UAE: Students' forum places youth at centre of global climate change

Dubai schools host Scope 2022 to challenge young people to find solutions linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal


A Staff Reporter

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Students participate in a sustainable fashion show held as part of Scope 2022. — Supplied photo
Students participate in a sustainable fashion show held as part of Scope 2022. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 8:12 PM

Coinciding with the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop27), the third edition of the School Conference of Parties Exposition (Scope) was recently held at two Dubai schools.

GEMS Legacy School and GEMS World Academy hosted the first-of-its-kind forum for student voice and action against climate change.

Scope was launched in 2020 and this year it was held both virtually as well as in person for around 380 students from 22 schools spread across the UAE and overseas.

Providing a collaborative space for students of all ages to learn from each other as they exchange ideas and opinions, Scope was aimed at challenging young people to find solutions linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s event engaged students in wide-ranging inclusive, collaborative activities, from sustainable diet and fashion, design and innovation, to climate change research, speech writing and delivery, storytelling and more.

Hana Mohamed Suneer, GEMS global student ambassador and a Grade 6 student at GEMS Legacy School, said about the programme: “It’s an opportunity, an impact, a tribute, a journey, a goal. A forum to exchange problems and solutions. A platform for climate change mitigation. A chance to leave a positive impact on people and nature. To me, Scope 2022 was not just an exposition, it was a revolution.”

Andre Cherian, a Year 11 student at GEMS Winchester School – Dubai, said: “Scope 2022 was an eye-opening and astonishing event to say the least. A multitude of schools are taking part in the conference, tackling some of the biggest crises facing today’s world. I participated in Markup, a competition in which students pitched their innovative business idea to a team of eager investors. Climate change and sustainability were the main focal points – the core issues that must be addressed in the modern era to cope and ultimately sustain life for future generations. Scope is an opportunity for young minds to showcase their creativity, innovation and passion for sustainable development. I gained a lot of knowledge, skills and the drive for learning, thanks to my incredible experience at Scope.”

Sahila Yaqoob, a Grade 8 student who attended the event remotely from her school, DPS Budgam in India, said: “Change your deeds, or else nature will force you to change. Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Scope 2022 was a wonderful platform to showcase our talent and spread awareness of how to save Mother Earth. We were delighted to be a part of Scope 2022 and share ideas on what nations must do to move toward a sustainable future.”

Asha Alexander, executive leader – climate change for GEMS Education and Principal of GEMS Legacy School, which was the first school in the world to have its entire faculty become UN-certified Climate Change Teachers, said: “As Cop27 draws to a close, GEMS Education raises the curtains on how education and youth can help change the narrative for effective climate action. Scope and the GEMS Global Ambassadors programme serve to bring school students together to discuss and debate climate action. They are springboards for young people to act in response to the urgent and dramatic challenges that the planet faces. Initiatives such as Scope, as well as efforts to embed climate literacy in schools, aim to bring about the personal and societal transformation that is necessary to change the course of climate adversity.”

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