5 Fun Programs in the UAE that Promote Environmental Responsibility
Promoting and upholding environmental responsibility should be everybody’s commitment. However, it seems like only a small sector of society is serious about the task. The reality is that a lot of people are often unsure about where to begin when it comes to establishing an eco-responsible lifestyle. There’s also this notion that being green can be boring and restrictive.
However, there is a growing number of groups proving the opposite. They design programs that promote environmental awareness and responsibility through a variety of enjoyable activities. By injecting fun into environmental efforts, they hope for people to develop a genuine commitment and even passion for nature conservation.
Currently, in the UAE, there’s an abundance of provisions that are dedicated to preserving the environment and cultivating a love for nature in people. The programs combine education and fun, carefully planned activities. Listed below are five of them.
1. Cleanup Drive of the Marine Reserve in Jebel Ali
Cleaning up may not sound like fun, but if you are doing it with friends, it automatically becomes a blast of an activity. It’s a lot like a scavenger hunt, except you’re not looking for treasures, but rather rubbish left behind by people to restore the glorious beauty of the marine reserve in Jebel Ali.
Also, this activity is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make friends. It’s important to mention as well that the event sometimes culminates in a banquet or a small celebration for all of the volunteers.
But best of all, it’s during such an activity when nature rewards it stewards with a special encounter with the unique wildlife of the marine sanctuary. You may spot both endemic and exotic birds. Not only that, a friendly sea cow or dugong may even approach you as you paddle around the mangroves in a canoe, which is an experience that not many can have in their lifetime.
2. Wild Workouts by the Beach
One of the most important findings about spending more time outdoors is how people develop a sense of accountability from maintaining the environment.
According to Tomosuke Noda, a non-fiction writer, renowned canoeist, and founder of the River School Camp in Tokushima Prefecture, participating in a lot of outdoor activities can cultivate the desire to preserve the environment.
Seeing how much enjoyment can be derived from hiking in forests, exploring rivers, and exercising by the beach, one cannot help but desire the ability to easily recreate the same experiences in the future. The ability to recreate such experiences is only possible through a commitment to nature preservation.
3. Snorkelling in Coral Garden
Sea exploration is particularly enjoyable for a lot of people. There are many ways of going about it, but perhaps the easiest is by snorkelling. You normally don’t get to the very deep parts of the ocean when you go snorkelling, but you still get to observe many of its wonders, just like in the Coral Garden at Ras Ghrab.
Quite often, snorkelling trips come with instructions on how to care for the underwater world and its inhabitants. Instructors and guides make sure to lecture participants on ways of caring for corals, as well as tackle essential issues that threaten the lives of ocean creatures such as sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks.
After a snorkelling trip, it’s not uncommon to become motivated to protect marine ecosystems. Take this from Jessea Lu, China’s freediving champion, who is also one of the Young Champions of the Earth. Through her countless underwater explorations, she has come face to face with environmental concerns such as overfishing, over-tourism, and pollution. Now, she’s committed to promoting marine protection.
4. The Desert Escape Room
This is another fun program available in different parts of the UAE. The desert-themed escape room presents challenges such as environmental risks in the form of puzzles and riddles. Here, you’ll get to test your true understanding of the cause and effect relationship of certain activities or situations that impact nature.
This program also includes a variety of nature challenges. So, if you are looking for an educational plus physically and mentally challenging activity to do with family and friends, a desert escape room fits the bill. Look it up online because it’s a traveling program. One of these days, it might pop up in your community.
5. The Connect with Nature Ambassador Program
This is a leadership program that can grow your experiences in dealing with environmental issues. Although this program is geared toward developing changemakers that can save planet Earth, it includes a lot of fun components as well.
There are hands-on learning experiences, discussions, unique internships, and socials that will allow you to contribute your ideas for taking care of the environment. This program can even take you abroad to meet with like-minded people, which is a new adventure that you will undoubtedly enjoy.
Becoming environmentally responsible is an adventure. It can open your eyes to new possibilities — it’s not just about giving up certain practices or preferences. The hope is that the programs shared above can inspire you to find joy in upholding the role of being nature’s steward and let it influence all aspects of your lifestyle.
Rasha El Saleh is the Conservation Education and Outreach Coordinator in the education team of Emirates Nature-WWF working on its programme, Connect with Nature. She leads the outreach and youth empowerment aspect in growing the Connect with Nature community within the UAE and providing opportunities for youth to lead in this community, in addition to supporting partnerships with vendors supporting and promoting active aspects of the programme.