Under the patronage of The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Whatever we, the adults making decision today, do will of course deeply impact the life that future generations will live. We know that our decisions are not always perfect, and we know we need better data to influence these decisions. But above all, we know that it is the generations that succeed us that will have to pick up the torch – and the sooner they become involved, the better.
With Generation eYe, the Eye on Earth community is bringing teens and young adults into the fold. The Eye on Earth Exhibition’s first day is devoted to school and university students, and youthful speakers will address ministers, delegates and others.
Students will present their projects and talk about their dreams. Online study resources for the Emirates’ teachers and students will be unveiled. The Eye on Earth theatre will feature a selection of films showing schools participating in environment Abu Dhabi’s Sustainable Schools Initiative in action. And Ali Al Saloom the locally renowned presenter of the “Ask Ali” shows, will engage participants with his take on life and the environment in the United Arab Emirates.
There’s also fun and activities. A treasure hunt will be organised – with a high-tech twist: students will have to hunt for QR codes (2-dimensional bar codes) scattered around the exhibition with their mobile phones. Each code will take the students on an edutaining tour of what Eye on Earth is all about.
The Eye on Earth Technology showcase will present the work of the winning entries from the Environment Abu Dhabi Sustainable School Initiative.
A highlight will be the plenary speech of Yugratna Srivastava, a 15-year student from Lucknow, India, who represented the Asia Pacific region on UNEP’s Junior Board. Yugratna is Vice-President of the Global Board of Plant-for-the-Planet: the Billion Tree Campaign, and Goodwill ambassador of Tarumitra, an NGO of more than 1700 high schools across India. She is the youngest Indian to speak at TED and the youngest person ever to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The Generation eYe day will also allow our youth to share their hopes and dreams with the Summit, in both written and presentation form. They will be invited to complete “Eye understand...” quotes and to record a 1-minute speech. The best of both will be selected and brought to the Summit.
The Eye on Earth exhibition itself will be a major draw for visiting youngsters. For some, perhaps this will be the spark that starts a future career in environmental data and information fields.