Dubai: The fourth leg of the country-wide ‘Clean UAE’ campaign, organised by Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) in cooperation with the Ministries of Climate Change and Environment and Community Development, saw the participation of 6,395 volunteers who collected around 11,3 tonnes of waste for recycling and proper disposing on Saturday.
The area covered by the campaign was Saih Al Salam, a stretch of 10 square kilometres divided into four clean-up sites. The 11,300kg of collected waste were segregated by the EEG team and volunteers to remove the recyclables, and the rest were handed to the municipality for further processing and disposing.
The clean-up drive in Dubai was held in the presence and active participation of Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, as well as EEG executive committee members, and several officials from the government and private sector.
Almheiri praised the volunteers and said: “Volunteerism reflects our values in the UAE, and has seen an impressive uptake as an important social practice to give back to the community. We perceive the work of volunteers as an integral part of our efforts to protect the environment and sustain its natural resources, as it raises public awareness of the importance of our fragile ecosystems and engages a wider community in conserving them, in line with the objectives of the government. The ‘Clean UAE’ campaign is a shining example of community engagement in a noble mission.”
The Minister also noted the UAE Cabinet has approved the ‘Clean UAE’ campaign to foster the spirit of volunteerism in the UAE community. Launched on International Volunteer Day, the 10-day campaign aims to enhance the role of federal government employees and the public in cleaning up tourist destinations across the country in line with the World’s Coolest Winter campaign and to support environmental work and the preparations for the 28th UN Climate Conference (COP28), set to take place in the UAE in November 2023.
Habiba Al Mar’ashi, co-founder and chairperson of EEG, said: “We initially rolled out this campaign in 2002 with the aim of inculcating sustainable practices amongst the different sectors of the society in the UAE. It has been rebranded to ‘Clean UAE’ and the journey is on-going since the last 20 years with a consistent message: ‘Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility’.”
She added: “The group has been at the forefront in driving strategies and campaigns that align directly with UAE’s move towards ‘circularity’. The aim of the leadership is to reduce landfill waste to zero by 2030, it is an ambitious one but we are confident that strides achieved through this campaign are very much aligned with achieving the set targets and help accelerate UAE’s transition to NET ZERO and sustainable ecosystems.”
Al Mar’ashi thanked the supporters of the campaign – Dubai Municipality, Saih Al Salam Protected Area and Dubai Economy and Tourism. She further expressed her gratitude to McDonald’s UAE – the co-sponsor for the campaign, Dubai Investments, UPS, Canpack and FARNEK; the support sponsors and ogistical supporters – Fujairah Plastic Factories, Abela & Co. LLC, Al Ain Water, Almarai, Del Monte, Golden Loaf, Golden Spike Bakery, Tetra Pak, Byrne Equipment Rental, Aster, du, Pan Asian Media and Gulf News as media partner.