Ministry of Climate Change and Environment joins forces with GEMS Education to support Special Olympics World Games 2019 Carbon Offset Initiative

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi plants seedlings with students from GEMS World Academy to set green example

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi plants seedlings with students from GEMS World Academy to set green example

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi plants seedlings with students from GEMS World Academy to set green example

Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has partnered with GEMS Education, the largest operator of KG-12 schools in the world, to support its Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 Carbon Offset Initiative through cultivating local plants at some of the group’s schools.

On the final day of the Special Olympics, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, visited GEMS World Academy in Dubai to plant the seedlings of local plants alongside over 50 students of the school. The event aimed to educate the children about the harmful impact of carbon emissions on the environment and the ways of offsetting them.

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “It is always a pleasure to engage youngsters in our environmental efforts. We have planted around 2,000 seedlings of indigenous flora across GEMS schools alone, as part of the Ministry’s initiative to offset the carbon emissions from the Special Olympics that conclude today in Abu Dhabi.”

He added: “On behalf of MOCCAE, I thank GEMS Education for joining our initiative and raising the environmental awareness of its students with the aim of fostering the next generation of environmental stewards.”

Ministry officials showed the participants the percentage of carbon emissions the morning’s planting activity succeeded in offsetting.

Stuart Walker, Head of School and CEO of GEMS World Academy, said: “We are honored to welcome His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi to our school to lead our planting drive. It is encouraging to see so many inspired students. Sustainability is an important cause, to which we can all contribute through adopting more environment-friendly habits.”

To raise public awareness of local plant species and ways to care for them, MOCCAE launched the Gheras app and microsite that offer ample information on indigenous plant species as well as the contacts of the 54 nurseries across the UAE that supply their seeds and saplings.

The initiative seeks to step up community participation in the government’s drive to preserve local biodiversity and to protect and restore the natural habitats of indigenous flora.

The school uploaded the details of the planting activity on the Gheras app.


About the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, the ministry aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will join international stakeholders in combating climate change and profile the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.

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About GEMS Education
GEMS Education is one of the world’s oldest and largest K-12 private education providers. It is a highly regarded choice for quality private education in the Middle East and North Africa region. As a company founded in the UAE in 1959, it holds an unparalleled track record of providing diverse curricula and educational choices to all socio-economic means. GEMS Education now owns and operates 49 schools and educates over 124,000 students in the MENA region; and through its growing network of schools as well as charitable contributions is fulfilling the founder’s vision of putting a quality education within the reach of every child.

For further information about GEMS Education, visit:  or contact:
Yasser Alvi | Georgina Scot
Tel: (+971) 4 4507 600
Email: |

© Press Release 2019

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