In line with the UAE Year of Sustainability and under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has launched a series of academic and community initiatives in the lead up to the UAE COP28 climate conference and beyond.

These initiatives have been organised in collaboration with ADU’s strategic partners and with the support of its students and faculty members. The aim of these initiatives is to promote sustainability awareness, address environmental concerns, and develop procedures for conserving natural resources and wildlife.

ADU collaborates with environmental organisations to develop and implement effective solutions for environmental challenges, aligning with the UAE's climate action strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions while adhering to international best practices.

Dr Ali Saeed bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of ADU, said that over the past 20 years, ADU has dedicated its efforts to protecting the environment and shaping the future of climate action. In line with its commitment, the university has launched several academic programmes to equip its students and prepare them to excel in environmental and sustainability work. Additionally, ADU has employed expert faculty members and researchers to actively engage the community in fostering awareness and understanding in the environmental field.

These programmes include ADU’s certified programme titled COP28 Ready: Leading the Way to Sustainability, which is taking place throughout the month of November. The programme is open to high school and undergraduate university students and aims to enhance their knowledge and provide them with the necessary tools to understand and embrace several aspects of sustainability, including employment in the green sector, COP28 and more.

Additionally, under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, ADU will host the International Conference on Advancing Sustainable Futures (ICASF 2023), which will take place from 5 to 6 December 2023 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, Dubai. The conference will run in parallel with several workshops and sessions that will delve into sustainability related topics.

ADU is also participating in the 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY18). During the conference, Professor Sherin Farouk, Associate Provost for Academic Projects and Head of the Sustainability Club at ADU, will present a session titled Sustainable Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Management Practices on 27 November 2023 at Expo City, Dubai. Additionally, Sven Ivak, a student from ADU's College of Engineering, will participate in the conference for his outstanding contributions to addressing climate change.

Lastly, ADU has introduced a certificate for professional development in the field of sustainability titled Professional Certificate to Empower Teachers for Sustainable Learning, which is starting during November 2023. This certificate programme includes four sessions designed to equip school principals and educational leaders with the knowledge and tools required to lead their schools toward a sustainable future.

Dr Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri said that ADU is honoured to be part of the Universities Climate Network (UCN), which includes universities and higher education institutions in the UAE working together to drive engagement among youth and academia in the lead up to COP28.

Along with COP28, several faculty and researchers at the university have submitted research proposals to the Green Education Centre, with the aim of strengthening the educational sector’s capacity to effectively respond to environmental crises.

In line with ADU’s commitment to advancing sustainability research, faculty members and researchers at the university have made significant contributions by publishing several research papers in prestigious international journals, which were presented at international conferences.