Young people must lead the way in designing and implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda
His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, highlighted the important role youth plays in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UAE Centennial 2071 at theYouth4Sustainability (Y4S) Virtual Forum, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Minister said: “Seeing so much energy and passion in today’s young people, I strongly believe in their ability to drive our post-COVID-19 green recovery as change makers, sustainability advocates, innovators, thinkers, and leaders as we build back better and come out of the crisis stronger.”
He added: “Our government – together with the private sector and civil society –is committed to creating an enabling environment that can equip young people with 21st century skills and provide them with opportunities to realize their full potential. At the policy level, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has developed the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017-2050 and the Emirates Youth Climate Strategy to guide our climate action.
“The Ministry is also empowering our youth to help achieve the SDGs, specifically those related to climate action and sustainable consumption and production, by fostering green entrepreneurship and business accelerator programs. Young people are the greatest source of innovative ideas in the start-up industry, so they deserve all the support we can offer.”
His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi pointed out that one of the most promising fields for young innovators in the UAE is sustainable agriculture. The sector is witnessing significant progress through the growing number of local farms run by young entrepreneurs who are using advanced technologies to help tackle food and water security challenges in the region.
The Minister noted that young people must lead the way in designing and implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda because it will chart the path of their own future.
He urged the participating youth delegates to leverage the opportunities that the country opens for them to hone their skills and actively contribute to its development. He also expressed his confidence that nothing is impossible for the promising young citizens and residents of the UAE.