Bibliotheca Alexandrina to celebrate Arab Environment Day

03 July 2011 | News story

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is focusing on youth for Arab Environment Day, 14 October 2011, which aims to achieve sustainable development through preservation of environment and resources. 

From Nihal M. Soliman. Mrs. Hoda Elmikaty, Director, Planetaruim Science Center, is a member of IUCN CEC.

Arab youth are the builders of the Arab future, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is focusing on youth for Arab Environment Day 2011. Activities will be designed primarily for high-school students in Egypt and the Arab world to meet and share environmental regional challenges. The BA will act as a platform for young Arabs to build their capacities as one united nation to save the interconnected regional ecosystem. Arab Environment Day 2011 will raise public awareness and stimulate decision makers and stakeholders to join hands to face the degradation of the Arab region biodiversity and its negative impact on sustainable development.

Through changing individual habits, we can maximize the utilization of our resources and minimize the impact of human intervention on our environment and its negative effect on biodiversity. Environmental and cultural activities are expected to boost the Arab identity and increase the sense of solidarity among young generations.

The BA plans to make its first Arab Environment Day festivity, on 13-14 October 2011, a big celebration, building on the unprecedented success of World Environment Day 2010. The Planetarium Science Center will utilize the BA infrastructure and networks to attract the maximum number of Arab countries to join Arab Environment Day 2011 celebrations to maximize the Day’s regional positive impact.

As Founding Member of the North Africa and the Middle East Science centers Network (NAMES), which also includes members from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates, the Planetarium Science Center will be inviting fellow NAMES members and other science communication institutions from all over the region to join in celebrating Arab Environment Day 2011.

Activities

The Planetarium Science Center will be announcing an environmental challenge as an overarching theme for the day’s activities, which will target high school students who will compete in contests to find solutions for this challenge. Teams from all Arab countries will compete with their projects that will be displayed for the public on the first day of the event and judged by Arab judges on the second day. Also, a village will be set up at the BA plaza using booths that are easily assembled and dismantled to host the environment-friendly science fair. Concurrent cultural and entertaining events, in addition to a spectacular closing ceremony, are also planned to take place to attract visitors.

The Arab Environment Day 2011 science village will be divided into zones: 

  • The Activities Zone is divided into five sections that cover recycling, climate change, water, human behavior, and biodiversity. Each section will present different activities targeting four different age groups: primary, preparatory, secondary, and university. Visitors will take simple quizzes to answer as they proceed from one zone to another; upon finishing their tour and presenting their answers, prizes will be distributed to winners every hour.
  • The Exhibition Zone comprises an outdoor environmental exhibition presented by Arab contestants to showcase the contest’s output of recycled toys, documentary films, paintings, inventions, green city models, endangered species and conservatories.
  • The Community Zone will be divided into 12 booths occupied by our partners and sponsors, NGOs and industry to showcase their practical contributions to our mother nature.

Arab Environment Day 2011 is anticipated to attract 2000 visitors and 40 participants from different Arab States. It is also expected to be highly covered by national, regional and international media.

About the environment days

Throughout recent decades, environmental issues have become increasingly and pressingly challenging. In recognition of the importance of preserving the global ecosystem, the UN General Assembly initiated the World Environment Day (WED) in 1972. The Planetarium Science Center at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has celebrated the Day since 2007 with activities aimed to stimulate awareness about environmental issues, celebrate positive environmental action, and enhance political attention and action.

In commemoration of the First Conference for Arab Environment Ministers and Officials in Tunisia on 14 October 1986, the Arab Environment Day (AED) celebration was announced to take place on 14 October of every year. Every year, the Arab League adopts an environmental slogan to raise public and decision makers’ awareness of an environmental issue. The celebrations are designed to garner Arab solidarity to solve common problems on a unified Arab soil.

For more information contact Nihal Mahmoud Soliman Nihal.mahmoud@bibalex.org