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UAE students discuss UN eco-development goals
BY IMRAN MOJIB January 20, 2016
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DUBAI: More than 250 students and staff from seven schools from across the UAE participated in “Beyond COP21 Symposium,” hosted by The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai. This was the first such meeting hosted by a Dubai school after the historical Conference of Parties – COP21, held in Paris in December 2015.

“Beyond COP 21” is a series of symposiums to be held across the world. Starting at The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai, the last symposium of the series will be held in Marrakech in November 2016, coinciding with COP 22. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is expected to take place from Nov.7-18, 2016, in Marrakech, the biggest tourism centre in Morocco.

The “Beyond COP 21” is spearheaded by Peter Milne, Founder-Director of Target4Green Educational Consultancy and Training Ltd.

Students from GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai; GEMS Winchester School, Dubai; The Indian High School, Dubai; The Westminster School, Dubai; The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai; Our Own English High School, Sharjah (Girls); and Delhi Private School, Sharjah; discussed a number of questions.

The students were asked to opine on the most important questions currently being discussed at every meeting of environmentalists – “What next after COP21 Paris, where the leaders and governments of the world finally reached a universal agreement stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to avoid climate change?  How do we continue to take responsibility and action to set the planet onto a more sustainable path for our own future and for generations to come?”

The students reflected in groups and wrote down their pledges to create a sustainable future. Students and staff collaboratively engaged in hands-on activities, group discussions, mind mapping, recycled art, environmental debates,  role plays and group presentations with a view to deepen their understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Several eminent environmentalists and speakers including Director General of EWS-WW Ida Tillish, Marketing Director of Values Added Nicolas Delaunay, and Goumbook’s Titiana Antonelli Abela also addressed and interacted with students giving insights into the environmental awareness initiatives, both locally and globally.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, principal of the host school Asha Alexander posed the burning question, “Whom do we need to protect this earth from?”

She reiterated that The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai, will continue to develop connections between educational communities, children and families across continents around common shared purposes of building a sustainable future on our planet.

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