Sharjah youth say universities should highlight environmental issues

Youth Circle brainstorming in Sharjah urges universities to focus on issues such as global warming and sustainable growth.

Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and head of the Youth Council, places her pledge to help combat climate change on a tree made out of recycled material. She was attending a Youth Circle meeting in Sharjah. Reem Mohammed / The National
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SHARJAH // Emirati youth in Sharjah have called on universities to focus on climate change and preserving natural resources.

More attention in school curriculums and more programmes on the subject were discussed on Thursday at a Youth Circle event at Mleiha Archaeological Centre in Sharjah.

The session, titled Climate Change and Sustainability is Our Shared Responsibility, was aimed at highlighting youth’s role in achieving a sustainable future and combating climate change.

The Youth Circles are organised by the UAE Youth Council and allow young Emirati people to help address the challenges facing their country.

Preserving resources should start at home, participants said.

“We need to use eco-friendly cars, like hybrids,” said Ibrahim Al Shihi. “Also, we need to get more people into carpooling to help lower the number of cars on the roads in the country, which in turn lowers gas emissions and helps the environment.”

Collective efforts were also important, said Khaled bin Tamim.

“We need more volunteers to help with awareness campaigns,” he said. “When people see you do something that helps in preserving electricity or water, they might follow you and do the same, and that behaviour spreads in the community.”

Sara Al Mulla emphasised the need to have more university research on sustainability.

“It is very important to include sustainability and environmental issues in school curriculums, as well as courses in universities to raise the youth’s awareness,” she said.

“More research should be done as well at universities to be able to benefit and develop our country.”

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and head of the youth council, attended the session.

Ms Al Mazrui said youth’s role was vital in achieving the country’s goals.

“These sessions help in raising the awareness of the country’s youth and the communities on important topics like climate change and natural resources,” she said.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said youth were the most effective age group at communicating with the rest of society.

“We are also trying to encourage them to pledge their support in spreading awareness of these issues among their families, schools or university colleagues and through social media,” he said.

Finance student Reem Al Blushi said the information she learnt during the circle was important and needed to be spread in the community.

“This is the first time that I attend a youth circle,” the 21-year-old American University of Sharjah student said.

“I learnt little things that would help in sustaining our resources and help with reducing pollution.”​