Creative Gallery on Sustainability Communications


"The Ecological Footprint Initiative" For EWS-WWF
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Description / Synopsis

In October 2007, the Al Basma Al Beeiya (Ecological Footprint) Initiative was launched as a national effort to ensure a sustainable future by measuring and understanding the impact of our ways of living on the planet. The goals of the Initiative include to help the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government and civil society undertake sustainability research, develop policies, and take direct action, all in support of reducing the country’s Ecological Footprint. While the Initiative takes a high level approach, it incorporates a grass-roots campaign which focuses on raising awareness about the issue to the general public and inspiring them to make changes in their everyday lives. The animation was developed as a communication tool for the general public, and the main purpose was to shed light on the high consumption patterns in the UAE and the need for the population to live more sustainably within the finite resources of our planet. The main messages of the animation are related to the scarcity of natural resources, and the environmental consequences of everyday purchasing decisions and behaviors.


In 2006, the Living Planet Report ranked the UAE as having the highest per capita Ecological Footprint in the world which consequently means that UAE residents consume more food, fibre, energy, goods and services than the planet can naturally regenerate. In response, a partnership was formed among the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW), Abu Dhabi Global Environment Data Initiative (AGEDI with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi), Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) and the Global Footprint Network (GFN) to work together to better understand the ecological footprint of the UAE, and monitor consumption patterns in the country. Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), developed the Ecological Footprint animation as one of the communication tools to raise awareness in the UAE about the impacts of our high consumption lifestyle on our most precious asset, Earth.


One of the core objectives of the Al Basma al Beeiya initiative has been to help advance footprint science and research specifically in the UAE in order to have strong guidance on how to most effectively reduce our footprint in the future. The UAE Ecological Footprint Initiative’s preliminary research indicates that household consumption (eg electricity, water, food, car use) is the primary driver of the country’s high Footprint. This prompted the Initiative to pursue public awareness strategies to help educate UAE residents on: a) what the Footprint is, b) how they are contributing to it, and c) inspire them to want to make more environmentally-positive and informed choices in the future. The animation was developed as an awareness tool that would firstly inform people, and secondly inspire them to rethink the consumption choices in their daily lives and help move the country towards a more sustainable future. One of the main objectives was to highlight to the general public the scarcity of natural resources and the need to live within our resource means to ensure a healthy life for future generations. The animation addresses this through mapping where our everyday goods and services originate, and the global environmental impacts of the consumption of these items. This allows consumers to see first-hand the direct links and environmental impacts of their consumption.


We have reached 20% of the UAE population through various marketing outlets with the ultimate aim of reducing and/or changing consumption patterns in the UAE to a more sustainable level.

Title"The Ecological Footprint Initiative"
Original Title"Al Basma Al Beeiya"
Sustainability Themes Climate Change & Atmosphere, Consumption Patterns, Education & Awareness, Transport
Date of First Publication 01/04/2010
Country of ProductionUnited Arab Emirates
LanguageEnglish and Arabic
TypeWeb Film
TaglineStop, think, and adopt new habits.
Length136 seconds
Account Director: Farrah  Washash
Creative Team: Kalman  Dreisziger ,  Asylum films