A reported 13 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year, with 9.8 million tonnes of solid waste found in Abu Dhabi.   A panel discussion organised by the Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an, and Abu Dhabi’s environment sector regulator, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), explored the importance of protecting the environment. The session was part of Ma’an’s ‘Join the Conversation’ series.  

Panellists explored how to minimise waste and the use of single-use plastics, as well as how to promote sustainable ecotourism in Abu Dhabi. They also highlighted how a sustainable environment can help boost the economy and public health.   “Events like the ‘Join the Conversation’ are incredibly important as it brings key stakeholders together, providing an opportunity to listen to their expert opinions and views while also exploring ways of how social innovation can be the solution to addressing the challenges that are being faced today,” said Salama Al Ameemi, Ma’an director general.  

“We see a big opportunity for budding and aspiring social entrepreneurs to step forward and be part of the Ma’an Social Incubator so they can create innovative products or services that will help protect our beautiful nature and shape the future of Abu Dhabi. This is why I encourage social entrepreneurs who have a sustainable idea that can be turned into a product or service to register for the Social Incubator and be part of a unique experience that can make a difference,” she added.  

“Ma’an has demonstrated remarkable social work, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to be a beacon of hope for all types of social entrepreneurship projects. They are an organisation who are at the forefront of progress within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, having chosen the environment to be the main topic of the latest cycle of the ‘Ma’an Social Incubator and Accelerator’ (MSIA), ‘Join The Conversation’ virtual event,” said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD’s secretary general.  

The ‘Join the Conversation’ virtual panel was created by Ma’an as part of a regular series of initiatives to bring together stakeholders from across the public, private and third sector to advance the agenda of creating collaborative communities.  

The MSIA is a combined programme that offers budding social entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need in order to grow and thrive. It helps encourage innovation and develop solutions to address social, cultural or environmental challenges while the Accelerator also elevates the impact of established social enterprises by supporting their efforts to scale their operations both locally and regionally.   The shortlisted teams will be offered seed funding and a stipend, learning and development workshops, mentorship session, as well as networking opportunities, as they develop their innovative and original solutions into strong business ventures. (GULF NEWS)