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1st Sustainable Development Congress In Sharjah

The first-ever Sustainable Development Congress in Sharjah, scheduled on February 22 and 23, is expected to bring about practical mechanisms that would help improve the local economy and environment.

Well-respected UAE business and political leaders have been invited to share their experiences. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, also known as the Green Sheikh, will share his best practices as chairman of the Green Base Environmental Services and environmental adviser to the government of Ajman.

Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, chairman of both Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Expo Centre Sharjah, will be one of the inaugural speakers which include Dr. Zuhair Amin, Economic Development Advisor to the Ruler of Ajman.

In addition, Abdul Karim Al Mazmi, the first UAE national to hold the post of president and general manager for BP Sharjah Oil Company in 2003 and also the first UAE national in BP to hold the post of regional vice president for the Middle East countries in 2006, will speak about the energy sector.

The congress will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Sharjah and is being organized by the Alleem Learning Center (ALC) founded by Dr. Rashid Alleem in 2001. Dr. Alleem is the Director General of the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Department of Seaports and Customs.

“In today’s fast moving economy, we are confronted with increasingly complex risks such as the financial meltdown, global warming, and changing demographics, among others. No single individual, government, NGO or corporation can meet these challenges on its own. Only by joining hands in a broad public discourse and by exchanging our ideas and expertise can we meet global challenges together,” explained Alleem.

Foreign speakers will also participate in the congress. Matthias Unger, corporate affairs associate of Austrian-based Unger Steel, one of Europe’s steel construction companies, will talk on infrastructure; while Imanuel Mulder, a consultant with IRCA (Pty) Ltd in South Africa who has more than 30 years experience in operational risk management, will discuss safety and security issues.

Moreover, Filipino Danny Baldonado will talk about the manufacturing and technology companies he has established in the field of metalwork, appliance, electronics, telecommunication, and alternative energy systems.
The initiative aims to address the goal of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014, DESD) which is to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.

Recently, the Business Council for Sustainable Development UAE and ALC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly promote sustainable development throughout Sharjah’s business community.

Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, which states: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs."

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