Dubai: The UAE on Saturday announced the ‘Waste-free Schools’ project to promote the adoption of “circular economy principles”.
The project was launched during the second meeting of the UAE Council for Environmental and Municipal Work chaired by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Emirates Schools Establishment, Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company (Tadweer), and Bee’ah Group to implement the project at 63 selected schools nationwide.
The partners will join forces to organise awareness workshops for teaching staff and school students about the concept and practices of integrated waste management. They will also provide waste separation bins and leverage high-tech waste management solutions at the selected schools.
Mohamed Al Qassim, Director-General, Emirates Schools Establishment, said: “The Establishment is committed to keeping pace with national drives targeting school students as well as the teaching and administrative staff through forging ties with concerned government entities in a way that helps achieve future objectives and initiatives in line with ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision.”
Ali Al Dhaheri, Acting CEO, Tadweer, said: “The MoU comes in line with our plans to raise awareness among school students in the emirate of Abu Dhabi on the best ways to sort waste and reduce waste production in schools in a sustainable manner. By conducting awareness sessions, we aim to share the best practices on waste treatment and utilisation.”
Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO, Bee’ah, said: “We are pleased to co-launch the Waste-free Schools initiative. It is in line with Bee’ah’s general strategy for driving sustainability, supporting the government’s efforts to achieve its objectives as part of the UAE Net Sero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, and instilling values that lead up to positive behavioural changes.”
The meeting agenda also featured discussions of several key topics, including the environmental indicators of the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision and national plan, the preparedness of municipal authorities for the rainy season, and the directions of the UAE General Environmental Policy.
Held at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) headquarters in Dubai, the meeting convened the Council’s members for the second time since the UAE Cabinet ratified the resolution for the body’s creation in May 2022.
Minister Mariam said: “Our wise leadership’s continued support of environmental stewardship has considerably contributed to positioning the UAE as a driver of global environmental action and a recognised global convener of related discussions and events.”
She added: “Launched during the UAE’s Government Annual Meetings in November 2022, the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision represents a national plan through which the UAE will continue its development path for the next 10 years as well as highlight its pioneering approach to environmental protection. We seek to enhance cooperation between all stakeholders in the UAE to ensure we achieve the environmental indictors of the vision.”
The Minister noted that the Council explored transformational environmental projects, in line with the new methodology for federal government work, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and guided by the ‘Principles of the 50’.
During the meeting, members reviewed the recommendations of their first meeting, including the development of the Council’s organisational structure and specialised work teams. They approved the establishment of five work teams: Studies and Research, Education and Awareness, Regional and International Participation, Policies and Legislations, and Transformational Projects.
MOCCAE presented an overview of phases one, two, and three of its Unified Municipal Work Guide that were previously launched. It also introduced the ‘Guide to Net Zero for Cement Plants’ that aims to boost the engagement of all sectors in achieving the objectives of the UAE Net Sero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
The Council explored ways to support the indicators of the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision through strengthening the country’s performance in environmental protection, food security, and greenhouse gases reduction.
The Council discussed a proposal to introduce a Net-Zero Government Pact 2050 in the UAE with the aim of enhancing the contribution of government entities to the national climate neutrality drive in relation to procurement, energy efficiency in buildings, waste management, and sustainable transport.
During the meeting, MOCCAE signed MoUs with 10 government entities to align their programmes and initiatives with the UAE General Environmental Policy and increase their contribution to achieving the country’s objectives for environmental protection. These entities include the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Economy, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Dubai Municipality, Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, Fujairah Environment Authority, Fujairah Municipality, Dibba Al Fujairah Municipality, and Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation.