Look: 400 residents to volunteer to preserve nature, biodiversity in UAE

The series of initiatives, which will run until November, seeks to empower the youth to maximise their impact and build a world where people and nature thrive


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sun 21 May 2023, 4:24 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 May 2023, 9:07 PM

A new partnership between Emirates Foundation and Emirates Nature-WWF will see around 400 Takatof volunteers participate in a series of environmental volunteering initiatives to preserve the UAE’s nature and biodiversity.

Through this collaboration, volunteers of the Emirates Foundation’s Takatof programme will participate in conservation and citizen science activities, as a part of Emirates Nature-WWF’s larger Leaders of Change programme, which will expand their knowledge of the UAE’s rich biodiversity and nurture a passion for nature.

The partnership seeks to empower community members and youth to maximise their impact and build a world where people and nature thrive. The series of initiatives, running till November, will offer citizens and expats opportunities to volunteer for important social causes.

“It has never been more important for individuals and the community to do their part when it comes to protecting the UAE’s precious environment. Each project will have incredibly important effects and drive significant changes towards a more sustainable future,” Ahmed Taleb Al Shamsi, CEO, Emirates Foundation, said.

Each activity also contributes to national efforts of preserving nature and addressing climate change in the Year of Sustainability and on the road to COP28 UAE.

“Following the UAE President’s announcement of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, we hope that the Takatof volunteers will be an inspiration to others and show that each person’s effort truly counts when it comes to protecting the planet,” Al Shamsi noted.

The UAE’s pioneering civil mobilisation movement, Leaders of Change, activates volunteers to create change on the ground through training, ideation sessions and exciting volunteering excursions. By engaging volunteers around nature and creating opportunities to discover wild spaces and wildlife, the programme aims to change internal mindsets across the country, empower individuals to create and implement solutions, and make a transformative impact for people and the planet.

“An active civil society, in which every individual is empowered to make a measurable impact for nature and conservation, is the route to a green sustainable future for all,” Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General at Emirates Nature-WWF, underlined.

“We are excited to partner with Emirates Foundation’s Takatof Programme to inspire more people in the UAE to volunteer for nature, in nature. Through our Leaders of Change conservation activities and field trips, volunteers will discover [the] UAE’s rich natural heritage and experience the science behind conservation efforts, while also making a meaningful impact for people and the planet,” she added.

Upcoming volunteering opportunities include:

  • ‘Kayak for Conservation’ on September 17 in Reem Central Park, Abu Dhabi. On this guided kayak tour, volunteers will learn about mangrove ecosystems, collect and remove litter, and geo-tag data around the litter to inform national policies on single-use plastic.
  • ‘Protect our Pollinators’ on October 22 in Wadi Naqab, Ras Al Khaimah. Native plants and insects like bees and butterflies are vital to the health and functioning of ecosystems. As part of this activity, volunteers will restore pollinator habitats and plant wildflowers and plants to create safe havens for these important insects.
  • ‘Litter Spotter’ on November 18 in Qidfa, Fujairah. Volunteers work towards achieving the goal of #noplasticinnature by recording and geo-tagging litter found in natural spaces and safely disposing of it.
  • To join the Leaders of Change community, individuals and families can sign up for the annual membership programme at www.leadersofchange.ae. To become a volunteer, check www.emiratesfoundation.ae for opportunities.


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