DUBAI, UAE: The Emirates Environmental Group’s (EEG) 13th edition of the Environmental Drawing Competition was a huge success, as more than 162,000 students, 566 schools and 106 student members of the EEG took part. EEG organised a special and standalone awarding ceremony for the 2nd year in a row, on May 19 to unveil and celebrate the winners of this year’s competition at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. In EEG’s continuous effort to minimise the environmental impact of its activities, 1.17 metric tonnes of C02 emissions produced as a result of the competition were offset, by making a sustainable contribution to voluntary climate protection, in collaboration with EEG’s devoted corporate member, Farnek.
The annual competition aims to foster creativity of the young generation and maximise awareness on sustainability issues, guiding the students towards developing a sense of care and respect for the environment through form of art.
Welcoming the students, teachers, press and guests from the government and private sector to the ceremony, Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, EEG Chairperson highlighted on the achievements of the competition, proudly noting: “This year saw the successful integration and representation of UN SGD Goal No: 5, 7, 11, 13 and 15, which touched upon topics such as Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action and Life on Land respectively. The 2019 cycle of the competition also witnessed the highest ever participation rate from schools, since inception of the programme. A total of 566 schools participated and over 162,200 students including 106 student members of the EEG were onboard.”
Art as a form of expression allowed the students, from both regular and determined schools in all of the seven Emirates, to create a lasting and powerful impact, moving the viewers and fostering environmental action. The Awarding Ceremony commended the talented young artists and exhibited the 41 winning entries with strong environmental messages, creating a bright and colourful scene. Each of the marvellous drawings held a unique perception of the current environmental challenges and demonstrated hope, which the youth holds for a sustainable future.
The judging of the competition was conducted by a panel of professional artists, led by the famous Emirati artist Dr Najat Makki, who has been the forefront of the Emirati art scene for nearly 40 years. “The environmental drawing competition is of great importance as it focuses on the students of schools of different nationalities, highlighting the effective relationship between them and the environment. It also showcases the interest of the officials in the UAE and the mission of the Emirates Environment Group in their endeavor to engage and educate the community by creating these platforms for participation, dialogue and expression for the next generation. It is built on a system that encourages individuals to contribute towards the problems affecting our planet” – Dr Najat Makki.
This year the competition included three wide-ranging and powerful themes, which were orchestrated in line with the most current environmental issues and developments. “One World, One Family” was developed in strong correlation with the UAE’s Year of Tolerance national mandate,encouraging the students, between the age of 12 and 16 years, to understand the importance of a tolerant society and culture. As World Environment Day approaches, EEG further contributed to the #BeatAirPollution movement through the topic of “Green UAE”, for students between 9 and 11 years, which encouraged them to visualise and paint a picture for a greener and cleaner UAE that they would like to live in. The youngest participants of the competition, between the age of 6 and 8years, presented entries under the topic of “Kindness to Animals”, as an NGO accredited to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this topic was chosen to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the species in the animal kingdom which are currently facing huge pressures on their existence due to anthropogenic activities. PR