In line with the UAE Vision 2021, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Alliances for Global Sustainability (AGS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi-based place-maker IMKAN at AlJurf, announcing IMKAN's ‘The Guardians’ Initiative.’ The initiative is one of the first UAE developer pledges to safeguard, protect and preserve Abu Dhabi’s diverse heritage, nature, wildlife and marine environments.

The UAE Vision 2021 is the country’s ambitious environmental programme that aims to safeguard local natural landscapes and wildlife, while reducing the UAE’s carbon footprint. The Guardians' Initiative will support the aims of the UAE Vision 2021 through a wide-range of activities and events across Abu Dhabi and other emirates.

Commenting on The Guardians’ Initiative, Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Founder and CEO of Alliances For Global Sustainability, said: “As a nation, we strive to protect biodiversity. We are fortunate to enjoy a wonderful location that is home to a rich array of landscapes, each one of which plays a unique role in maintaining the delicate balance of local ecosystems.”

She continued: “As we make great strides in developing our global presence, it is vital to ensure that this is not at the cost of our surrounding natural environment. This project builds on the principles set out by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Nahyan, and will not only help protect our country’s natural habitats but also bring people together. Throughout his life, the country’s founding father was one of the world’s greatest conservationists. He put the UAE on the world map as a pioneer of environmentalism. It is now our responsibility to engage and educate future generations. Through an exciting programme of activities and events which will run from this January onwards, MOCCAE, AGS and IMKAN will continue to connect the local community with nature.”

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Preserving the local environment and ensuring its sustainability have long topped our list of priorities in the UAE. Given the growing pressures on our environment, including climate change, pollution, and habitat degradation, collective action to sustain the country’s natural resources has recently gained a heightened importance.”

Speaking on the initiative, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Our partnership with the private sector is key to effectively contributing to protect the marine and terrestrial environment and ensuring the sustainability of our biodiversity. Doing so will help create a better future for current and next generations. We thank IMKAN for its commitment to helping safeguard Abu Dhabi’s environment, and look forward to the significant milestones we hope to achieve together.”

Walid El Hindi, Chief Executive Officer of IMKAN, said: “As we enter the third decade of the new millennium, it is becoming ever more apparent that eco-friendly practices will determine the success and survival of forthcoming generations. Looking to the future - and in line with Sheikh Zayed’s vision - IMKAN is determined to become a leading voice on green practices in the UAE and beyond. This is why we are proud today to announce the Guardians’ Initiative in partnership with AGS and MOCCAE. The programme is in line with the objectives of the UAE’s ambitious Vision 2021 plan and will strive to protect the region’s unique heritage, while at the same time employ innovative practices to find and implement eco-friendly solutions that support local land and marine habitats.”

In addition to MOCCAE, the Guardians’ Initiative will work alongside organisations such as the Alliances for Global Sustainability to promote and enact a proactive green policy in IMKAN’s projects. Initiatives included in the agenda are protection programmes for the gazelle, oryx, antelope, and regional birds, a programme of beach clean-ups, habitat support for turtles, and schemes to protect local flora and fauna. The reach of the Guardians’ Initiative includes specific overarching themes to align with the founder’s passion for nature, pride in the local heritage and upholding of conservation efforts, currently focused in Abu Dhabi though welcoming collaboration from across the UAE.

Source: Asda’a BCW