‘Stop harming ecology
to prevent disaster’

DUBAI - We could save ourselves from a major disaster if we stop damaging the environment, said Dr Abdulaziz bin Ali bin Rashed Al Nuaimi, also known as the ‘Green Shaikh’.

By Farhana Chowdhury

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Published: Wed 24 Nov 2010, 9:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:08 PM

He was speaking before the screening of documentary Chernobyl: A Natural History, at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sunday.

The screening, hosted under ‘Documentary Voices: Pulling Focus’, showed scientists’ discoveries on the flourishing biodiversity at the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents.

“We are usually one-sided to these issues; we watch but do not do something about it. We witness and waste but we do not do anything about it. We should prevent ourselves from self-destruction. If we damage the environment, flora and fauna, it will indirectly affect us human beings and put us in danger,” said Dr Abdulaziz bin Ali bin Rashed Al Nuaimi, also known as the ‘Green Shaikh’, referring to the UAE’s current environmental issues.

Dr Abdulaziz emphasised that more should be done to show just how much we, as residents, affect the environment and insisted that knowledge be shared, not in a criticising form but in a way that makes the community understand and motivate them to dotheir part to help keep the problem in check.

“The UAE is a country where we (residents) possess and consume more than we need, and we take things forgranted,” said Mahshid Zamani, managing director of ‘Documentary Voices’.

“Our resources are limited, yet we take them for granted. A small action can make a big impact. Cinema is a powerful form of media these days. Look at how Hollywood has changed culture. Documentaries are even more powerful because they are factual,” said Zamani.

Matthias Gelber, self-named ‘green all-rounder’, said the UAE residents should think about their children’s future at all times.

“People here love big cars but those are very inefficient vehicles because they use a lot of fuel to run and emit a high dose of fumes. Switch to public transport instead and consider walking whenever you can. We need to strategically think of ways to preserve our environment. We can afford to pay our electricity and water bills but we can’t afford to buy back their (children’s) future,” he said.

He suggested that the government could consider offering incentives to residents — local and expats alike — for conserving water and electricity. Also, increased awareness through various forms can help raise concerns.


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