Third Council ( Part Two ) – Zayed And The Concept of Happiness

2019-10-05 12:47:47

Through his journey, Sheikh Zayed _ May his soul be blessed _ had gained many certificates, awards and badges that were presented to him globally as a man of nature, including the following:

  • He had been chosen as “Man of Environment and Development” at the Arab Youth festival in Beirut in 1993, as an appreciation for his leading role in protecting the environment an fighting desertification. on the same year, he was also awarded with ““Man of Environment and Development” scarf by the Arab Nations Union.
  •  He gained the Middle East Research And Studies Center's “ Developmental Character” award in Jeddah, and was globally chosen as a Developmental Character in 1995 according to the center's survey which had been participated in with over half a million Arabian. As well as receiving an Award of Appreciation and a golden medal from FAO organization in Senegal in the same year.
  • Also in the same year, he gained “The Arabian Golden Badge” from the Association of Moroccan Historians in honor to his continuous efforts in serving the Arab nation and Islam, and as a recognition of his generosity with scientists and his passion of history and historical studies.
  • On the 3rd of January, he was awarded with “ Environment Protector Badge” by the Pakistani president, Farooq Leghari, which was the first time ever for a country president to receive that award, as a token of appreciation for his continuous efforts and participation in protecting the environment, increasing the natural resources of Emirates, spreading the agricultural patch in the country land
  • He also gained “ Bay Business Award” in 1996, which was presented to him by Bay Business Committee.
  • On the 7th of March, 1997, he was presented with “Golden Panda Certificate and Award” by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), also a first for a country president, as a token of appreciation to his internationally recognized efforts which had been made to protect the environment and the wildlife in United Arab Emirates and other world countries, the award was presented to him by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Dr. Claude Martin, Director General of WWF.
  • Man of The Year French Association had given him the title “ Top Prominent Global Figure in 1998” for his efforts in fighting desertification and and his concern with the environment and developmental projects.
  • Was given the title “Zayed, Man of Nature in 2000” from Lebanon, as well as Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture from Ain Shams University in Egypt in the same year.
  • In 2001, he was awarded with “ Cannes Grand Water Award” by the Mediterranean sea Association which is part of UNESCO for water resources, peace and continuous development

Sheikh Zayed _ God bless his soul _ had some everlasting sayings of his own that encourages on protecting and looking after the environment, for example “ We pay great attention to our environment because it is an organic part of our country, its history and its culture, our ancestors had lived on this land, adapted with its nature on land and in sea, and realized with their nature and instinct the need to maintain it, to take only as much as they need and leave enough of what would be a source of good wealth and a fountain of bestowal for the following generations”

He also said “Protecting the environment must not be considered nor viewed as a case in concern of governmental authorities only, it is a case that matters to us all, it is everybody's responsibility and the responsibility of each individual in our society, citizens and residents alike” In the light of Sheikh Zayed's concern with the environment, he built several natural reserves, including “Sir Bani Yas Island” about 250 km west Abu Dhabi and it is 230 square km wide, an artificial island about 10 square km wide was added to it to a base for agricultural experiments, this island where it used to be a barren desert had become one of the biggest nature reserves in The Arabian Peninsula, as well as a habitat for thousands of animals that roam freely, millions of trees and plants and a sanctuary for birds, beside being a wildlife reserve where activities such as Safari, rowing, mountain cycling, hiking and diving are held.

Sheikh Zayed's interest in environment had been reflected on his decisions in regard to panning wild hunt and providing incubators for wild animals that were almost extinct, including Arabian Oryx, Houbaras, Falcons and others. As he was the first of who had started paying attention to the fact the Arabian Oryx is threaten with extinction in the early 1960s, based on that he gave his orders to look after if and breed it to increase its numbers until it reached to 6000 according to the latest data, and in 1977 he ordered increase the number of Houbaras in “Al-Ain Zoo” even before it was under the threat of extinction, and in 1982 he announced the hatching of the first chick in a zoo in Emirates.

In 1989, he established “The National Bird Research Center”, which its program had unleashed the ambition to increase the number of Asian Houbaras, as the production number of these birds had reached over 200 birds in 2004, Sheikh Zayed had also focused his efforts on strengthening the cooperation and establishing collaboration programs with the countries in the field of Houbara spreading area from Chin to Yaman
His most important initiative in the field of Falcon care and its hunting sports was establishing Sheikh Zayed's Falcon Unleashing Program, which managed to unleash more than 1787 falcon, most were Lanner and Peregrine which were compromised.

One of the true stories that indicate Sheikh Zayed's concern with protecting the environment generally and birds specifically is that whenever he intended on going on a hunting trip, he would order the are where he will be hunting to be prepared and tell his escorts “Do not kill any birds, those who love me will unleash their birds and let it be”, and with that birds were unleashed in that protected area.