SDG 15: LIFE OF LAND

Goal 15 aims to sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

The UAE’s major terrestrial habitat is a sandy desert that supports different amounts of sparse seasonal

vegetation and animals. In line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, of pursuing economic growth whilst preserving the environment, MOCCAE seeks to promote the sustainable use of vital resources through the adoption of plans, strategies and policies. The target is to combat desertification and preserve the UAE’s biodiversity in the interest of our future generations.


Policies and Initiatives

The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Project (2018) aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of sites critical for the conservation of the world’s birds and other wildlife

The National Ecotourism Project (2018) will raise awareness about the 43 protected areas in the UAE and encourage sustainable tourism to minimise impact on biodiversity

The CITES e-permitting program (2017) is an electronic service designed to regulate the international trade in endangered animals and plants covered by the CITES convention in a more effective manner


Challenges

Limited valuable historic data on biodiversity may cause implications when developing projects specific to terrestrial biodiversity, hence MOCCAE adopted several projects which utilize today’s expertise to track historical knowledge on biodiversity through back casting exercises

Limited awareness concerning the importance of biodiversity can lead to misinformation about species and their habitats. A national awareness strategy has been developed to increase public awareness on environment & biodiversity

Invasive species are recognized as one of five most important direct drivers of biodiversity loss and change in ecosystem services globally. Invasive species can impact in a number of ways, including competition, predation, hybridisation, and disease transmission, parasitism, herbivory and trampling and rooting. The outcomes of these impacts lead to biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and loss of ecosystem services.


Students from the School of Media & Communication Studies (SCMS) at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have been learning more about the city’s judicial processes and services during a recent site visit to the Dubai Courts.

As part of their Introduction to Political Science course, the students were given an in-depth insight into the different aspects of the Dubai justice system, and how citizens and residents can access guidance and support to resolve their grievances through the Courts.

Accompanied by SCMS professors, Dr. Wided Dafri and Dr. Aziz Mulay Shah, the students took a tour of the tribunal and conference rooms and heard from a court official about the mission, vision and different functions of the organization.

Speaking about the experience, student Abdulla Al Ali said, “It was interesting to discover how the Courts play a role in all aspects of justice, including supporting the process for amicable settlements. It was also revealing to see how the shift towards electronic governance and smart services has been integrated into the field of justice.”


Artwork developed by Students of Canadian University Dubai Communication School has been nominated for display at "Creative Disruption" Pop-up Group Exhibition in Philadelphia, USA. The exhibition is organized by Art United; a network of social justice artists who together create cultural exhibitions and events that intersect art and activism while shining the spotlight on three themes: Gender Justice, Climate Justice, and Racial Justice.

Art United believes that each piece of art is a vehicle that creates a common language towards understanding each other’s perspectives and the power of the visual arts is that it can be used as a tool for demystifying identity and differences, elevating public discourse, and catalyzing change.

Dr. Franziska Apprich, Professor at the School of Communication said she was proud of her students for getting involved in the She for She campaign, launched as a worldwide initiative to promote gender equality everywhere and noting being chosen for this exhibition was a great boost for the image of the university abroad and highlights its support for gender balance.

The Exhibition will be held in The Warehouse on Watts in Philadelphia on November 4th, 2017.


Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has marked the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with an event to raise awareness of the important global issue.

Speaking at the event were Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Lina Khalife, founder of SheFighter, the first self-defence studio for women in Jordan and the Middle East.

Gathering together both male and female students, faculty and staff, the event sought to reinforce the UN’s message about the incidences and threats surrounding rape, domestic violence, harassment and other forms of violence against women.


Opening the event, Dr. Lambert reflected on one of her earliest professional experiences, studying domestic violence for the Justice Project in Canada. She talked about the findings of her work, during the course of which she counselled men convicted of domestic violence.

Dr. Lambert revealed, “They were given the choice of a week of counselling or a year in jail. Some of them still chose the one year option. What I found during the study was that domestic violence is a symptom of a much bigger issue. When I asked the men ‘why did you do this?’, the final answer was usually ‘because I could’.”


Likening this issue with prescribed gender roles that both men and women grow up with, Dr. Lambert discussed the cultural, religious, social, parental pressures and expectations adding to the mix. She said, “Girls are told from when they are little: ‘don’t be bossy, don’t be dramatic, tone it down’. While boys are told: ‘don’t be a wimp, don’t cry or how can you let this go?’”

Dr. Lambert also spoke about the different expectations men have for their partners versus their daughters. She revealed, “The Shriver report on 21st century men tells us that 66% of surveyed men would like the quality of independence in their daughters but only 34% wanted it in their partners. For a partner, the most preferred qualities were found to be sweet, attractive, understanding. These gender roles create a power imbalance, which is usually propagated through life.”


Continuing the debate, Lina Khalife spoke about her experience growing up in Jordan and how a high school friend who was visibly abused did not want to raise her voice against her father and brother who routinely beat her. She said, “I started questioning gender roles and the injustices based on it. My friend’s plight triggered the idea of starting a self-defence training centre for women.”


SheFighter has trained 12,000 women so far and Khalife’s work has been acknowledged globally. She has worked with the actress Emma Watson, training her in martial arts, and has a number of fascinating stories that illustrate the importance of her work, including a woman she trained who was able to overpower her attacker and have him arrested.

Khalife went on to provide some tips and demonstrations to female students on how to stay safe, including the importance of body language, showing self-confidence, being aware of one’s surroundings, not getting into enclosed spaces if there is a sense of danger and most importantly, learning self-defence.

She concluded by saying that, “The main thing to remember is that attackers are cowards. Men harass women because they have low self-esteem and because they can get away with it.”

CUD students from the Communication and Media Studies Department visited the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology with Assistant Professor Dr. Ghada Abaido.

The purpose of the visit was to enhance students’ understanding of the interaction between the police force and media, providing deeper insight into the general field of forensic science, the role of the forensic scientist, the function of their laboratory and the role of the Dubai Police in the discovery and completion of a case.

Established in 1981, the Dubai Forensic Science Laboratory processed 43,000 cases in 2017 – a huge increase from the five cases it handled when it first opened. While this department mainly covers Dubai, it supports the northern emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Umm Al-Quwain and Ajman when necessary.

The visit was led by Dr. Fuad Ali Tarbah, Senior Forensic Toxicologist and Director of the Training and Research Department. In this field, the storage and preservation of evidence are key elements that lead to the truth. Forensic evidence can take the form of witness statements, confessions or physical evidence. Dr. Fuad explained that for a scientist, evidence is the most valuable asset to the entire lab. “If the forensic scientist loses his evidence, he is no more a forensic scientist,” said Dr. Fuad.

After emphasizing the “no photography” rule for guests and adding some humor to the tour while describing criminals’ varying IQ levels, Dr. Fuad presented a series of interesting stories with visuals showing dozens of mobile chargers filled with small pouches of heroin totalling 10 kg., bouquets of plastic flowers filled with heroin in their plastic-wrapped stems and eggs containing drug pills.

He explained in detail the physical and emotional effects of alcohol as well as certain other drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. In describing the legislation associated with the consumption of such substances, he highlighted the various tools that scientists use to uncover evidence of substance abuse, including hair analysis and urine and blood tests. Dubai police officers also have access to global databases to help solve international crimes.

In a nation constituting of people from over 200 countries, the Forensics Department seeks to serve justice through science.


Canadian University Dubai (CUD) celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on April 6, 2021 with Al Wasl Sports Club (AWC) by participating in the Peace and Sport’s #WhiteCard campaign.

Established by the United Nations General Assembly and the International Olympic Committee, April 6 recognizes the role that sport plays in society and its power to foster dialogue, understanding, social inclusion, and peace.

To commemorate this special day, Canadian University Dubai organized an Academic Seminar of Football Management with the partnership of AWC. 

Dr. Leonardo Mataruna, Professor of Sports Management, Canadian University Dubai, said: “This year, we are all still facing an unprecedented situation. This occasion provides the opportunity for CUD and AWC to highlight the unique power of sport in supporting people and communities to overcome the challenges imposed by the pandemic.”

With reference to the yellow and red card in many sports, a #WhiteCard is a symbol created by the Peace and Sport organization to represent the positive power of sport for peace and social inclusion.

The core message of the 2021 #WhiteCard campaign is “behind each #WhiteCard, there is a story.” It seeks to highlight and draw attention to the stories of individuals and communities who have been positively impacted by sport all around the globe. Through a #WhiteCard, everyone can advocate for the unique power of sport for social development and peace, sharing personal stories on how sport has helped people to overcome challenges.

Yousef Al Sayed, Marketing Manager, Al Wasl Sports Club, said: “We are very proud to promote this initiative of the #WhiteCard with CUD in the United Arab Emirates. This is a universal movement from the sport community which has contributed to the promotion of peace all around the world."

CUD and AWC established a partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April 2021. The MoU represents an ongoing relationship that supports cooperation and engagement between the two parties through various activities, including: internship opportunities, academic-related projects and events, research initiatives, outreach programs, and much more.

This event was organized through CUD’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management program, that gives students a profound understanding of the issues and practices prevalent in sport management, while teaching them how to negotiate contracts with players and vendors through athletic valuation, attract crowds to sports events, and coordinate external communication through traditional and digital media.

About Peace and Sport

Peace and Sport, established in 2007, brings together and develops partnerships between the Peace (NGOs, UN Agencies, Academics), the Sport (Olympic Family, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, Athletes) and the Political worlds with the aim of implementing and ensuring the sustainability of field programs, maximizing the use of sport for development and peace and leading social transformation in every area of the world affected by poverty or social instability.