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UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment Inaugurates MDX Dubai’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Festival

19/04/2017

50 students launch campaigns for social good and giving

Dubai, UAE, 19 April 2017: Students at the Middlesex University Dubai today celebrated social causes in a special festival inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s Year of Giving. The festival took place on Middlesex’s Dubai Knowledge Park campus today and was inaugurated by Hussain Hassan Mohamed Khansaheb Director, International Cooperation Department, UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, in the presence of Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, founder of Beacon of Hope UAE.

During the spectacle, eleven teams of students used a range of campaigning strategies and communications platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat, to raise awareness of issues such as sustainable tourism, volunteering, health and welfare and more. Through their efforts these students aim to start a larger conversation on what can be done to ensure prosperity for all.

The SDG Festival kicked off with the playing of the UAE national anthem and the unveiling of a special sustainability ‘fresco’, designed by the students to promote sustainable consumption. It concluded with a sustainable spelling bee and a Beacon of Hope UAE speed-building competition, supporting the social enterprise founded by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. Sheikha Shamma thanked the students for their dedicated volunteerism to Beacon of Hope UAE and said “knowing that the inspiration of this event originated from Beacon of Hope UAE humbles me to realized the impact that this initiative has had on these young minds. I am very impressed by the innovative communication campaigns that the students created to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. When education is linked to projects like today’s festival it makes learning all that more engaging.”

Hussain Hassan Mohamed Khansaheb, Director, International Cooperation Department, UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, said: “The UAE has been a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the inception of the idea.  Our domestic work is underway to achieve SDGs by aligning global goals and targets with the UAE’s policies, strategies and key performance indicators.”

“Innovation and creativity are the fundamental pillars of sustainable and nontraditional solutions adopted by the UAE in its journey towards sustainability and decreasing the effects of climate change and adapting to it. UAE youth could play an important role in terms of putting forward ideas and innovative solutions for these issues in order to contribute to achieving the goals of the UAE Vision 2021,” Khansaheb added.

The SDG Festival marks the final day of term and is the final assessment in the University’s “Issues in Society and Media” module studied by journalism, public relations and advertising students. Over the course of the academic year, they have studied social issues and the impact that traditional and digital media has on addressing their root causes and on implementing solutions.

“The Sustainable Development Goals Festival unites the University’s faculty and students in an effort to make a better world for everyone,” explains Middlesex University Dubai Director, Dr. Cedwyn Fernandes.

“Today, more so than any other time in history have social issues been at the forefront of public and private discourse. The “Issues in Society & Media” module encourages students to use print and digital platforms to advocate meaningful change and make the world a better place,” said Dr. Fernandes. “The Sustainable Development Goals Festival inspires our students to take initiative to create campaigns which drive the conversation on how we can make meaningful change.”

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