As part of its Youth for an Enabling Society (YES) project, a SAT-7 crew from Egypt travelled to Dubai to participate in COP 28 and film inspiring environmental initiatives by young people in the region. 

As one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to environmental problems, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is hosting the COP summits for three consecutive years: COP 27 was held in Egypt last year; COP 28 is taking place in the United Arab Emirates this year (30 November to 12 December); and COP 29 will convene in Qatar next year.   

YES project manager Rafik George explained why SAT-7 is attending the event: “We explain to youth what this conference is and its importance; why it is being held this year, last year, and next year in the Arab region. Through COP 28 world leaders are trying to educate the Middle East about environmental care. We at SAT-7 want to emphasize to our young viewers the importance of the environment for a better and healthier future and how they could have an active role in caring for it.”  

This year COP 28, held in Dubai, hosts representatives of over 70 countries and 40 international and humanitarian organisations.  

“We filmed with youth from the Emirates about their environmentally friendly projects and initiatives,” said Rafik. “We also talked to experts about the importance of the Suez Canal.”  

The MENA is facing rising temperatures and sea levels, droughts, floods, intense water scarcity, and polluted air. This year has seen wildfires in Algeria and Morocco and droughts in Iraq, Syria, and Tunisa. 

SAT-7 also covered last year’s COP 27 in Egypt. During their four days at the conference, the team conducted around 75 interviews with important figures from different nations and religions to talk about the conference’s role in increasing awareness of environmental issues and their importance.  

The YES project was launched earlier this year with three main goals: to help young people in the MENA live well together despite their differences; to encourage and equip them to take responsibility for shaping their societies; and to support them in working towards the common good and building a better future for everyone. 

A crew recently travelled to Tunisia to film inspiring youth initiatives there. One involved the making of prosthetic limbs out of waste material; the limbs have sensors that connect to the body tissue and move automatically through signals from the brain. Another film featured a man who built a bridge from waste materials to enable children to cross a dangerous stream to get to school. Children had previously drowned in the stream, which is susceptible to flooding.  

Other youth environmental initiatives in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt were filmed for a social media campaign. One of these is called “Very Nile” and aims to clean up the river. The young people running the project have agreed with fishermen to collect all the plastic refuse they find in the water in exchange for payment. The rubbish is then repurposed by other local residents in various creative ways.  

YES is implemented by SAT-7’s Cairo studio and is supported by Norad via Digni and SAT-7’s partner the Norwegian Mission Society. 

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