In a significant and historical initiative, 1 million UAE residents are expected to come together and stand up during the 3 days of October 17, 18 and 19 2008, to make a nation-wide pledge to pursue policies that encourage sustainable living and help drive sustainable environment in the emirates as part of a unique ‘Mission Green Earth – Stand up and Take Action 2008’ campaign.

The campaign will be held under the patronage of UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, with the support of UNDP, UNEP and the International Humanitarian City (IHC).

The campaign is organised by the Art of Living (AOL) and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), with the support of Barclays Bank PLC and aims to mobilise and inspire people through a variety of activities planned in schools, organisations and institutions across the emirates.

The `Stand Up’ campaign, occurring simultaneously all over the world, stems from the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), a UN entity advocating at a global scale the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – an eight-point road map with measurable targets including ending poverty and achieving a safer, more prosperous and equitable life for all – to be accomplished by 2015.
Re-affirmed each year, the ‘Stand Up’ challenge involves millions of people all over the world standing up in solidarity for a cause.

Last year in UAE, 98,000 people stood up to end extreme poverty and hunger. This year, the focus is on ‘Ensuring environmental sustainability’ in the UAE, the seventh goal of the Millennium Development Goals.

In Her capacity as the UN Messenger of Peace and Patron of the campaign, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein has asked UAE residents from all walks of life to join the campaign and take a stand in support of environmental sustainability.

“… Last year, over 43 million people stood up across the world at the same time to remind their leaders of the promise they made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Those 43 million individuals represented a strong united voice against a plague that is threatening the future of our planet; poverty; reminding us of the responsibility we have towards the future of this earth.’ She said, adding that ‘This year, our ‘Stand Up & Take Action’ commitment is not only about mankind, it is also about our planet. Why? Because reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet, and because climate change must be addressed as a humanitarian emergency, the ‘environmental sustainability’ goal is the focus of our campaign this year. Let’s give the UAE’s voice to this global wake-up call and stand up altogether on October 17, 18 & 19.’

UAE HAS THE WORLD’S LARGEST ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT PER CAPITA

`Mission Green Earth: Stand Up and Take Action 2008’ comes at a time when we need to fight inertia and indifference and be part of the generation that actively seeks solutions to the existing environmental crisis. The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2006 ranked UAE as the country with the world’s largest Ecological Footprint per capita, over five times higher than the average humanity’s Footprint. This means that if every person on planet lived as a person lived in the UAE, humanity would require nearly 7 planets to cover its needs.

ONE CAMPAIGN – TWO CHALLENGES

This year’s campaign aims to mobilise and engage UAE residents, collectively and individually, in support of a sustainable environment through two challenges.

Stand Up – All over the country, residents will Stand Up in their homes, communities, schools and colleges, organisations and institutions and read a pledge in support of the Millennium Development Goals with a focus on environmental sustainability. The Stand Up will be reported along with a photograph to be added to the global count for the Guinness Book Record for the largest number of people standing up for a cause.

Take Action – Participants will take action through actively committing to conserve energy and water and reduce waste. They will also be motivated to plant trees and plants that require lesser of the earth’s natural resources, including valuable water, for their survival and maintenance.

To participate and learn more about MISSION GREEN EARTH, go to www.missiongreenearth.ae.

# # #

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

The Mission Green Earth campaign has its roots in the United Nations Millennium Goals (MDGs). In September 2000, 189 Heads of Nations came together to commit to work together to end poverty and to build a safer, more prosperous and equitable world for all by 2015 at the United Nations Millennium Summit, which gave birth to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Mission Green Earth aligns with MDG No 7 in support of a sustainable environment.

The Millennium Development Goals are supported and reinforced by the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC). Launched in 2002, the UNMC is a U.N. initiative to support and encourage people’s involvement and actions to realise the eight MDG’s and hold their government accountable for the millennium promise. The “Stand up & Speak Out” challenge was launched in 2006. In 2007, 43.7 million people around the world and 98,000 in UAE people stood up to end extreme poverty and hunger.