Shaikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan launched her second children’s book during Earth Day celebrations yesterday at Masdar Park in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
Special storytelling sessions of The Adventures of Maxima and Coustaud – In Search of a Global Solution, captivated their young audience during a day packed full of family fun and games.
The Earth Day celebrations at Masdar Park also included live music, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a climbing wall and a magician, as well as a community art workshop for adults.
This year’s Earth Day campaign was focused on “environmental and climate literacy”, with the aim of empowering people with the knowledge to help protect the environment. In keeping with this theme, Shaikha Shamma’s book educates young readers by charting the exploits of its two characters as they help a new friend, while encountering global environmental issues along the way.
Sheikha Shamma, who is also the founder of the UAE’s ‘Wanna Read?’ initiative, said: “Sustainability is an important topic of discussion today, and ensuring that our children will be able to live comfortably within the boundaries of this planet, without harming the environment, is a key priority. This story aims to provide children with a brief understanding of climate change. I am pleased to be launching my book in the UAE at Masdar City, an inspiring location for children to visit and explore sustainability."
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, added: “Masdar was proud to host the launch of this delightful book – its characters and exciting adventures are a great way of encouraging children to think about the environmental impact of human activities.
“It is essential that we engage with people about sustainability from an early age, and through all levels of their education. Masdar’s own commitment to this includes school tours at Masdar City, special events during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, such as the Student Exclusive and The Festival, and the Global High Schools category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.”
Last year Masdar commissioned the Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, which questioned about 5,000 people worldwide aged between 18 and 25 to understand what challenges they saw in the future.
The findings, which were announced at the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Morocco last November, revealed the high level of concern among young people about climate change, with 40% of those surveyed naming it among the biggest challenges facing the world in the next decade, ahead of the economy (34%), terrorism (32%), poverty & inequality (29%) and unemployment (29%).
The survey also revealed that many young people are so committed to the environment that they want to use their career to help it. Almost two in three (59%) said that they are interested in working or studying in an area related to sustainability.