An ancient Chinese proverb states: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
On the Islamic New Year, which happened last week, we wanted to celebrate the day by spreading a message of wellness and giving back to Mother Earth.
Our planet provides us with everything we need to live. In turn, what do we do? Utilise the resources, increase emissions, deplete the ozone layer and then finally, battle with the climate change. The fight against climate change is not only the responsibility of certain countries, leaders and corporations. It is a concern and necessity for all of us. Hence, it is essential to address this message to everyone.
One of the ways to fight the climate change is to increase green spaces on Earth, by planting more trees. As a tree matures, it can consume 21kg of carbon dioxide per year. When we create such awareness among students and the public, it greatly reduces human impact on the environment. So, we organised a plantation program with Cedars Jebel Ali International Hospital, in Dubai, along with a group of students from seven different schools around UAE.
We believe students are the future. Instilling them with good habits can help secure a future for generations to come.
Meghana Senthil Kumar, a student from Sharjah and a participant of the tree planting program, said: “This initiative was a gesture of gratitude from us students, to our humble abode. By planting these trees, we wished to bring about both a simple solution and awareness regarding the current environmental state. Furthermore, doing so in a hospital, a noble centre that safeguards life, added more meaning to the occasion.”
I feel each one of us has a responsibility towards our planet. We must apply our knowledge and keep our world in a better state, while working towards a sustainable future.
My idea behind this activity was to generate interest among children for the environment and create a sense of responsibility. I feel that planting trees should be part of every school curriculum. Students would become aware that they can play a role in protecting the environment through their personal involvement.
The trees that were chosen for this program were Damas trees. The six-feet-tall trees that were planted are good absorbers of carbon dioxide and are a source of oxygen. They thrive in desert conditions and grow relatively fast. Water pipelines were installed to ensure the survival of the newly-planted trees. A striking and majestic species, it will be a small step forward towards giving back to our planet.
Special thanks to professor Gunther Kieninger, medical director of Cedars Jebel Ali International Hospital, for inaugurating the event and encouraging the students.
This was just a small initiative to help us remember that we are just borrowing from the world, and must return it to our future exactly how we received it. Let’s change ourselves, then teach our family, friends, relatives and colleagues, and see the difference it makes.
— The reader is a grade 10 student based in Dubai
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