Kicking off the ‘Mission Green Earth – Stand up and Take Action 2008’ campaign one day earlier, the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water today organised a Stand Up session for its employees to pledge to pursue and promote sustainable living and environment.

The Stand Up session was led by His Excellency Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water for the United Arab Emirates, along with Ministry employees stood up for the cause in Dubai, indicating a robust response to the Mission Green Earth campaign, which will culminate in the next three days – October 17, 18 and 19th, 2008 – across the UAE, with a grand closing ceremony in Dubai on the last day.

Commenting on the response, Rugmani Prabhakar, country coordinator for the campaign, said a number of Stand Up sessions are being organised in the next three days by governmental entities as well as private sector companies. “The response has been excellent and a number of leading corporate houses are in the process of organizing their own Stand Up sessions.”

She said that as part of the campaign and to offer UAE residents to take part in the noble cause, the municipalities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will hold public Stand Up sessions in the three emirates.

Dubai Municipality will hold a Stand Up session at Zabeel Park amphitheatre on Friday, October 17th at 6 PM. The Sharjah Municipality is planning sessions at Majaz Park on Friday, October 17th and Saturday 18th from 4 to 7 PM. The Stand Up session organised by Abu Dhabi Municipality will take place at Formal Park on Friday, October 17th and Saturday, 18th between 5 and 6 PM.

The campaign is organised 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). It is organised by International Association for Human Values (IAHV) and Art of Living (AOL) with the support of Barclays Bank PLC.

Other entities which are supporting the campaign include DEWA, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Dubai, Sharjah Airport Free Zone (SAIFZONE), ETA Ascon, EMKE Group of Abu Dhabi, Al Fara’a Group, BMW, Wafi Group, Jumbo etc.

Campaign organisers said registrations are continuing to taking place at www.missiongreenearth.ae and the momentum is expected to gather pace as the campaign moves towards its closing phase.

Hospitals which will take part in the event include CEDARS – Jebel Ali International Hospital, Mafreq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, Welcare Hospitals and Zulekha Hospitals while financial institutions include Barclays Bank, Julius Baer (Middle East), Commercial Bank of Dubai, Mashreq Bank and RBS.

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Notes to editors:

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.

BACKGROUND:

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.

Photograph: His Excellency Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water for the United Arab Emirates