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It’s no secret that the UAE capital is home to a vast array of unique wildlife, but still, the fact that Abu Dhabi has the second largest dugong population in the world is nothing short of amazing.   Known as a ‘sea cow’ due to its love for foraging on seagrass beds, there are about 3,000 of these harmless sea mammals living in the emirate’s waters.  Dugongs are a huge part of the area’s maritime culture...

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The United Nation’s (UN) 17 interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are designed to guide nations, organizations, and individuals towards a brighter and more sustainable future. They cover the different facets of sustainability, from reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, to eliminating hunger and poverty as well as improving access to clean air and water. The problem with such macroeconomic factors is that they fail to engage the general population. Power generation, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture...

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It was back in 2016 that the UAE appointed its first Minister of State for Happiness, Her Excellency Ohoud Al Roumi. In the intervening years the department has sought to drive innovative policy, determined to show that its creation was about bringing substantive change and not just positive publicity.  The United Nations World 2021 Happiness Report placed the UAE as the 25th happiest country between 2018-20, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the...

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The pursuit of an equilibrium between humans and nature is a central part of the ongoing fight against climate change. While the scales may have felt increasingly imbalanced in our favour in recent years, addressing more of humanity’s problems through an environmental lens could hold the key to finding better solutions.  The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) provide a framework for this approach and while Goal 13 — “Take urgent action to combat climate...

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Bülent Cignez is a landscape architect from Turkey and the project manager for Urban Planning and Public Realm for Expo 2020, meaning he’s responsible for all the plants, trees and shrubs that visitors see as they walk through the grounds. That’s around 14,000 trees (including 2,500 date palms) and 3.5 million shrubs and ground cover. Bülent scoured the UAE for local varieties, all grown without any chemicals, using organic compost straight from the Expo nursery, and...

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