NAT 191128 Santa Claus with the Arbor School students-1574951935927
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Dubai: Santa Claus visited Arbor School - the UAE’s first ecological school - in Dubai on Wednesday to tell children about how adapting to a circular economy will help combat climate change. Held in the ecological school’s reflection garden, the event was attended by Commissioner General of Finland for Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinala and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE Marianne Nissila.

Santa delivered an open letter to those in power identifying seven key areas countries could target to adopt a circular economy, including creating a clear and decisive plan in line with the Paris Agreement; developing robust legislation and standards; implementing financial incentives; reducing harmful subsidies; introducing tax reforms; and ensuring life-long learning to expand knowledge and international cooperation.

Keinala said, “Many believe the circular economy is only about recycling. However, it is much more complex and requires systematic change and countrywide participation to reduce our current rate of consumption and overuse of natural resources.

“Expo 2020 Dubai will be a platform for Finnish businesses to showcase their innovative solutions and demonstrate the impact and contribution they are already making to ensure we reach our 2025 goal. The UAE is also making great strides in its efforts to implement its own strategy and we are grateful to be part of that change in the lead up to Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Nissila said, “With professions of the future becoming more and more diverse, it is vital we prepare our younger generations by giving them access to the knowledge, understanding and the appetite essential to effect positive change. The main theme of the Finnish pavilion is ’Sharing Future Happiness‘ and we recognise that in order for us to achieve this happiness, we must do more to ensure those around to experience it have a voice in how it is shaped.”

Brett Girven, Principal at the Arbor School, said, “The education we offer at the Arbor School is an essential response to the changes occurring in the world. An Arbor student will leave us with a new kind of understanding; one that is rooted in the concept that we cannot solve problems in isolation, we must solve for pattern. The circular economy is a manifestation of that kind of concept or understanding.”

The event concluded with a tour of Arbor School’s three large biodomes which feature a tropical forest, a green playscape and an ecological makerspace, as well as the school’s greenhouse, where a wide range of fruit and vegetables has been harvested this year, grown by the students in partnership with Emirates Bio Farm.