Famous environmentalist and member of one of the ruling royal families in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi is in Rwanda for a six-day visit as part of his work in environmental conservation.
Al Nuaimi arrived in the country on Monday, and he will be travelling to different parts of the country to explore and learn more about the country’s conservation efforts, but also see environmental prospects that he would invest in.
Speaking to The New Times in an exclusive interview on Monday, the member of Ajman royal family and one of the vocal proponents for the environment said that the trip is part of his daily work in understanding what countries are doing and sensitising on what needs to be done in the environment space.
“Of course I love to explore new places, new people and new environments. But my passion is in saving and conserving the environment. The environment belongs to something that is bigger than us; it belongs to generations to come,” he said.
He added that his first trip to Rwanda would also open up new possibilities not just to him but to the country.
“After exploring what Rwanda is doing in terms of environmental conservation, it may create possibilities for me or Rwanda. There are enormous avenues in sharing stories about countries, and lessons of how others are doing it. I want people to know Rwanda as a place of opportunities,” he noted.
Upon his arrival, he visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where he laid wreaths on the graves that hold remains of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis that claimed over a million people.
Al Nuaimi said that what happened was very unfortunate, and the world must stand up to protect humanity.
“What happened here is a lesson to us, to everyone. It clearly shows us that we need to reunite regardless of the race, color, faith or culture. But if we don’t take care of the environment around us, this will not be possible,” he said.
Al Nuaimi is the nephew of Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al-Nuaimi who is the Ruler of Ajman and member of supreme council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the seven emirates (states) of the UAE.
Better known as the ‘Green Sheikh’ for his work in environmental education, Al-Nuaimi is also the environmental advisor to the Ajman Government.
He is expected to visit Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park as well as Volcanoes National Park.
The royal member ditched the lucrative career in the petroleum industry, and has for the past 25 years committed himself to travelling and collaborating with countries to address issues around humanity, global peace, corporation, and climate.
“The aim really is to inspire, motivate and mentor the people especially young people who would ultimately take care of the future generations to come. But the idea is also to bridge the gap between the understanding of the countries about environment,” he said.