Dubai: The United Arab Emirates continues to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns for the country, said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Al Zeyoudi made the remark during his visit to the 21st National Environment Day Exhibition, which kicked off on Friday at the Festival Arena in Festival City Dubai and will last for five days to raise awareness among school students and community members.
The UAE’s celebrations of the 21st National Environment Day this year will extend from February 4th till June, under the theme “Sustainable Production and Consumption” for the second consecutive year.
“Celebrating the National Environment Day in the Year of Zayed adds considerable value to the occasion. The UAE founding father and visionary leader had always considered the environment part and parcel of his philosophy and day to day practices. Sustaining the environment for generations to come was among the top priorities in his endeavors to build the country, paving the way for the country’s sustainable development,” Al Zeyoudi said.
Population growth and a surge in income levels due to the economic boom the UAE witnessed in the past four decades have given rise to non-sustainable production and consumption patterns, he said.
“These are among the main challenges we face in our efforts to conserve our resources and ecosystems today. Their negative impact is apparent in many areas, such as high ecological footprint per capita, high water, energy and food consumption rates, as well as high waste production and carbon emissions rate,” Al Zeyoudi said.
“In the UAE, we believe that sustainable production and consumption is an essential part of national responsibility for institutions and individuals alike. The consumer society is increasingly gaining importance in this regard, as it dictates production trends and influences producer responsibility. Ultimately, consumption is an individual choice that depends on a combination of factors, such as desire, often influenced by advertising, purchasing power and awareness,” he said.
“As a government, we continue to work relentlessly towards reducing the negative effects of production and consumption patterns and transforming them to sustainable ones that contribute to realizing sustainable development in the country, in line with UAE Vision 2021.”
The National Environment Day Exhibition highlights six focus areas – the environmental achievements of the founding father of the UAE, late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the basics of agriculture, endangered animals, saving water and energy, waste sorting and recycling, and preserving the UAE’s marine life.
The exhibition aims to introduce children and families to the concepts of sustainability of natural resources and environmental conservation, and comprises eight themed pavilions: Zayed – Man of the Environment, Little Farmer, Forest, Sustainable City, Heroes of the Sea, Waste Sorting, Little Scientist, and Cinema.
The exhibition is open to the public from Thursday, February 15 to Monday, February 19 from 9 am to 9 pm.