Dubai: Forests, though lacking in the UAE, play a big role globally in capturing CO2 emissions and are this year's focus of World Environment Day (WED) which is celebrated every year on June 5.
Forests provide homes to more than 300 million people and 80 per cent of terrestrial biodiversity worldwide making them an incredibly precious resource.
At your service
The theme for this year, Forests: Nature at Your Service, helps to highlight that around 36 million acres of natural forest are lost each year.
Activities that will take place today include beach clean ups and recycled raft race at the Emirates Marine Environment Group's reserve in Ghantoot.
World Environment Day (WED) aims at encouraging positive environmental action. Part of the United Nations Environment Programme, WED began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
According to WED, an estimated 35 million people in over 130 countries will take part in Clean Up the World collaborative activities in 2011, with action peaking over Clean Up the World Weekend, from September 16-18.
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) will be rewarding the participants of its waste collection and recycling programmes tomorrow which cover aluminium cans, paper, toner, glass and plastic.
Family fun Saturday
The Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG) is hosting a family day at their reserve in Ghantoot Saturday from 2pm to 5.30pm with activities such as recycled raft race contest, beach clean up, feeding hamour, algae oil removal, traditional games, mangrove rehabilitation and plantation.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced earlier this year that India will be the global host of WED 2011 for the first time. India is embracing the process of a transition to a Green Economy. According to UNEP the socio-economic pressures on India's forests are tremendous, but it has instituted a tree-planting system to combat land degradation and desertification.
In the UAE, in line with UNEP's Billion Tree campaign, EEG launched a million tree campaign to encourage residents to plant indigenous trees to mitigate the impact of climate change and offset carbon emissions.
Ministry to host green workshops
The Ministry of Environment and Water and Dewa [Dubai Electricity and Water Authority] will host an educational exhibition and workshops this month to encourage children and parents to come together in supporting the cause of sustaining a greener future for all.
Workshops will take place at the Dubai Mall and include the Dewa ‘Environment Tree', where children can make a conservation pledge and learn about simple measures to help save Planet Earth by hanging environment-saving ‘tips' on the tree and a T-shirt colouring workshop where children will paint a ‘World Environment Day' T-shirt.