The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, to launch a joint initiative to cultivate local plants to offset the Games’ carbon footprint.
His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and His Excellency Mohamad Abdullah Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, inked the agreement at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Under the agreement, MOCCAE and the Higher Committee are mandated to cooperate in planting local trees to offset the carbon emissions from the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. In addition to boosting cooperation between the two entities with regard to sharing best practices and applications to calculate the carbon emissions, the agreement also raises awareness of sound environmental behaviors to sustain ecosystems and mitigate climate change impacts.
Speaking on the agreement, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “The MoU aligns with the Ministry’s drive to slash carbon emissions through enabling local plants to absorb them and offset their adverse effects. In addition to lowering the carbon footprint, such efforts bring a wealth of benefits. These include increasing the green cover in the UAE, preserving biodiversity, and protecting and restoring the natural habitats of local plants.”
He added: “We are happy to team up with the Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 to ensure the much-anticipated event is eco-friendly and leaves minimal human impact.”
For his part, His Excellency Al Junaibi said: “The upcoming edition of the Special Olympics World Games is a significant one for the UAE and the wider MENA region, as it represents the first-ever edition to be hosted here. An inclusive humanitarian endeavour that encourages people of determination to compete and do their best, the games represent a triumph of the human spirit. We are truly honored to host the event in Abu Dhabi as the UAE celebrates its Year of Tolerance.”
He added: “Given its scope and scale, it is crucial to ensure that the Games set an example, and the carbon emissions from activities associated with it are offset to add more value to the landmark event. In addition to minimizing the environmental impact of the Games, the trees will help the people of determination feel restful, stress-free and promote their overall well-being. We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to meet this priority.”
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi is set to welcome more than 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 190 countries to compete in 24 officially-sanctioned sports at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 from March 14 to 21 in world-class venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.