Abu Dhabi: Kelvin Doe, a 15 year-old from Sierra Leone, amazed the world when he built his own radio station at the age of 13.
He is one of the speakers at the Eco Club Summit, the first summit of its kind in the Middle East, organised by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Inaugurated on Tuesday, the two-day summit is hosting around 330 students and 110 teachers from 120 schools in Abu Dhabi.
Mohammad Nabeel Al Beloushi, a 17 year-old Emirati environmental activist, will speak at the summit about how he turned the Liwa International School into one of the UAE’s first green schools.
Kehkashan Basu, the youngest person to be elected as a Global Coordinator for Children and Youth in the history of the United Nations Environment Programme, will speak about her achievements.
The summit is a platform for youth to engage and network, assess and address their school’s environmental impact, and allow leading sustainable schools to share their experience. It brings together global environmental youth leaders and members from Abu Dhabi’s leading school eco clubs, fostering an open discussion, interactive brainstorming and the opportunity to share experiences.
The Eco Club Summit is part of EAD’s Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI), which is supported by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and sponsored by BP. SSI aims to empower schools, teachers and their students to make positive environmental changes within their school. To assist them in making a positive impact, EAD provides the school community with training and resource materials necessary to assess their own environmental impact. EAD also encourages schools under the SSI to establish eco clubs and provides them with the support to keep them strong, such as exposing students to experiential learning through hands-on educational field trips.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of EAD, inaugurated the summit and said: “Since the EAD was established nearly 18 years ago, we have placed great emphasis on engaging the emirate’s youth. This is simply because we strongly believe in their power to initiate change. It is also because the decisions that we make now, and in the years ahead, will have a profound impact on the world that these youth inherit.”
“Youth, both in the UAE and around the world, have proven to us that they are agents for change, perhaps because it is they who have the most at stake. We are very excited and inspired to see this large number of students and teachers participating in the summit,” she said.
Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director-General of Adec, said: “Abu Dhabi Educational Council focuses on and supports sustainability initiatives by using advanced environmental education programmes in new schools in Abu Dhabi. These schools were built according to the highest international environmental sustainability standards, as we aim to reduce our footprint, raise awareness about consumption, apply best practice in health and safety procedures, as well as establish environmental education through the curriculum. Our ultimate objective is to make sustainability the centre of students’ attention.”
“We are proud of the number of schools which participated in this initiative this year, with 259 projects and awareness campaigns submitted and carried out by their eco-clubs. We hope this interest will continue growing, and the environmental awareness activities which proved educationally and socially beneficial will also increase.” she said.