Lisa Durante: UAE Could Teach The USA About Sustainability

lisa-durante-uaeItalian expatriate and Managing Editor, Lisa Durante’s new book is designed to inspire the UAE to lead a “greener” life.

Certain sectors of the United Arab Emirates are savvy about organic agriculture and the environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet. But judging by the ubiquity of mega-malls and towers, not all. Former development journalist and Italian expatriate, Lisa Durante hopes to inspire even more people with her new book. The perfect coffee table book called CleanUAE, it is not a scientific journal but an easy-to- understand source of inspiring material.

Inspired by the American example – at least some of the American example – Durante hopes to steer UAE emirates toward consumer choices that are based on business merits.

Managing Group Editor for GVP Media, the book’s publishers, Durante claimed that researched posed among the project’s greatest challenges. In addition to providing tips on how to reduce waste and overall carbon footprint, CleanUAE also lists various businesses.

Businesses are essentially rated for their sustainability, but not all businesses were willing to participate. Durante called the end product “a coalition of the living.”

Creating greater transparency, in her view, is one essential ingredient that will lead to a cleaner UAE.

To be be fair, Abu Dhabi has launched numerous initiatives to reduce its energy and water use, and to upscale its overall environmental image in order to become competitive as a cosmopolitan city.

In Durante’s view, unlike the US which is crippled by a deficit in the trillions, the UAE has the requisite resources to clean up its act. All it needs is a certain amount of political awareness and will.

While the original effort may be incomplete given some lack of cooperation, it is possible that if the book gains wide readership, consumers will begin to demand disclosure from businesses. When that transpires, corporations, farms, manufacturers, restaurants – everyone – will be pressured to demonstrate a strong sustainability follow-through.

In the end, Durante told The National, the UAE may even be able to teach the other half of the USA a thing or two about sustainable living.

:: story and image via The National

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