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Dh1million award seeks to support environment

A Dh1 million prize has been launched to help raise public awareness of environmental issues.

DUBAI //A Dh1 million prize has been launched to help raise public awareness of environmental issues.

The Emirates Appreciation Prize for the Environment was announced yesterday by Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, the Minister of Environment and Water.

The prize, introduced on the directive of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will be awarded every two years in collaboration with the Higher Committee of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment.

"The nominees for the prize should have excelled in what they are nominating themselves for," said Dr Abdul Rahman Al Sharhan, a member of the committee and dean of the Faculty of Science at UAE University.

The award will honour those who have made substantial achievements towards bettering the environment. The prize money will be divided among winners in five categories: Environmental Personality (open to Emiratis only); Industry; Education; Invention, Innovation and Research; and Media. Each category has a prize of 200,000.

Submissions will be accepted from today until the end of December. A date has yet to be confirmed for the award ceremony to be held in 2012.

Brigadier Mohammed Ahmad bin Fahad, the director general of the Dubai Police Academy and chairman of the committee, said teams would review submissions.

"We will ask members of the GCC and other countries who have experience in this field to look at the work," he said. "We also have to be balanced in selecting individuals and institutions."

Organisers said they hoped the prize would encourage the public to come up with ideas with regards to issues affecting the environment and how to solve them.

"We have to fight for sustainable development to have a sustainable environment. As such we can't say it's too late, so we have to start now," said Brigadier bin Fahad. "This is an opportunity for the whole society to be part of inventing and creating change."

aalhaddad@thenational.ae

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