DUBAI - Emirates Environmental Group conducted its 3rd panel discussion of 2023 today, in association with Arabia CSR Network, to rope in key industry experts and help direct the conversation that drives sustainable change to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

Supported by EmiratesGBC, Clean Energy Business Council and the Swiss Business Council, the discussion addressed several important topics, including the identification of the causes of decreasing wildlife population; accelerating the achievement of SDG-related biodiversity preservation; educating the masses about the importance of wildlife and issues of biodiversity loss, addressing the consequences of unsustainable anthropogenic activities and increasing population; how to bring together different stakeholders to identify the progress achieved on this issue, and promote effective partnerships and collaboration, among others.

Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co-founder and Chairperson of EEG, stated, “This world, as we know it, has changed. In the past 50 years, the land, the oceans, the atmosphere, and all other hidden aspects of this biosphere have transformed. While natural shifts can induce such a transformation, it is often gradual, which ideally would not be seen in a human being’s lifetime. Yet here we are watching every day the environmental changes and all the species that thrive on this planet struggling to adapt to the ecological shifts. These are due to human mistakes and irresponsible behaviour.”

She further added by highlighting a social issue. “Today, people drive jaguars, mustangs, vipers, impalas, beetles, etc. The question is, has our empathy towards animals and nature dwindled down to just naming inanimate objects after animals, perhaps due to our current way of life? In the name of growth, modernism, expansionism, and capitalism, we have blatantly taken out resources without any regard for wildlife.”

To discuss the impact of the human population on biodiversity, the discussion brought to the stage key subject matter experts.

The distinguished panel of speakers comprised Andreas Feil, First Secretary for Climate, Energy, and Environment at the German Embassy in Abu Dhabi; Maitha Almheiri, Biologist, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Maitha Mohamed Al Hameli, Head of the Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi; Dr. Amol Patwardhan, Assistant Professor, K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, India; and Mohammed Yousef Al Faqeer, Acting General Curator, Al Ain Zoo.

As a UNEP-accredited NGO and UNCCD, EEG designed, developed and executed the panel discussion to address several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, #4 Quality Education, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12 Responsible Consumption & Production, #13 Climate Action, #14 Life Under Water, #15 Life on Land and #17 Partnership for the Goals.