Last month, The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, met to discuss preparations for the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will be held in Dubai in November later this year.
Both leaders were wearing a distinct green bracelet – the official wristband of the COP28 conference. At first glance, the bracelets showcase a unique and innovative design, which comprises of a set of symbols that are used in the COP28 logo to reflect the relationship between man, nature, technology, and innovation. However, it is when you look beyond the surface that you realise that there is so much more to these bracelets than what meets the eye.
In keeping with the conference’s objectives to protect the environment, promote sustainable practices, enable climate action, and preserve natural resources for future generations, the bracelets are made entirely out of sustainable materials that can be recycled. In addition, the design itself creatively embodies the UAE’s commitment, and the outstanding progress that the nation has made in environmental sustainability and climate protection at the regional and global level over the years.
This is not the first time that a bracelet has been launched in the run up to an important global event that is happening in the UAE. Preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai saw the launch of the Expo 2020 Dubai wristbands in green, blue, and orange, with each colour representing the show’s themes of sustainability, mobility, and opportunity. As preparations for the show commenced, it was not uncommon to see officials and the heads of state of the participating countries sporting the wristbands to mark their involvement, as well as their dedication to Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
While wristbands that are specifically designed for a global event have now become the norm, there has also been a surge in the popularity of bracelets that are worn as accessories – especially if those accessories signify the wearer’s commitment to a cause. 4ocean, an ocean clean-up company, for example, is on a mission to recover millions of pounds of plastics from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines. The company then uses the recycled plastics from their clean-up operations to create bracelets which are listed for sale; each bracelet purchased will result in one pound of plastic waste and other man-made debris, such as old fishing nets, being pulled from the ocean. Initiatives such as these are increasingly popular with the new generation of eco-conscious consumers, who are calling for more action to be taken in order to protect our natural environment.
In the UAE, for example, a recent poll found that 61 per cent of residents believe that climate change is real and that human activity is its leading cause. The survey also revealed that 55 per cent of residents felt that the future is still in their hands and that climate disruption and pollution can be controlled. Such sentiments are in line with a global movement towards a more sustainable way of living, and will be a central focus when the UAE opens its doors to welcome the world for the 28th session of the Conference of Parties in November. Not only is the event slated to be a COP for All, but it is also going to be a COP of Action that will unite countries around the world to rally together as one against climate change – and it will all be symbolised in a unique green bracelet that reminds attendees of the impact of their lifestyles on our world.
The writer is chief sustainability officer at BEEAH Group.
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