Submitted by: Environment Research and Wildlife Development Agency
Implemented country: United Arab Emirates
Title: 100 ways for a better environment in the UAE
ERWDA is a governmental agency whose overall function is to promote sustainable development and to protect and conserve the environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It also aims at raising the level of environmental awareness and education by implementing a "Focused Awareness Program" which includes a variety of interactive presentations, competitions, awards and clubs on environmental themes and issues for students of all age groups from public, private schools, higher educational establishments, teachers and women's groups. "The Nature Bus" was the first activity ERWDA started in 1998. The successfull pilot program 'Desert Experience', was conducted from the "The Nature Bus" in Abu Dhabi schools. This teaching program, including field trips, comprised a slide show, an "experience nature" game and the opportunity to touch and feel living animals. Later on a similary designed "Marine Experience" program followed. 2000/01 the project "50 simple ways to help the UAE environment" in cooperation with the Union National Bank was launched accompanied by a booklet on the subject. Field trips on Mangrove, Wetland Ecology and the Falcon Hospital have been added to the project. Class room based programs have been enlarged on many new themes such as endangered wildlife and birds of the UAE, etc. Five successful teacher training workshops have been conducted for government schools. Monthly lectures and presentations have been organized on major environmental issues in the UAE by experts for the Environmental Educators Forum. All these programs are helping young people establish a direct link with nature and the many problems being faced. In 2002 nearly 8000 primary and middle school students have been reached through the classroom based programs with 60 field trips consisting of over 1800 students from government and private schools have been successfully completed. In 2003 a total of 18.166 students from 144 schools participated in one way or an other in environmental activities of ERWDA.