Sheikh Zayed one of the 'greatest heroes' of 20th century, says Indian environmentalist

The efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the field of environment protection were praised during a seminar that took place yesterday in New Delhi as part of the celebrations of the 'Year of Zayed' across India.

Dr. Ashok Khosla, Indian environmentalist and Founder of the Development Alternatives group, said Sheikh Zayed was one of the "greatest heroes" of the 20th century because of his vision and his generosity in promoting causes for humanity.

Khosla was a recipient of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in the second category in 2014. The mission of the Development Alternatives, which he founded, is to help make national development strategies in India more environmentally and socially sustainable.

Dr. Mohamed bin Fahad, Chairman of Zayed International Foundation for the Environment, opened an exhibition of photographs on the life of Sheikh Zayed at the Leela Hotel in New Dehi’s Diplomatic Enclave in the presence of an invited gathering of prominent Indians and some Arab diplomats. The rare photographs show the UAE’s Founding Father nurturing his nascent federation in its early years with special focus on protecting the environment.

Dr. Fahad later delivered the opening address of the seminar with the theme of 'Zayed Green Challenge.' The seminar was organised jointly by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi and the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.

Dr. Meshgan Mohamed Al Awar, Secretary-General of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, gave a detailed presentation on the prestigious prize, its inception and its global motivation. She familiarised Indians about the Foundation and explained that it was founded in 1999 by the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise and encourage environmental achievements, promote the implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development, Outcomes of Rio+20 and Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the vision and philosophy of Sheikh Zayed.

Dr. Al Awar quoted from tributes paid to Sheikh Zayed by world leaders when they were in office – such as former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, ex-French President Jacques Chirac, former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Britain’s reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Dr. Fahad and Dr. Al Awar, both spoke of efforts by Dubai Police to promote sustainability in their roles in senior positions at Dubai Police.

Indian attendees took much interest in an App for Android and iPhones which will give them access to the Zayed Green Challenge, whose significance as a green education platform was explained to the audience at the event.

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