Friday 24 March 2023 - 5:38:02 pm

Ma'an partners with EAD to discuss how social entrepreneurs can help protect Abu Dhabi’s environment

ABU DHABI, 27th January 2021 (WAM) - In partnership with Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an was joined by leading experts in the UAE to discuss the importance of Abu Dhabi’s environment and the significant roles social entrepreneurs can play in helping protect the Emirate’s wildlife and nature.

To mark the latest cycle of the ‘Ma’an Social Incubator’ (MSI), the ‘Join The Conversation’ virtual event saw leaders from EAD, Ma’an and other organisations focus on key topics that are affecting the environment and why sustainable products and social entrepreneurship may offer solutions to these challenges.

Among the topics that were highlighted during the panel discussion were how to minimise waste and single use plastics as well as promoting sustainable ecotourism within the emirate. It also saw the panellists engage on how a better environment can help boost the economic sectors and human health.

The session started in the presence of Salama Al Ameemi the Director General of Ma'an, Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri the Secretary General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), and leaders of the social sector, as well as Ahmed Al Hashmi, Acting Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity at EAD, Salem Mubarak Al Braiki. Director – Environment Quality Policy & Regulations, Engineer Abdulla Mohammed Al Remeithi, Environment Expert in the National Experts Program and Acting Director of Environment Policy and Planning at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Nour Mezher, Climate and Energy Project Manager, Emirates Nature WWF, who presented their supportive vision for environmental development.

The environment theme has been identified as a pressing social priority by the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development. According to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, a reported 13 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year while there are 9.8 million tonnes of solid waste found in the emirate.

Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: "I would like to thank our strategic partners at Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the panellists for taking the time to join me in the ‘Join The Conversation’ virtual discussion and highlight the importance of the environment and what it means to people and the whole of Abu Dhabi.

"Events like the ‘Join The Conversation’ is incredibly important as it brings key stakeholders together, providing an opportunity to listen to their expert opinions and views while also exploring ways of how social innovation can be the solution to addressing the challenges that are being faced today.

"As a government entity, we at Ma’an are excited to be working with our government colleagues at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, which has been playing a vital role in preserving our environment for many years. We both share the vision of creating a better tomorrow for Abu Dhabi and by taking a pro-active approach and working hand-in-hand, we strongly believe that social enterprises can make that positive difference on our environment and more importantly help make the city a much better place to work and live in."

"We see a big opportunity for budding and aspiring social entrepreneurs to step forward and be part of the Ma’an Social Incubator so they can create innovative products or services that will help protect our beautiful nature and shape the future of Abu Dhabi. This is why I encourage social entrepreneurs who have a sustainable idea that can be turned into a product or service to register for the Social Incubator and be part of a unique experience that can make a difference."

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD's Secretary General said: "It is an honour for us at EAD to collaborate with the Authority of Social Contribution - Ma’an, who have demonstrated remarkable social work, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ma’an continue to be a beacon of hope for all types of social entrepreneurship projects. They are an organisation who are at the forefront of progress within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, having chosen the environment to be the main topic of the latest cycle of the ‘Ma’an Social Incubator and Accelerator’ (MSIA), ‘Join The Conversation’ virtual event. We are incredibly proud to be a part of such an important event. The topics which have been selected for the event are extremely relevant and our team will be sharing their expertise and knowledge on single use plastic, waste management and conserving biodiversity and eco-tourism as part of this significant panel.

We are all committed to the conservation of the environment in Abu Dhabi, and this partnership embodies this commitment as we all strive to ensure that everyone in the emirate can inhabit within a city which values sustainability and a healthy environment for all. For this to be achieved it is vital that government, non-government organisations, the private sector and all types of entrepreneurs join forces towards the common goal of conserving our natural resources and creating a community that is dedicated to environmental preservation. With more social entrepreneurs signing up for the ‘Ma’an Social Incubator and Accelerator’ and pioneering innovative ideas and solutions to help create a sustainable future, whilst placing the environment at the top of their agendas, I am confident that Abu Dhabi can be one of the best cities for anyone living in the emirate. Teaming up with Ma’an is just the beginning of a long line of projects and initiatives that we plan to undertake in the future."

The ‘Join the Conversation’ virtual panel was created by Ma’an as part of a regular series of initiatives to bring together stakeholders from across the public, private and third sector to advance the agenda of creating collaborative communities.

The MSIA is a combined programme that offers budding social entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need in order to grow and thrive. It helps encourage innovation and develop solutions to address social, cultural or environmental challenges while the Accelerator also elevates the impact of established social enterprises by supporting their efforts to scale their operations both locally and regionally.

The shortlisted teams will be offered seed funding and a stipend, learning and development workshops, mentorship session, as well as networking opportunities, as they develop their innovative and original solutions into strong business ventures.

WAM/Hassan Bashir/Hazem Hussein