Wise tree planting is one of the four focus areas under the new initiative. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Year of Sustainability initiative has unveiled a Sustainability Champions Society with a year full of engaging activities.

The initiative follows the announcement by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to extend the Year of Sustainability into 2024. With the tagline “Plan to Action”, it aims to engage the public through activations in four key focus areas: Green transportation, water and energy reduction, responsible consumption and wise tree planting.

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The Sustainability Champions Society is a platform inviting sustainability enthusiasts of all ages to share their stories nationwide and join the Year of Sustainability in events, initiatives and gatherings across the emirates. All ideas for impactful activities, innovative initiatives, and community-driven projects are welcome and can be shared by filling out the form on the official Year of Sustainability website

“We want to build upon the success of last year’s initiative and continue the momentum towards sustainable behaviour change by taking into account everything we learnt last year. We saw an opportunity for increased on-ground activations owing to a public desire to be part of the change. There is a deeper understanding now of what changes we need to make collectively, as well as greater research that indicates an impactful shift towards embracing sustainability as a life-long commitment,” said Eisa Alsubousi, Project Lead of the Year of Sustainability.

“Our aim is to catalyse sustainable action by bringing together all those who call the UAE home towards this common goal through community engagement, on-ground activations and enhanced cooperation with public and private entities towards sustainability leadership. It is through this collective, concerted effort – inspired by our inherited values of sustainability – that we can truly have a positive impact on climate change and achieve a prosperous future for the next generation,” Alsubousi added.

What to expect

The Year of Sustainability team will be rolling out various activations throughout 2024. These include meaningful collaborations with government, private and public entities through a focus on building sustainability leadership. In addition, the initiative will also be hosting several community events and on-ground activations, such as Duroor Nights, Sustainability Stops, Farm To Haseer, and many more, designed to engage the public towards sustainable behaviour change.

In addition, the Year of Sustainability will also be engaging the public in legacy projects that were developed during the 2023 Year of Sustainability. One such project is the Material Lab, a collaborative model for sustainable production launched by the Year of Sustainability team, through which it engages UAE-based creatives, innovators and businesses to rethink production and design, from conception to manufacturing. The programme’s two-tiered approach consisted of Sustainable Production and Repurposing Materials that emphasised on material innovation and reusing existing resources and materials.

A unique experience will also be launched for younger audiences that will be used as a visual learning tool across classrooms to educate students in learning how to respond to environmental challenges through innovative problem-solving skills.