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Pioneering Green Communities: Mariam Almheiri’s Vision for Climate-Resilient UAE

In a session themed “Green and Sustainable Communities” at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) convened the fourth installment of the COP28 Changemakers Majlis series. This gathering, held ahead of the COP28 launch later in the month, brought together climate leaders, experts, and representatives from various sectors to explore innovations and challenges in crafting environmentally conscious communities across the UAE.

Led by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and moderated by Eng. Aisha Al Abdooli, Director of the Green Development Department at MoCCAE, the Majlis saw participation from key figures such as Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and Mohammed Juma’a Al Musharrakh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), along with representatives from the private sector, academia, and youth.

The session underscored the imperative of fostering green and sustainable communities capable of withstanding climate change impacts. Participants deliberated on collaborative approaches between local governments and the private sector to bolster UAE communities, with a particular emphasis on leveraging technology for transformative change.

Mariam Almheiri emphasized the UAE’s commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability, echoing the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. She highlighted the nation’s milestones, including being the first signatory of the Paris Climate Agreement and submitting ambitious targets for emissions reduction and achieving net-zero by 2050.

Almheiri stressed the significance of effective community engagement and informed decision-making to drive sustainability initiatives forward. She underscored the Ministry’s efforts in developing environmental legislation and fostering partnerships with stakeholders through platforms like the COP28 Changemakers Majlis and the “National Dialogue for Climate Ambition.”

Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer highlighted Sharjah’s sustainable development endeavors, particularly through projects like “Sharjah Sustainable City,” which promotes sustainable lifestyles and renewable energy adoption. He emphasized the importance of community awareness and financing mechanisms for sustainable projects.

Mohammed Juma’a Al Musharrakh called for robust legislative support for sustainable investments and practices, advocating for measures like banning single-use plastics. The session also delved into challenges and solutions for promoting sustainability, including integrating green principles into education and fostering collaboration among diverse sectors.

The event showcased the UAE’s commitment to sustainability through initiatives spanning green energy projects, carbon capture, smart technologies, waste management, and biodiversity conservation. Collaborations between public and private entities, such as the Rebound Plastic Exchange and partnerships supporting local agriculture, underscored the nation’s dedication to driving positive environmental change.

As the UAE continues its journey towards a greener future, initiatives promoting sustainable communities stand as pillars of resilience and progress in the face of climate challenges.

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