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Shell in cooperation with the Ministry of Education launches the Better Environment Award 2007

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, November 15 - 2006 @ 14:33

The UAE’s foremost initiative aimed at addressing and raising awareness of environmental issues has been revamped for its 2007 edition to catalyse research and the development of initiatives towards pertinent issues afflicting society today. This year’s award is expected to draw heightened participation from schools across the UAE, building on the momentum of successful previous editions.

The scope of the 2007 programme is being expanded to make it more challenging, and foster the conceptualisation of a wider range of initiatives under environmental, health and road safety themes. This year’s award will enable schools to plan larger projects that can be implemented over a longer period with more funding available. Under each of the three themes – Health, Safety and Environment – come two subjects to be chosen from. Students will be invited to select between Vehicles Safety and Pedestrians Safety under Road Safety; Shores Environment and Toxic Waste under Environment; and Obesity and Smoking under Health.

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Head of External Affairs and HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment), Shell said,

“Shell announced at BEA 2006’s Award Ceremony that it will expand the scope of the Award by re-launching it to include the themes of Road Safety, Health, and Environment. Today we are fulfilling this promise as we are determined to encourage students to collectively work on projects that focus on the urgent need for protecting the environment and sustaining development.”

“It is very important to raise awareness of relevant issues in today’s youth. For instance, there is an increasing concern being expressed about the rising toll of road traffic accidents in the UAE. Road accidents are now the most frequent cause of admission to hospital in children aged 10-14. There is a need for public awareness as the number of fatalities is greater than ever before. When discussing vehicle and pedestrian safety, statistics indicate that over 50.7 percent of all road accidents occur purely due to human error. Reports also show that one pedestrian was killed every 4 days and injured every 15 hours on Dubai roads last year. On the other hand, over 10.8 per cent of students are found to be overweight and 30.6 per cent are obese. Issues such as toxic waste on beaches are also very important for a rapidly developing society. Shell’s Better Environment Award provides a viable avenue to address these issues constructively,” he added.

Abdullah Bilal Al Shamsi, Director of Students and Scouting Activities, UAE Ministry of Education, said, “The Better Environment Award is a valuable platform to devise suggestions and implement plans that will lead to the good of future generations. We are all obliged to constructively address current issues affecting our society so that we can leave a bright future for coming generations. The Award will raise awareness of key areas of concern in today’s youth who will step up to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Shell has called on elementary and secondary schools to submit applications under any one category listed in the Award literature. All applications must be submitted prior to December 7th 2006, after which a jury will meet to deliberate the relative merits of the proposals received to generate a shortlist of schools that will receive funding. Grant winners will be announced by December 13th 2006, with final projects being submitted by April 5th next year. Winners will be announced in May, with projects being judged on thoroughness and effectiveness.

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Wednesday, November 15- 2006 @ 14:33 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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