For Our Emirates We Plant
Recognising the significance of trees in the global landscape, EEG conducts an annual programme, known as ‘For Our Emirates We Plant’. EEG rolls out annually several community based recycling campaigns and projects that engage students, academic institutions, corporates, associates and families to collect certain amounts of recyclable waste i.e. plastic, paper, glass, toners, aluminium cans and mobile phones for recycling. For every target achieved, the participants get an opportunity to plant native trees under their names in a nature reserve in the UAE in partnership with relevant bodies.
EEG is accredited to UNEP; therefore, all campaigns and initiatives are designed to revolve around the promotion of the 17 UN SDGs. The key objectives of this campaign are to encourage all sectors of the society to combat Desertification, Climate Change and Global Warming; to instill environmental ethics in the public's’ mind and create a powerful association between tree planting and ahcieving sustainable development; to enable students to understand the benefits of planting native trees and transform that understanding into a sense of responsibility; to divert waste from landfills thus reducing the size and number of landfills; to implement habitual, long term recycling and make it part of societal culture; and to promote volunteerism, civic responsibility in the society and Corporate Social Responsibility amongst organisations.
• By promoting recycling practices, along with community awareness and urban afforestation, the campaign enables the development of healthy and sustainable cities. • By instilling recycling habits in the society, EEG is creating a culture of responsible consumption and reduction of waste that is going to the landfills and saving resources. • By encouraging urban afforestation in a desert landscape, the campaign is promoting effective climate action and preventing thousands of trees from being felled as well as saving thousands of cubic meters of landfill space, which stimulate the quality of life on land. • By engaging different stakeholders, the campaign buiilds effective partnerships to achieve the SDGs.
Through EEG’s year-round recycling campaigns and projects, participants collect plastic, paper, aluminium cans, glass, mobile phones and toners and deposit their collected recyclable waste with EEG. EEG has partnered with recycling factories in the UAE and deposits the materials there for proper recycling, thereby contributing effectively in conservation of resources. EEG keeps track of the recyclable waste collected and the resultant environmental benefits. The recycling campaigns and the achieved results are promoted extensively through EEG’s website, emails and different channels of social media, mass media, and the monthly e-newsletters. This encourages people to actively participate. EEG sets targets for each category of participants to collect a specific type of waste and keeps tabs on the targets achieved. For every target achieved the participants get an opportunity to plant native trees under their names. The tree-planting programme is conducted annually under the slogan of “For Our Emirates We Plant” in the month of December in public parks and nature reserves in liaison with the relevant government authorities. The programme is the recipient of financial and logistical support from several EEG corporate members. EEG arranges the procurement of the native saplings and takes care of all the logistical arrangements, i.e. refreshments, gloves, shovels, garbage bags, organic fertiliser, potting soil and placards with the names of each participant to be placed in front of the planted sapling. EEG records the whole programmes and hires the services of videographers and photographers. EEG also arranges the necessary requirements for the ceremony (Marquees, sound system, Tables, Chairs, Signage Boards & Rollups, transportation and volunteers Etc).
This combined waste management and urban afforestation programme has allowed the conservation of natural and other resources that have been depleting due to rapid urbanisation. Each of the conducted campaigns allows EEG to spread environmental awareness and raise consciousness amongst different sectors of the UAE society, while educating them about the perks of environmental conservation. The success of this programme can be seen through increased participation every year. The programme also allows EEG to promote and deliver on social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. Since the inception of this programme, EEG has been able to plant 2,100,789 native trees, which upon maturity will help mitigate 12,388 MTCO2 emissions. In addition, the recyclable waste collected has helped reduce 82,349 MTCO2 emissions, saved 583,914 million BTU of energy, reduced landfill space by 125,057 m3, saved 379,892 trees from being felled and saved 259,632 gallons of gasoline.
The enabling factor is the ardent participants that take part every year in EEG’s recycling campaigns and the ongoing partnerships with recycling facilities. The event is possible with the support of the UAE government and the relevant municipalities that allocate suitable places with proper irrigation system to plant trees. EEG’s awareness campaigns and marketing allows it to reach out to a wider audience, it maintains a strong rapport with media agencies that cover the events. The main constraint faced was the closer of business, offices and restricted mobility during the COVID-19 lockdown which made it harder to collect and deposit waste.
EEG works closely with UN agencies and international entities; it has been able to strategically shape its programmes to serve and create transformative global action. EEG is aware that its ‘For Our Emirates We Plant’ programme can be easily replicated on a regional and international level – to do that it needs to partner with the right stakeholders from the waste management and recycling industry coupled with the relevant government entities in the afforestation sphere. EEG can work closely with governments, NGOs and other environmental agencies to strategically develop the structure of the campaign that would suit their demographic. The targets set, types of waste collected and kind of native trees planted would vary geographically, but in essence, the project can be implemented effectively and efficiently. The key requisites would be to work alongside recycling plants and the relevant agricultural entity, along with strong and impactful awareness campaigns and promotion strategies.
COVID-19 lockdown restricted movement of participants, impacting the collection of waste from the wider community, resulting in recyclable waste being thrown in with the general waste and registering a lower collection, which led EEG to extend the duration to allow participants to meet the targets. EEG plans to lower the targets in 2021 and to collect recyclable was directly from participants. This campaign can help in building back better from COVID-19 impacts as it counters the effects of pollution, the landfill damage and help build a greener community to counter the effects of global warming. This campaign can educate masses about environmental concerns and instill habits that contribute to sustainable development. This campaign can serve as a great CSR initiative for corporations.
SDGS & Targets
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Deliverables & Timeline
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UAE and the Arab World