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UAE research team attends international workshop on Ecological Footprint

posted on 31/05/2008: 1978 views


A UAE research team representing the Al Basama Al Beeiya (Ecological Footprint) Initiative has attended an international workshop on the Ecological Footprint at the Global Footprint Network office in Oakland, California. The three-day workshop was designed to help enhance understanding of the philosophy, methodology and calculation of the Ecological Footprint so it can be used as a decision-making tool.



"As Global Footprint Network's research partner in the UAE and as a new national initiative striving to incorporate resource accounting in national policy formulation and planning, we want to be up-to-date with international knowledge, methodology and applications," said Razan Al Mubarak, Director of the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF) and an Al Basama Al Beeiya spokesperson.



'This workshop has strengthened our knowledge base, helped us learn from the international experience of implementing footprint-related projects and opened possibilities of forging new relationships with others engaged in similar work," she added.



Workshop attendees received training in Footprint methodology, calculation and interpretation and on the application of the Footprint concept to businesses, organisations, projects, regions and cities.



Besides the Al Basama Al Beeiya team from the UAE, the 14 other participants at the workshop included delegates from WWF offices in Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands, environmental consultancies from Belgium, Spain and the US, research institutions from Peru and Canada, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development and several Global Footprint Network representatives from Ecuador, Japan and the US engaged in Footprint projects, consulting and / or research.



The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), Global Footprint Network and EWS-WWF are the project partners in the Al Basama Al Beeiya (Ecological Footprint) Initiative. - Emirates News Agency, WAM



EEG surpasses target with collection of 12, 000 cans of waste

More than 110 schools and universities, dozens of companies, many families and individuals took part in the Emirates Environmental Group's (EEG) 11th Annual Can Collection Drive (CCC). This year, EEG finally broke the elusive 10 tonnes target it sets every cycle for its (CCC). The total of 7250kg of aluminium cans collected at the Drive from 9 sites across all seven Emirates brings the grand total of 12, 000kg collected for the 2007-2008 Cycle of the CCC.



The event heralded the growing proactive support and mass mobilisation of individuals across all sectors for overcoming the critical issue of domestic waste. More significantly, the UAE has one of the highest global rates of domestic waste generation, and EEG's initiatives to popularise waste management takes on added urgency as the nation grows in population and resource consumption increases.



Thousands of tonnes of aluminium cans are discarded annually in the UAE. EEG Chairperson Habiba Al Marashi, said "If the CCC can help to show the path forward by helping to recycle aluminium, EEG's objective behind the activity will be realised. I would like to highlight the admirable schools from Al Silaa who braved the arduous heat and a six hour long drive to Abu Dhabi just to contribute to the Drive. The corporate community should borrow a leaf from their book and take positive action". Through a single drive, the environment will gain major benefits in the long run. It will help to correct attitudes, change wasteful and thoughtless habits, build sustainable approaches to consumption, and increase the community's capacity for environment protection.



The large quantity thus collected from the Drive alone will not only divert a substantial quantity of waste away from landfill sites, but will simultaneously stop potentially hazardous items from reaching the environment and causing pollution, leaching, and contamination. The Drive officially concludes the current cycle of the annual CCC. The CCC, launched by EEG in 1997, is among the first successful community waste segregation activities ever to be initiated in the UAE. However, there is still considerable public ignorance and apathy about the benefits of collecting waste for recycling. The recycling is slowly becoming a desirable way of fulfilling environmental responsibilities in the UAE. EEG's campaigns on waste reduction and recycling provide an opportunity for everyone to be environmentally-active.



The number of participation in its programmes has increased manifold and to date, EEG have placed more than 140 recycling centres in the UAE. The main sponsors of CCC 2008 were Al Safi Club for Friends of the Environment. The Drive was supported by Dubai Municipality, Umm Al Qaiwain Municipality, Fujairah Municipality, and Ajman Municipality, RAK Free Trade Zone and Radisson SAS Sharjah. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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