A member of one of the ruling royal families from rich Emirates, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, whose uncle is the ruler of Ajman, left a lucrative job in the oil industry and dedicated to protecting the planet. After completing a doctorate in clean technologies and industrial ecosystem he joined the government as an environmental consultant. Due to the inspirational speech, tranquility, but also because of the great commitment about the protection of our planet he became known throughout the world. In an interview with the sheikh who breaks down barriers you will get answers to some interesting questions, but also the inspiration to change something by yourself. With Green Sheikh spoke Maria Bolevich.
What’s new in Ajman when it comes to protecting the environment and your business?
Protecting the environment is trying to be achieved by means of laws and regulations on the one hand, while on the other hand is based on education. The environment is not a job for me, but life’s mission. As a volunteer I advise Ayman government to reject the narrowness of mind and to change behavior in order to continue to promote the position of environmental manager and youth leaders in public.
I read about your role and responsibilities, you have so many obligations, with five children. How do you spend your free time, do you have free time at all?
If there is free time, means that there is something wrong. However, I have a precious time that I spend reading, writing, thinking, or continuing with a positive impact on people around the world. The key is to set the priorities and to establish balance. And now I have six children.
You have the title of sheik, tear down barriers, chatting with people and your behavior which was more than unique. Is it hard for you to rely on the protocol?
I am a human and modest, and that makes me different. The protocol is important when it comes to official event or ceremony, but suddenly this protocol is disrupted by natural influences to make the same level of thinking and respect for people.
When people hear the UAE the first thing that comes to mind is that it is a luxury and the oil-rich country. Do you believe that wealth in the UAE not only stands for luxury, because it is the word and of helping nature and balance between green life and disposed of life? Can the luxury of being green?
It all depends on the balance. The leaders in the UAE want their people to be in the first place and to live the best in the world by using sustainable resources, in parallel with fossil fuels or traditional energy source best efficiency. It should strive to hibridnome system and harmony with nature as much as possible, every now and then. However, this will take time. Many think that the UAE only explore and export oil and gas, but actually it is not so. Now the nation exported luck in the world. It helps in the maintenance of education, the best way of life, health care, mosques and first-rate shelters for refugees in many countries in the world. Oil and gas contribute only one-third of GDP s, while in the early 1970s accounted for almost two-thirds. To check in which country to invest in the present and the future, you would see: IRENA provides a means for countries with projects of renewable energy sources ($ 50 w / annual fund), most government buildings becomes viable, Masdar City becomes neutral carbon city, and more than 7 percent of electricity by 2020 come from renewable energy sources. SHAMS – 1 was launched on 17 March 2013 and generates 100 MW and the Green Economy Initiative of January 2012. There are many challenges, such as political pressure (in the oil and gas companies), legal barriers (energy efficiency, effectiveness and RE) market barriers (consumer awareness), economic barriers (governmental branches). All this we do not find only in the UAE but across the world.
Dubai, Ajman, Abu Dhabi … beautiful cities, which means more tourists. Can tourism put pressure on natural heritage and to protect ecosystems?
I do not think so, many projects that are now doing are related to the eco-tourism in protected areas, coastal areas and natural environments, deserts, mountains and valleys. Towards this, the beach for diving at the wreck and the like keep the legacy undersea search for pearls.
Think globally, act locally. One of the problems is that there is usually a question of “What can I change?” What do you say to people like that?
If you start with small changes you’ll start the big things. If you want to change the world, just change yourself for the better. It is really enough. As Brandi Snyder quoted: “The world you may be just one person, or one person you may be the world.”
You were in Antarctica. What is the most precious thing you learned there, and would you like to do something similar soon?
Appreciate what you do not own. Respect, responsibility, second thoughts about limited resources and most of all to spread peace and love so that everyone has the right to live harmoniously and with dignity. Antarctica is quite a place kept secret on the balance of our planet, it is a white board with which we can observe whether Earth is good or not. This place is a reminder that we are the custodians of this planet who can be champions if we do our best to help us be the best.
Are you planning to write an autobiography?
I have already written three books in Arabic, was the first of our beautiful environment, the other was personal, and the third is our strategy. The new book will be “The discovery of the Green Sheikh” in Arabic and English. The previous three books were in a bookstore in the UAE and the GCC, and I hope that the new soon to be international.
How to increase environmental awareness and influence the improvement of sustainable development if we live among people whose only goal is earning?
Show them good examples of sustainable projects that demonstrate how to make from environmental impacts and sustainable development by investing in cleaner technology and renewable energy, and thus save a lot of money. They also can introduce green economy which would mean new jobs for the unemployed and many opportunities for new entrepreneurs.
Which ecosystem now deserves our full attention?
Our heart is in the first place! This is the most powerful ecosystem that needs to be fixed before everyone else.
What are the biggest environmental challenges and opportunities as well as challenges and opportunities of young people?
Corruption on earth is growing and is due to our hands, if we only instructions to Qur’an 30:41: “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea because of what people have earned so He may let them to experience a part of it (consequence) they have done, and then maybe come back (to righteousness). ” The challenges young people are: have a clear vision, good examples, keeping their own identity, finding good companions. Also, the new generation needs guidance and leadership, as John Maxwell mentioned in its leadership program for mentoring. He mentions the concept of four models: Be a mentor, watching, motivate and multiply.
How would you describe yourself in one word, not to use the green?
What would be your advice to other green leaders and future green leaders, and what can we expect from you in the near future?
Another thousand green sheiks!