaces. EEG recognises the value of trees and green spaces. They improve the visual appreances, they contribute to the world’s carbon storage sink, improve air quality and act as a habitat to many species. Thus, the current scenario has led EEG on continuous campaign to plant more and more trees across the UAE. EEG undertook the responsibility of coordinating, overseeing, facilitating and planting one million trees in UAE, in the year 2007 in support of UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign. Through this campaign EEG managed to surpass its target and planted a total of 2,091,076 million indigenous trees in the UAE and its neighbouring countries since its inception.

One Root, One Commmuni-Tree

This campaign is launched with the aim of diverting waste from landfills, to implement habitual long term recycling, to promote volunteerism and civic responsibility in the society; and Corporate Social Responsibility among organizations, and to expand the sustainable green patch in the UAE. The participants of this campaign of EEG are encouraged to collect any of the recyclable materials like Papers, mobile, plastics, toners, cans and Tetra Paks. Those who are able to collect the minimum required quantity within two weeks will be eligible and get an opportunity to plant a tree under their name in one of the public places in the UAE on November 11, 2011.

Monthly Community Lecture

The evening ‘Community Lecture’ program started in 1992. It is an open public platform which caters to the different segment of the society. It covers different pertinent national, regional and international environmental issues such as marine pollution, air pollution, land pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, climate change, waste management, bio-diversity, wildlife management, green buildings, green education, green procurement, energy and water conservation etc.. The purpose of such lectures is to increase awareness among the community about the essential need to preserve the environment by playing an active role in our own individual ways and to protect the environment by preventing the negative impacts on the environment.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the Emirates Environmental Group.

See on-line at: http://www.eeg-uae.org/activities/community-reach

The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) – About Us

December 18, 2011

The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is a professional working group devoted to protecting the environment through the means of education, action programs and community involvement. This year, EEG celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

Our organization is open to men and women of all nationalities and all ages and is actively encouraged and supported by concerned local and federal government agencies. It is the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001 certified and the only organization of its kind in the UAE with accredited status to the United Nations Convention to Combating Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). EEG is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and a focal point of the Global Compact in the GCC states. EEG is also a member of the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN). EEG is viewed as one of the most prestigious environmental groups within the Middle East and prides itself on its environmental achievements reached to date.

Aims & Objectives

Overall Objective:

To contribute positively to the advancement of sustainable development in Dubai and the UAE by acting as a focal point for people of all nationalities and ages concerned with environmental protection and responsible waste management.

Specific Objectives:

  • To increase the level of public awareness on all local, regional and global environmental issues
  • To assist concerned authorities, where possible, in implementing environmental programs and projects
  • To promote positive environmental action by individuals through active participation in specific projects, campaigns and activities
  • To propagate community waste reduction and recycling schemes, both as a means of protecting the environment and as a flagship for improving the community’s environmental awareness
  • To compile a database on various environmental issues and make it available to the public and institutions,
  • To foster exchange of information, experience and practices including our areas of expertise.
  • To mobilize the support of experts on various environmental issues from the public and private sectors.
  • To liaise with various target groups within the community to spread the environmental message and encourage volunteerism in preserving and protecting the environment

EEG Executive Committee

EEG has a steering committee that supervises the overall programmes of the Group which are conducted through five broad project sub-groups:

Waste Management & Recycling Project Group

This group is responsible for conducting the collection drives (aluminum, paper, plastic, glass, batteries, toner cartridges, etc.), clean up campaigns and the establishment of collection centers for recyclable materials. Responsible waste management is where sustainability within the home and office truly starts, which is why this group is such an integral part of EEG’s mission and environmental goals.

Education Project Group

The scope of work within this group is to obtain/disseminate ideas and information to/from teachers and students. It is also in charge of various projects run annually by the Group including Workshops for students and teachers, Environmental Public Speaking Competitions for schools and colleges, Environmental Drawing Competition etc. The group also works on establishing an information center on the environment, listing useful books, websites and so on for use in environmental education.

Publication Project Group

This group is responsible for all EEG publications including posters, brochures, booklets, flyers, monthly newsletter (Updates), bi-annual, bi-lingual Wastepaper magazine (free circulation of 20,000 copies) and so on. EEG also produces a yearly table calendar, which displays selected artwork from the Environmental Drawing Competition and work hard to construct the informative and factual Annual Report. This group collects suitable information for research purposes and is responsible for writing articles for the media. In addition, the Group facilitates special publications of EEG articles and occasional papers based on EEG research work.

Community Lectures & Exhibitions Project Group

This group is responsible for organizing the free community public lectures, which are held almost every month, as well as presentations to different interested parties. EEG expands its outreach capacity by coordinating and participating in various exhibitions, showcasing the environment and how to protect it. 

Corporate Project Group

The group plans and executes EEG’s corporate programs, such as the annual gala dinner. It also engages and connects EEG corporate members in program development particularly on environmental, corporate and CSR related issues.

New Members

New members are always welcome throughout the year. Membership forms are available at EEG’ public meetings and other events, as well as online from our website, or upon request. The group has a keen interest in people with expertise/knowledge that could be useful in reference to any of the above project groups but also welcomes anyone who simply cares for the environment that surrounds us.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).

See on-line at: http://www.eeg-uae.org/about-us

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi: EAD Launches Unique Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate

December 18, 2011

December 14, 2011

EAD Launches Unique Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched the Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate, at the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit. The Summit is a global meeting focused on the critical issue of greater access to environmental and societal information for policy-making that is taking place Dec 12-15, 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Center. It is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, hosted by EAD, facilitated by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate is a 200-page full colour book that highlights the unique natural heritage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It presents the information in an engaging narrative framework, interwoven with stories, case studies, facts and statistics, illustrative figures, anecdotes, photographs and thematic maps.

 “The Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate captures the remarkable story of Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage in an innovative and compelling way for the non-technical reader. Through it, we hope to promote a better understanding of and greater appreciation for the unique natural heritage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Arabian Gulf region,” said Dr. Jaber Al Jaberi, Deputy Secretary General of EAD.

“Developed by a team of experts, the Atlas is the result of thousands of hours of research over a period of two years. It includes the most up-to-date scientifically accurate information along with rich visuals ranging from oil paintings to futuristic digital renderings,” added Al Jaberi said.

 The first half of the Atlas is filled with graphical and artistic depictions of the geological and cultural history, status and future of Abu Dhabi Emirate. These designs run alongside informative textual descriptions. The second half of the Atlas is dedicated to cartographic Abu Dhabi Emirate maps. These maps, along with descriptive text, feature the results of environmental and geological studies carried out by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), its partners and other organisations.

Published in English and Arabic by Motivate Publishing, the Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate is priced at AED 270, and is available in all leading retail outlets in the Gulf and internationally as well as online at www.booksarabia.com and www.ead.ae.

 

This piece is taken from the website of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

See on-line at: http://www.ead.ae/en/news/abudhabi.atlas.aspx