05. June 2020 — Press Release
05.06.2020 — خبر صحفى

In conjunction with World Environment Day, 20 aspiring changemakers selected as official ‘UAE Ambassadors for Nature’

  • The UAE’s most prestigious opportunity for young environmental entrepreneurs who have big ideas to solve the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges
  • Ambassadors will spearhead bold, brave ideas to address critical environmental issues and support the UAE’s goals

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – June 4, 2020: In conjunction with World Environment Day and following on from a nationwide search, Connect with Nature is excited to announce the selection of its official ‘UAE Ambassadors for Nature’. The ambassadors include a group of 20 homegrown heroes committed to championing nature and solving the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. The carefully chosen ambassadors have shown eagerness to unleash their curiosity, explore their passion, and unlock the opportunity to develop new skills to drive positive change in the UAE.

The 20 ambassadors were selected out of hundreds of UAE youth, all of whom have been active participants in the Connect with Nature movement which enables youth across the UAE to connect, explore and take action for nature through a series of impactful environmental activities and events. A prestigious selection committee was involved in the rigorous selection of the 20 Ambassadors, comprised of top sustainability leaders and youth representatives from across Emirates Nature-WWF, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Majid Al Futtaim Group.

Connect with Nature, an initiative founded by Emirates Nature-WWF and Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation as a strategic partner, aims to shape the leaders of tomorrow by providing youth with the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that help them advocate for nature conservation; equipping ambassadors with skills such as project design, implementation and evaluation, campaigning, mobilization and activism. Youth will get the chance to be part of community activities that make a tangible impact on the UAE’s natural world. The programme inspires youth to carve their place in a new and greener economy, to pioneer revolutionary technology and radical innovations, and to lead a new wave of green careers.

HE Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said, “Nature has been silently sustaining and powering our societies and economies for centuries, and continues to do so today. Strengthening and protecting the UAE’s rich and diverse flora and fauna is a core facet of the UAE’s National Agenda, we are focused on ensuring that we do not take nature and its services for granted and act against the accelerating loss of nature. The 20 selected Ambassadors for Nature have showcased their passion for a healthy, sustainable future for all, which is only possible on a planet where nature thrives and mangroves, oceans and our deserts are teeming with biodiversity and life. I have no doubt that our Ambassdors will contribute to building a more sustainable UAE for future generations. It is our role to equip young people with the required skills and knowledge, which is critical to achieving UAE leaderships’ vision of a sustainable UAE.”

In this regard, Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General at Emirates Nature-WWF says, “We are thrilled to have selected 20 dedicated and ambitious ambassadors who have demonstrated their dedication to protecting our environment. The role out of our ambassadorship programme is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that strives to empower our youth to become the change makers and environmental leaders of tomorrow.”

“We are looking forward to working with the selected ambassadors to incorporate new and innovative ways to solve current environmental challenges. The enthusiasm demonstrated by the applicants has shown us that the youth in the UAE are ready to make a change and thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. Our ambassadors will inspire and help pave the way for the community and upcoming generations through their advocacy of important environmental issues,” continued Abdullatif.

The Ambassador Programme is set to continue for a period of 10 months. Kicking off on June 7, the change makers will take part in workshops, volunteering opportunities, and mentorship sessions with key decision makers and sustainability leaders in the UAE.

What’s up next? Over the next 10 months, ambassadors will go through three stages:

  • Learn – from June 2020 until January 2021 – participants will take part in workshops and e-learning sessions across various environmental themes. At the end of this stage, ambassadors will gain teamwork, communication, problem solving interpersonal skills, organizational skills, research and analysis, and emotional intelligence.

  • Act – from September 2020 until January 2021 – this stage will include a mix of field-based learning (COVID-19 permitting), workshops and practical exercises. Ambassadors will take on key skills on how to design and implement youth activities for their networks.

  • Inspire Others – from November 2020 until March 2021 – in the third and final stage of the training, the chosen participants will take the lead and deliver their very own change making projects with the goal to drive change in community.

Participants who succeed in completing all three stages of the programme will graduate as official ‘UAE Ambassadors for Nature’, by truly challenging the status quo and making a difference in the community. With the aim to empowering youth, applicants who were not selected will be offered exclusive workshops and interactive training on ways to protect nature, all set to be revealed within the next month.