World Environment Day 2014

Gouna, Egypt – This June, AGEDI attended the International World Environment Day (WED) in Gouna, Egypt, an event sponsored by the Ministry of Environmental Affairs. Dr. Laila Iskendar, Minister of Environment, and Mr. Amro Al Samak, Executive Director for Environmental Affairs were among the guests that participated in the event.

This event was held right after the Arab Environmental Ministers meetings on 14-15 June which was attended by Arab Ministers, Ambassadors as well as Diplomats from around the world.

The city of Gouna was chosen as the place to celebrate this two-day event because of its reputation for being an extremely environmental friendly city, thus the perfect backdrop for world leaders and organizations to meet and support environmental sustainability.

The central theme of World Environment Day 2014 was climate change; the event included an exhibition on environmental investment, where organizations had the ability to share information on sustainable development and environmental protection. Amongst the technology showcased was green technology to promote cleaner environments, the latest solar energy expertise and equipment, as well as the promotion of a green economy for future generations to come.

AGEDI’s attendance to WED was very successful and fruitful. In this event dedicated to increased knowledge on environmental protection and finding ways to improve policy making towards a sustainable future, AGEDI continued its efforts in promoting data sharing across regional networks such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. AGEDI looks forward to working closely with global leaders and local communities towards addressing climate change issues, achieving environmental sustainability, increasing awareness and responsibility, and ultimately building a better future for the people of the globe.

New Solutions for Strengthening Environmental Education

Environmental education experts from 16 countries met in Bahrain this week to map out strategies and transformative actions for new solutions for strengthening environmental education across the governmental and non-governmental sectors with a particular focus on the challenge of enhancing access to economic, environmental and social data and information, as called for in the Rio+20 outcome statement The Future We Want.

The meeting was convened under the auspices of the Eye on Earth process, advancing and expanding the outcomes from the Eye on Earth Summit convened in Abu Dhabi, UAE in December 2011 .Hosted by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and facilitated by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) the inaugural event concluded with the endorsement of the Eye on Earth Summit Declaration by 16 government delegations and eight
Special Initiatives; aimed at facilitating access to data and information across the three pillars of sustainable development.

One of these initiatives is called Eye on Environmental Educationand its aim is to enhance education and capacity build ing through access and use of data and information that will lead to transformative actions for environmental sustainability.
Under the Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative, initial funding support has been mobilized for the Global Partnership on Environment and Sust ainability (GUPES)-UNEP’s flagship programme on environmental education in support of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-14.

In his opening address, UNEP’s Regional Director for West Asia, Dr Iyad Abumoghli, underscored the im portance of education in supporting societal transformation towards a green economy. The Rio+20 Summit of 2012 also highlighted the important role of education for environmental sustainability.
The Bahrainmulti-stakeholder consultation shared best practices, knowledge and experience among various institutions from the Arab region and other regions around the world. The meeting identified a number of priority areas that should be addressed in order to promote greater understanding and awareness of environmental issues in the context of sustainable development.
Three key areas were identified.

Firstly, an acute need for more capacity building is to be focused on a number of target groups including governments, the academic & research community and the media , so that environmental education is mainstreamed into their activities. Secondly, a call was made for a global platform with regional components to develop and share environmental education resources online; catalyse collaboration among practitioners; and intensify institutional networking.

Thirdly, collaboration among experts and centres of excellence is needed in order toproduce and deliver the right educational products and services to clients across the various stakeholder groups.

The assembled experts also proposed a number of innovative projects under the Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative, within the framework of GUPES. For example, the idea of an Arab Region environmental education network was proposed. Within the third level academic community, there is a clear need for a focus on environmental sustainability aimed at both the student population and the management of universities and colleges. In addition, basic training on environmental sustainability is also needs to be mainstreamed at the primary and secondary education levels.

Another area for further development included a toolkit for greening of universities, whereby tertiary institutions are invited to consider the challenge of “walking the talk” by serving as living examples of sustainability which ultimately will bring economic benefits. Although there are some shining examples of the sustainable or ‘green campus’, such as Masdar Institute in UAE and Tongji University in China, much work remains to be done on a global scale , in particular in the Arab region, as a result, such an initiative was identified as a promising project that UNEP could take forward in the Arab region.
Interested universities and colleges are invited to contact UNEP ( on this matter.



EAD joins National Geographic to help promote The Great Nature Project

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has joined the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organisation, National Geographic, to help promote The Great Nature Project, an ambitious initiative designed to inspire biodiversity conservation efforts among the public, globally and across the UAE. EAD will champion the project in the UAE, and along with AGEDI and the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, will consolidate efforts to drive awareness on the project through their collective local, regional and international networks.

EAD and UNEP sign Eye on Earth Secretariat Agreement

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), through AGEDI, took forward their cooperation by signing a landmark agreement to establish the joint ‘Eye on Earth’ Secretariat. The Secretariat will oversee the implementation of the eight Special Initiatives and commitments of the Eye on Earth Summit held in Abu Dhabi last December.

Eye on Earth Summit 2011

Through AGEDI, the Government of Abu Dhabi organised the inaugural global summit devoted to the issue of greater access to environmental and societal information. Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi hosted the Eye on Earth Summit on December 12-15, 2011 in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme.