In the Middle East, “The Green Sheikh” has become somewhat of a celebrity role model for Emirati youth. Though he could easily have followed the money-lined petroleum path, Sheikh Abdulaziz al Nuaimi chose environmental sciences instead; he has since devoted his life to developing sounder environmental practices.
In addition to his position as environmental adviser to the Ajman Government, he is the chairman of Green Base Environmental Services and the founder of the Majlis for Holistic Knowledge and Holistic Health, Maurice explained earlier. Lately he has focused much of his energy on influencing young men, who he believes have the capacity and responsibility to be an example in the UAE.
On Sunday, as part of his contribution to the globally successful 10-10-10 campaign organized by 350.org, Sheikh Abdulaziz showcased various environmentally-friendly products and workshops at the Global Environmental Salon that was hosted by the Zayed Environmental Impact Network at the Dubai campus of Zayed University.
The National reports that among the technologies Sheikh Abdulaziz presented were solar energy and human waste innovations that generate electricity.
Though technology can go a long way to reverse climate change, he realizes that the real power lies in the people. Until people change their behavior, and until they begin to consider from whence things come and where they end up up, there will be no change.
“It is the men especially who do not realise the consequences,” he told the paper. He on the other hand considers everything that he purchases, and hopes to spread a similar awareness.
He added that “We need to focus on individual consumption and individual lifestyles, and it is the young men who need to take the initiative for their families.”
But changing how people understand food, their carbon footprint, and the lifespan of various products can’t involve force. Rather, he claims that it is more effective to “powerfully persuade them in a gentle, smart way.”
He said that the weekend at the Global Environmental Salon entailed a “small part of that broader effort.”
“We can talk about our problems, create policies and make laws, but it’s people’s day-to-day decisions that make things so complicated and require creative solutions.”
:: The National
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