Annual Gala Dinner was held under the patronage of Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qassimi; 48 entities honoured at the event attended by diplomats
Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), the first-of-it-kind environmental NGO in the UAE, hosted an Annual Corporate Gala under the patronage of HE Eng. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Civil Aviation Department, and in the presence of Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, Minister of State for Food Security, as the guest of honour, at Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort on March 4.
The 23rd annual event attended by 200 entities and VIP guests, comprising ambassadors, consul generals, high profile government officials, EEG members, partners and sponsors marked the 30th Anniversary of EEG under the theme ‘Beyond 30 Years: Going to the Next 30’.
As many as 48 organisations, from both public and private sector, received the awards in the ceremony held with the support of our Sepcial Sponsor Wasl Properties, Gold Sponsor McDonalds, Silver Sonsor Chaloub, and Sustainability partner Arabia CSR Network.
Mariam bint Mohammed Al Mehairi, who delivered the keynote address at the Gala Dinner, said, “It’s amazing to know 30 years have passed with such achievements, and I salute EEG and Habiba Al Mar’ashi for their wonderful job. I look forward to their next 30 years with optimism.
“Now, when we look ahead of next 30 years, we have several hot topics like climate change, coronavirus, migration of people, but also of food, especially food security, which I am responsible for. Two years ago, the leadership of UAE has made food security as a national priority.
“But, food security is not just a government’s or private sector’s responsibility. It is a responsibility of all of us. Therefore, it’s very important for us, the food security office, to implement the National Food Security Strategy. I am proud to say, at the Global Food Security Index we were 31 a year ago, and now we are at 21.”
In her concluding remarks, the minister said she would like to work together with EEG and so keen about the upcoming Food Challenge ceremony.
Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of EEG, who welcomed the guests in the evening, said, “Thirty years is a long time by any measure. What brought us here is your support for us, and our belief in a greener and sustainable future. EEG would not be a force to reckon with, but for the countless members, partners and associates that had an unshakeable faith in our mission and our capacity to deliver on our objectives and goals. I thank you all for standing with us, now and for the past three decades.”
She added, “EEG is the first civil society organisation in the UAE to bring household and corporate waste recycling to your doorstep by offering year-round free pick up of collected wastes. Starting with Aluminium Cans, EEG targeted one waste stream after another. Today we have recycling programmes for Aluminium Cans, paper, plastic, glass, toner cartridges, mobile phones and accessories and batteries.”
Mrs. Habiba, also the group’s chairperson, revealed during her speech that EEG’s ‘Clean Up UAE Campaign,’ since its inception in 2002, was able to collect 1,514,953 tonnes of waste. As many as 782,562 people have taken part in this campaign. She said: “I have no hesitation in saying that no one else offers this type of nationwide community action platform like us. We are also the second globally, and the first in the Arab World to do so.”
She highlighted the annual educational programmes for students in her speech. She explained that the group is the first to organise successful large-scale annual educational environmental campaigns nationwide.
EEG set the theme of this year’s Corporate Gala Dinner in line with the declaration of His Highnesses Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, to mark 2020 as the Year of preparations for the Next 50 Years, and for the country’s Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2021, in participation with all segments of the UAE society.
In demonstrating EEG’s deep commitment with regards to practising the values it advocates, the Gala Dinner was conducted as a Carbon Neutral Event which has made a sustainable contribution to CER credits by offsetting 2.60 tonnes of CO2 Emissions, which is equivalent to 2.60 Credits as certified by our sustainability partner Farnek, Total Facilities management.
The Annual Gala Dinner is an occasion for EEG to host its members, partners and sponsors as a way of acknowledging the commitment and support of every entity that are part of its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and ensure a greener and sustainable future for UAE. The annual event is also an occasion to celebrate achievements of the previous year, and honour outstanding contributions of entities and individuals associated with EEG’s strive for a sustainable, but greener UAE.