Stock - Climate Change & Sustainability
The actions taken on climate change needs to go deep and broad as well as not stop at any particular age group. Image Credit: Supplied

Climate change and the need for a sustainable future are no longer discussion points - instead they are now real issues facing millions around the globe. As the effects of climate change worsen, the planet is experiencing more intense droughts, storms, and heatwaves.

With the rising temperature, we see our oceans get warmer, glaciers melt, and sea levels rise. The need for action is no longer disputed. However, the need for accelerating this action is increasingly coming into a stark perspective.

As the global community met in Glasgow for Cop 26, we witnessed governments, NGOs, and the business community come together to commit to pledges and actions that will work towards the solutions our planet requires. However, it is also the necessary solutions to safeguard the future for our children.

They are the least responsible for climate change, yet they will bear the greatest burden of its impact. UNICEF estimates that approximately one billion children – nearly half the world's children - live in 33 countries classified in their 'Children's Climate Risk Index' as "extremely high-risk". These children face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climate and environmental shocks with a high vulnerability due to inadequate essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare and education.

Furthermore, UNICEF estimated that almost every child on earth is exposed to at least one climate and environmental hazard, such as heatwaves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding and water scarcity. It is clear that urgent action is needed from everyone, including the private sector, to deliver a fair and sustainable world, where climate change and its consequences on the lives of children and young people are tackled.

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Drone-delivered sustainability

There is a greater imperative now for all companies to act to mitigate their impact on the environment, act responsibly, and put in place tangible steps to operate more sustainably. At CAFU, the pillar of our ‘Sustainability Commitment’ is to use our technology for good to plant one million Ghaf tree seeds via drone technology in the deserts of the UAE.

The aim of this is to improve the habitat ecosystem, absorb damaging Co2 from our atmosphere, and contribute to tackling climate change. Combined with this has been an extensive R&D phase to explore new ways to enhance significantly the germination process leading to more successful yields.

We also believe we have a role to play in raising awareness of the need for action in our community. With that responsibility comes the need to engage children and young people around the sustainability agenda. With this focus, CAFU has been working with GEMS World Academy to engage children from Grade 3 and 5 through the development of an educationally focused outreach programme to raise awareness on sustainability and climate action.

The interactive seminar focuses on the Ghaf tree planting project, the rationale behind the project's aims, and enabling the children the opportunity to take away and plant seed balls containing the Ghaf tree seeds. Outreach programmes such as these are vitally important for several reasons.

Getting them to act

Firstly, it includes children and young people in understanding the considerations we all need to make in terms of our environment. Furthermore, it helps give a voice to them to discuss their concerns and thoughts on the issues they are witnessing in the media.

It is also important for them to know what is happening in the communities around them in terms of businesses acting responsibly towards becoming even more sustainable. Finally, if we are to act responsibly as a business community, it also means actively supporting our communities, particularly our educational institutions with their work towards shaping future generations.

With the challenge posed by climate change, we can only halt and reverse the damage to our planet by working more collaboratively, solving these complex problems with more creative solutions, and by harnessing the innovation required to bring about changes to our lives.