UAE waves green flags for a new generation of eco-leaders
Dubai, May 20, 2012: Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) and HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. today announced that five schools have gained the internationally recognised Green Flag Award as part of the Eco-Schools programme to recognise their environmental efforts and leadership.
Today, five schools taking part in the HSBC Eco-Schools Climate Initiative were each awarded a prestigious Green Flag: Greenwood International School in Dubai; Al Hala Basic Cycle School for Boys in Fujairah; Raffles International School, West Campus, in Dubai; Adhen Basic Cycle School for Girls in Ras Al Khaimah; and Dubai International Academy in Dubai.
At an event held in Dubai, these five schools were presented with Green Flags to proudly display on their premises for successfully introducing and implementing the HSBC Eco-Schools Climate Initiative.
The HSBC Eco-Schools Climate Initiative is part of the worldwide Eco-Schools programme by the Foundation of Environmental Education. Here in the UAE, where 30 schools take part in the programme, it is supported by the Ministry of Education and coordinated by EWS-WWF. Eco-Schools is designed to educate and empower students on environmental issues and targets the next generation of eco-leaders while positioning youngsters as active contributors.
Pupils worked with teachers, parents and members of the local community to lead the change towards a greener world through fun, action-oriented activities by engaging their whole school in taking practical steps to lower their electricity and water consumption and waste generation.
Ida Tillisch, Acting Director General of EWS-WWF commented: “It’s really important for us to involve youngsters as ambassadors and active partners in environmental education. Taking good care of our Planet by taking sustainable living choices is a key message of Eco-Schools, which is a practical yet engaging way to elevate their interest in environmental issues. Working closely with volunteers from HSBC and teachers from participating schools, we are equipping students with environmental awareness and practical know-how enabling them to take action to conserve and protect our country’s natural environment for generations to come.”
Ammar Shams, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. said: “HSBC is a proud sponsor of this initiative for a second year running. Our volunteers have witnessed a surge in interest from the children who participate and we are dedicated to developing a new generation of environmentally responsible adults.
He added: “Our volunteers have been extremely impressed by the dedication of the school children. From forming an Eco-Schools committee and drawing up an action plan to involving the wider community, pupils participating in the initiative have the opportunity to directly influence environmental savings made in their schools.”
The Eco-Schools programme now operates in 52 countries around the world, and has been initiated in the UAE as the HSBC Eco-Schools Climate Initiative since 2010. It empowers students to lead the change that a sustainable world needs by taking action to reduce their schools’ environmental impact through the seven steps recommended by the Eco-Schools process.
In addition, the event showcased inspirational posters from the students’ work in implementing key environmental changes through micro-project, seed-funding for which was provided by HSBC. These posters illustrated a variety of topics including water and energy conservation, raising awareness among the community and recycling waste. Some of the projects undertaken include harnessing AC water to water plants in the school grounds, equipping schools corridors with motion sensors and fitting taps with water saving devices and holding coffee evenings to raise awareness of environmental issues in their communities.
For schools wanting to find out more about joining the Eco-Schools programme in the UAE, please e-mail the Senior Education Manager at EWS-WWF, Rashmi De Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org