Connect With Nature Inspires, Empowers And Mentors Young Change-makers To Actively Shape The UAE’s Next 50 Years

Connect with Nature inspires, empowers and mentors young change-makers to actively shape the UAE’s next 50 years

ABU DHABI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 05th Apr, 2021) The ongoing pandemic has bolstered the appreciation of nature and passion to protect the environment of the UAE’s youth.

Over numerous majlis discussions and events organised by Connect with Nature, the youth has reinforced its view that nature is a priority in the COVID-19 recovery and that it is eager to co-create the roadmap for the next 50 years.

Connect with Nature has engaged with the youth since the inception of the initiative in 2019 to harness its curiosity about the natural heritage and equip it with a platform and tools to actively co-create the future. The initiative has proved exceptionally successful in bringing the youth closer to nature, whereby 86 percent of participants surveyed responded that Connect with Nature has positively influenced the way they prioritise and value nature in their lives.

Co-founded by Emirates Nature – WWF and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Connect with Nature has engaged with more than 10,000 UAE youth across over 225 events such as nature hikes, wetland exploration, upcycling workshops, beach clean-ups, and most recently, virtual majlis discussions, the UAE Ambassadors for Nature mentorship programme and the Nature Champions programme.

Connect with Nature has a bold vision for 2021 and beyond. The initiative will continue to evolve to reach more UAE youth and drive a bigger impact in its next phase, which positions volunteering at the core of its interactions as well as engagement with young change-makers.

In 2020, 1,900 youths participated in the Reimagine Youth Circle Series of virtual majlis discussions with government leaders, academics and experts. Insights from these discussions are captured in a whitepaper written by youth, for youth. Hundreds of youth competed for an intensive mentorship journey as one of 20 UAE Ambassadors for Nature.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General at the EAD said, "The UAE’s youth continues to impress us with its understanding of global environmental challenges coupled with a sense of responsibility for restoring the health of nature and our communities, and their dynamic optimism for the future. As we gear up for the next journey forward, it is vital that we continue to engage, inspire and involve today’s youth in preparations for the next 50 years."

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General at Emirates Nature-WWF said, "The ongoing pandemic has accelerated concern for the environment across all age groups and especially amongst the youth. Our vision is to reach 500,000 youths through Connect with Nature, bring them closer to nature and support their transition to become future leaders of sustainability."

Peter Cornthwaite, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Hong Kong said, "Youth will play an instrumental role in our journey to achieve a green economic recovery. We are inspired by the success of Connect with Nature in the UAE and look forward to engaging Hong Kong youth in our global endeavour to build a future where people and nature thrive."