Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dubai eves outscore men in eco-awareness

The Gulf Today, 29 Jan 2010

The average environmental awareness in Dubai has been evaluated at 61 per cent, with the Emirate's female population outsmarting men in having learnt lessons on preserving the environment, reveals a survey.
The study conducted by the Dubai Municipality (DM) recently, has found out that environmental awareness among the Emirate's females is higher - at 64 per cent - compared to a lower 59 per cent among males.
The survey, aimed at measuring the level of environmental awareness in the Emirate for 2009, explained that the electricity consumption's impact on environmental conservation attracts the highest degree of awareness - 95 per cent.
"On the other hand, enjoying the least eco-awareness status - at 39 per cent - is the significance of visiting nature reserves and learning lessons from the experience of nature," disclosed the study carried out by the environmental awareness section of the DM's Environment Department.
Head of the section, Sarah Al Sayegh, said that the Western expatriates have the highest awareness of environmental issues - at 82 per cent - when compared to all the other nationalities. This is due to the fact that their home countries are more concerned about environmental issues than the rest. The Westerners were followed by the UAE nationals with a 77 per cent awareness record.
"The survey targeted all community groups representing various segments of the society of all nationalities including the Emiratis, Arab expatriates, Asian expatriates and Western expatriates. It takes into account the ratio distribution in the Emirate, based on statistical data from the Dubai's 2008 census that is obtained from the Dubai Statistics Centre," she added.
Al Sayegh said that the level of awareness among the community members on various issues such as water, waste, energy, biodiversity, global warming, pollution and climate change had been focused during the study.
"The study also showed that the rate of participation in environmental activities ranged from 9 per cent to 23 per cent and the activities related to the consumption of electricity that ranked first. About 46 per cent of the participants in the environmental activities focused their attention on reducing their use of electric power," she explained.
"The level of awareness among the influential categories of the society such as the media and teachers was also subject to the survey, as their contribution is vital in raising awareness and behavioural change among different groups of the society," she pointed out.
According to Al Sayegh, the sample size was calculated so as not to exceed the acceptable margin of error of 5 per cent. The study was carried out through computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI).
"The average "positive environmental behaviour" in Dubai was estimated at 67 per cent. Among the people who were surveyed, 16 per cent of the respondents have previously participated in volunteer environmental campaigns, and 35 per cent want campaigns and awareness programmes through media or at shopping malls to encourage them to participate in such activities," says the study.
It measured that 49 per cent of respondents wish awareness campaigns to be conducted through the media, while 12 per cent of them would like the campaign to be through lectures at schools and universities.
The public also appealed for lessons to be provided on various penalties and fines, in environmental pollution cases that pose risks to the environment. Programmes also should be started on recycling waste to reduce pollution and educate school and university students through their activities and environmental camps.

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