As the great granddaughter of the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, Alliances for Global Sustainability CEO Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan doesn’t have to look too far from her own family when it comes to seeking inspiration for her work in the environmental domain. Consider, for instance, her visionary great grandfather’s words in 1998, which he said on the occasion of the UAE’s first Environment Day: “We cherish our environment, because it is an integral part of our country, our history, and our heritage. On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so only because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live, and to preserve it for succeeding generations. With God’s will, we shall continue to work to protect our environment and our wildlife, as did our forefathers before us. It is a duty, and, if we fail, our children, rightly, will reproach us for squandering an essential part of their inheritance, and of our heritage.”
UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi with Imkan CEO Walid El Hindi on the occasion of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Alliances for Global Sustainability signing a memorandum of understanding with Imkan to announce The Guardians’ Initiative.
Source: Alliances for Global Sustainability
It’s easy to see that these lines by Sheikh Zayed have had an indelible impact on Sheikha Shamma, especially when you consider her contribution to the quotation wall at the Møller Institute at Churchill College, Cambridge in the UK, which goes: “It is our collective duty to lead responsibly to create a better world for future generations.” As the youngest person to have been quoted on this particular wall (her words are showcased alongside those by Winston Churchill, Michelle Obama, and others), Sheikha Shamma, who has a master’s degree in sustainable leadership from Cambridge University, was chosen for this particular honor in July last year on account of her achievements as both a businesswoman and a philanthropist.