There is a strong felt need for environmental education in the UAE today. There are many environmental issues in the country that require the attention of the community, ranging from desertification, global warming, energy conservation, sustainable land use, water scarcity and waste management. These are critical issues to the country's sustainable growth and development. The Emirates Environmental Group believes that all sectors of society should be involved in the task of protecting the environment, as a practical concern and as a fulfilment of everyone's social responsibility. Protecting the environment nonetheless should begin with education and raising awareness, especially among the youth. Keeping this in mind, EEG developed an educational strategy in 2001 which is implemented annually in the form of a cluster of programs of which the following ones are most popular
The event is open for participation to all the Primary-School students in the UAE. There are 2 topics given to two categories of students. Group A: 6-8 years and Group B: 9-11 years. Instead of the students gathering in one place, the schools are asked to have the drawing competition within their schools and then select 5 best entries per theme to be their official entries for this competition. This activity provides the students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents and capabilities as well as express their views on the given topic in the form of "Art". This competition aims to create awareness among students about environmental issues and increase their sense of responsibility in protecting the environment.
Under the theme of Tomorrow's Environmentalists, EEG throws every year an open challenge to the student community across the country. The sub-seniors, in the age group of 13-15 years and the seniors, in the age group of 16-18 years are invited to build and present strong cases on different contemporary issues and questions relating to the environment. Two topics are given to the sub-seniors to choose from and the seniors are also given two topics. A panel of bi-lingual experts is roped in to evaluate the performances. It gives the participants a wonderful opportunity to showcase knowledge and build talent to tackle sensitive environmental issues, and serves as a good networking platform among government and private schools from all over UAE.
Resting great faith in the capabilities of our youth, EEG has designed the Inter College Public Speaking Competition giving the youth an opportunity to express their discernment about environmental problems and offer solutions, to enhance their confidence and personality, to showcase their potential in playing an important role in and for the environment. It is a contrivance. It is similar to the above program with an exception of catering to older students. What started as participation from the students of UAE has been successful in attracting the youth to partake in this event. Since 2006, EEG has been successful in making the competition into a regional event, with participation of teams from all GCC countries.
With the goal of promoting and strengthening the state of environmental education in our Educational system, EEG initiated the Students' workshop. It is a much-anticipated annual activity that has successfully generated knowledge and awareness among large sections of the student community. Under the theme of "Tomorrow's Environmentalists", it caters to primary, sub-senior, senior and university levels from all around the UAE. It aims to give first hand information through environmental experts, to these future denizens of sustainable development, who need to give their commitment towards environmental preservation. The age groups chosen vary from 10-22, corresponding to the targeted level. The speakers chosen for the sessions are well known experts from the academic, public and private sectors, locally and globally.
Under the theme of Environment across the Curriculum, EEG developed the Teacher's Workshop by inviting international as well as regional speakers to train our trainers. Being the key activity of our Educational Component, EEG works towards building the capacity of teachers about environmental issues in order for them to then pass this knowledge on to their students, schools and their community. The Teacher's Workshop is open for participation to all interested individuals and organizations as well. EEG started to have one day teachers' workshop which catered to English speaking teachers. With the increase in the scope as well as in the popularity of this program, it was able to expand the horizon to involve the government teachers and successfully manage to organize an additional workshop for the Arabic speaking teachers.