Jane Goodall Inspires UAE Youth at Roots & Shoots Award Ceremony

The Roots & Shoots UAE Program, supported by NYU Abu Dhabi, inspires and empowers youth to create positive change in their communities

Press Release

As part of the Roots & Shoots UAE program, supported by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), the renowned environmentalist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Dr.  Jane Goodall, presented 12 awards to UAE students at the sixth UAE Roots & Shoots Annual Awards ceremony, held in Abu Dhabi on February 6.

Goodall recognized students’ achievements in a ceremony that was attended by NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann, alongside representatives from NYUAD, and over 100 youth from more than 20 schools across the nation. The primary and secondary school-age students presented projects they had implemented to benefit people, animals, and the environment. 

Goodall commented, “During my current visit I attended the annual UAE R&S Awards Celebration.  For the sixth time, we selected groups from around the UAE who have undertaken outstanding projects, some of which are ongoing, to come together to present their work and receive special recognition and certificates.  It was a wonderful occasion, inspirational, and one of the events that gives me the energy to keep on travelling 300 days a year.”

Projects launched by the Roots & Shoots clubs included planting Sidr tree saplings, designing bird feeders from plastic waste, helping Syrian children build their English language skills, planting school gardens, producing solar model windmills, and managing smart waste and turning it into organic compost.


“NYU Abu Dhabi's partnership with the Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots UAE program has been mutually beneficial and rooted in our core commitments to the environment and education. It has been a privilege to be a part of the growth of the UAE program, allowing us to both catalyze greater sustainable impact with our own campus community as well as be catalysts for increased environmental stewardship across the Emirates."  


Associate Director of Community Outreach Suparna Mathur

Schools also created their own eco-friendly clubs to save the environment, launched initiatives in celebration of the Year of Tolerance, spread awareness about solar powered energy, and participated in the Great Nurdle Hunt, an initiative organized by NYU Abu Dhabi’s Office of Community Outreach, to educate participants about the impact of plastic pollution around the world through cleaning up the beach from nurdles.

Students from 116 schools and groups took part in the Roots & Shoots UAE program during the course of 2019.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.