The ceremony in progress for Mother Teresa Prize for Social Justice, in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has been awarded the Mother Teresa Prize for Social Justice in recognition of his efforts to protect the environment and ensure sustainability in development.

A number of other changemakers were also honoured with the prize and felicitated at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received the prize on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, honoured the other winners of the Mother Teresa Prize for Social Justice, in the presence of Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The ceremony was also attended by Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Reem bint Abdullah Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

The Mother Teresa Award is presented annually to honour individuals and organisations that promote peace, equality and social justice and it aims to encourage the cause of justice and peaceful coexistence. This year, the focus was on environmental sustainability.

Al Falasi said that celebrating this year’s winners in the UAE emphasises the values of tolerance and coexistence in Emirati society. “The UAE has become an incubator environment for the various cultures of the world, and a home for various peoples who live with a mixture of harmony, respect and acceptance,” she added.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, chief executive officer at Al Ihsan Charitable Society, was honoured with the prize for his role in establishing partnerships between public, private and local communities. Al Nuaimi has also provided advice and raised awareness about environmental issues.

Saeed Al Rumaithi, Ahmed Al Mutawa and Muzna Al Mansouri were also recognised as young change makers in the field of environmental sustainability, and their prizes emphasise the role of youth in preserving the environment.

Tatiana Antonelli Abella, founder and managing director of Goumbook, was honoured for raising awareness among the local community regarding the dangers of pollution. She is considered an environmental influencer and regularly contributes to the media and conferences as a green business leader.

The prize also honoured the Plastic Pollution Control Alliance, a global alliance of more than 1,200 organisations, companies and leaders in 75 countries who work to make the world free from plastic pollution. The Bhamla Foundation was awarded for its effort to raising awareness among the local community about the hazards of pollution, and the need to conserve natural resources.

Maitha Bonum Al Hamli, director of the Marine Assessment and Marine Conservation Department at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi also received the prize for her leadership role in driving environmental conservation.