An important vision of EEG is to bind together different sectors of the community to act as one, with a common goal of being good stewards of the environment. Thus, over the last 15 years, EEG has conducted the Clean UP UAE Campaign as a functional tool in promoting environmental protection campaigns nationally. EEG has utilised this concept strategically to create mass campaigns built on local practice, whilst targeting some of the local issues (water, waste and land pollution).

Emirates Environmental Group

Implemented in

  • Middle East
  • United Arab Emirates

Sectors of activity
Culture and recreation, Tourism, Waste, incl. Chemicals, Environmental Services, Education

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Start date
22/11/2017

Shared by

Habiba Al Marashi

Chairperson

Emirates Environmental Group

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Objectives

The main objectives of the Clean Up UAE Campaign are:
• To create awareness amongst the community about local environmental issues with special emphasis on waste management, waste reduction and recycling
• To educate the community on the importance of reducing the quantity of waste all over the country
• To link with the global environmental movement by promoting the principle of ‘thinking globally, acting locally’
• To instil a sense of responsibility towards environmental protection & preservation amongst the community particularly with the youth
• To involve various sectors of society like government, corporate, academic and domestic institutions, in an integrated national environmental initiative.
• To facilitate integrated partnerships for the cause of sustainable development in UAE and the region
• To cut across barriers of religion, nationality, age, gender and occupation
• To initiate a sustained, annual, national event that will provide experience in hands- on environmental action
• To make a blueprint for concerted environmental action that can be replicated elsewhere
Since its inception in 2002, the Campaign has achieved continuous growth, with strong support from supporting agencies and volunteers. Every year, EEG strives to conduct an event with increased size, productivity and enthusiasm, be it in the number of sites, number of participants, improved infrastructure, support systems and greater media interest.
The growth of this Campaign across the Emirates has been phenomenal over the years. As an example, the breakdown of participating volunteers across the years is as follows:
• 2002: 4,500 participants
• 2006: 16,700 participants
• 2010: 20,362 participants
• 2013: 112,000 participants
• 2016: 125,536 participants
Also, in terms of the waste collected over the years:
• 2004: 54,000 kilograms
• 2009: 87,000 kilograms
• 2011: 97, 469 kilograms
• 2016: 110,000 kilograms
Thus, the Clean Up UAE Campaign is a day that truly goes down in the history books of the UAE as one dedicated to volunteerism, environmentalism, team work, patriotism and selflessness. Participants of the Clean Up UAE Campaign are inculcated with a love for the environment, sense of responsibility and community involvement. Citizens that are exposed to this kind of environmental conscious behaviour are more open to adopting sustainable modes of production and consumption in the long run too.

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

As the Clean Up UAE Campaign is a volunteering activity, it is extremely heartening to see the unrelenting support from sponsors, participants and relevant Government agencies. The main aim of the Campaign is to enhance and protect the landscape. However, it has an added advantage of educating the public on how they can be environmentally friendly and responsible by just picking up a piece of paper on the road and putting it into a bin.
EEG has always been an ardent believer in the power of volunteerism and this is exactly what came alive on the most active volunteer day of the year. It was overwhelming to witness the determination of the common man as they left their homes early in the morning for a selfless cause.
Another huge impact of the Clean Up UAE campaign is that it is graced by volunteers from all walks of life – from high profile officials to CEOs, from laborers to municipality workers, and from families to individuals – who have the belief that they have the power make a difference. And what a difference they made – the 125,000-odd volunteers of the campaign were successful in creating history as they collected 110,000 tonnes of waste, which was then sent for recycling.
The Clean Up UAE Campaign is also a binding force as people from practically every nationality worked together as one for a common goal – to make the country they live in garbage–free and beautiful. These 125,000 volunteers were spread across beaches, roads and desert areas across the 7 Emirates.

Next steps and how to get involved

EEG has several plans in the pipeline to increase the impact of this Campaign. We would continue to invite private sector organisations and stakeholders to come on board through sponsorship and partnerships to further increase the clean and green spaces in the UAE. Despite having a huge participation of 125, 536 volunteers in 2016, we are looking for partners and sponsors who will play an active role with us in bringing together a more diverse group of participants in the UAE. We have initiated a couple of Clean Up campaigns in other Arab Countries i.e. Oman & Sudan. We are also confident that with the right partnership, we can further expand this campaign to other Arab countries that are looking to bring about a change in behaviour to their communities and populations while promoting active sustainability.