Children of all ages can now enjoy learning about how to conserve the environment through a fun packed experience at Kidzania, in collaboration with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). Aligned with EAD’s outreach goals of spreading awareness in the community, this new and exciting project aims to educate children on how to preserve and be pro-active in caring for the environment.
As part of EAD’s mandate for creating a sustainable future for all, especially for future generations, this important partnership will ensure children from a young age learn about the importance of the environment. It will also carry forward the legacy of EAD, which was inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed who placed significant value on conservation and preservation of all types of species and air, water and land.
We are always on the lookout for innovative and creative ways to educate children about the environment, and this partnership with Kidzania is exactly what we aspire to do. Through a hands-on and pro-active approach that engages children and provides them with the opportunity to both learn and share their knowledgeKhansa Al Blouki, Director, Environmental Outreach at EAD
At a dedicated EAD area at the Kidzania play area, children are encouraged to act as volunteers and environmental ambassadors and help educate visitors about the environment. To achieve this, children will be provided with fun training sessions where they are able to view the map of Abu Dhabi and learn about the emirate’s different species and challenges, they face. As part of the partnership children will also learn how to create a social awareness campaign and devise a slogan to encourage people to act towards saving the planet. The children will then relay the information gathered and encourage other children to make a pledge towards saving the environment by gathering other signatures.
The EAD area at Kidzania will be decorated with colourful signs with easy tips for children to study and follow, to help them contribute to environmental conservation and facilitate the learning process. As part of the educational journey, the area will also be filled with appropriate props such as solar panels, LED lighting, wind turbines, books and sustainable scale electric vehicles.
Khansa Al Blouki, Director, Environmental Outreach at EAD said, “We are always on the lookout for innovative and creative ways to educate children about the environment, and this partnership with Kidzania is exactly what we aspire to do. Through a hands-on and pro-active approach that engages children and provides them with the opportunity to both learn and share their knowledge, we are helping prepare the future generations to understand the significance of the environment. If they can take small but useful steps, such as reducing the use of plastic, turning the water faucet off while brushing their teeth, switching off the lights when leaving a room, it will highlight to them how much these activities matter and contribute towards saving the planet. These are the types of tips they can learn at Kidzania, among other things.”
Al Blouki added: “Through role playing, where children take on the part of a volunteer at the EAD area and educate other children, we are helping nurture leadership skills which are vital to the rising generation of youth who can be outspoken about the importance of the environment.”
This is not the first time EAD has focused on youth. Since its establishment more than 25 years ago, EAD is continuously striving to create a better and more sustainable future for all by engaging the upcoming generations as part of its ongoing mission. This is because EAD is aware that youth are the true stakeholders of the future of the UAE, with the power to make a real difference. From humble beginnings with the ‘Nature Bus’ in 1998, today EAD provides environmental education programmes in over 85% of Abu Dhabi’s government and private schools.
It’s Sustainable Schools Initiative, a partnership between EAD and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and sponsored by BP, and the Sustainable Campus Initiative, sponsored by Borouge, are award winning programmes that aim to engage students as agents for environmental change. Both initiatives have also been recognised by the UN as ‘best practice programmes.’ Through the programmes, students are encouraged to assess and address their own ecological footprint, with over 150 schools and 22 colleges and universities taking part within the UAE.