Students from various schools attended the environment academy workshop by Green Hope UAE at JSS private school yesterday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Whenever the topic of protecting the environment arises— be it on sustainable consumption, reducing our carbon emissions, and planting more trees — the UAE youth deems it a serious business that not only concerns adults but them too.

Some 206 pupils from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah affirmed this on Saturday during the fourth Plant-for-the-Planet Academy at the JSS Private School in Dubai. The academy, organised entirely by children for children, is the fourth academy for the year that raises awareness on sustainability issues such as land degradation, reducing carbon emissions, and the truth about climate change, among others. The academy was organised by youth group Green Hope UAE and held under the support of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

“These are green concepts which apply to everyone. As children, we’re the future. It’s important that we discuss these [concepts] now,” Kehkashan Basu, Global Coordinator for Children and Youth, United Nations Environment Programme, told Gulf News.

The group discussed the importance of sustainable consumption wherein people consume resources responsibly and with the future in mind. The group aims to change the present-day mindset, especially in Dubai, where people consume more than their share, easily depleting the earth’s resources.

The group also introduced the concept of ‘Upcycling,’ an evolving green concept wherein trash is converted into something useful and of better use. The process differs from recycling in that the original material does not undergo any chemical or mechanical changes to achieve its new purpose.

Before the academy concluded, the attendees planted 206 saplings near Garhoud Bridge as part of the academy’s pledge to plant one million trees in every country by 2020. So far, the academy has planted more then 600 trees since last year.