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'Green Sheikh' drops in on Silves mayor

GreenSheikSheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, from the United Arab Emirates, also known as ‘The Green Sheikh’ for his environmental initiatives, dropped in on Silves council to meet the mayor.  

Rosa Palma, welcoming this immensely wealthy member of the Ajman Royal Family, spent time highlighting the natural wealth of the Silves area, which is rich in natural habitats and discussed her concerns regarding the preservation of the environment.

Key projects such as the Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre, funded by Águas de Algarve and supported by the council, were outlined as was the heritage that unites all Arab peoples with those in Silves as heirs to a Muslim past.

"What binds us most is the fact that we are all human beings," said HRH in his brief address at an official reception.

The Sheikh, who has a known interest in environmental and conservation issues, expressed his appreciation for Portuguese culture and the beauty of the whole country, in particular the city of Silves.

Much of the work that Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi encourages is with the environment and young people who he sees as the core contributors to environmental planning issues.

The delegation that came to Silves was at the invitation of the Silves-Arab Studies Centre of Silves (CELAS).

Whether mayor Rosa Palma discussed the Salgados Praia Grande so-called eco-resort with the Sheikh is unknown but this would be an ideal project for the Sheikh to save over 300 hectares of Algarve beach-front countryside from being lost to hotels, tourist units and another golf course – it’s not like he would miss the money as he conservatively is estimated as being worth §10 billion.

Who is The Green Sheik?

Al Nuaimi, 45, affectionately known internationally as the 'Green Sheikh', abandoned a lucrative career in the petroleum industry to pursue a vocation defending the climate.

After completing a doctorate in Cleaner Production and Industrial Eco-systems, Al Nuaimi - whose uncle is ruler of Ajman, the smallest of the UAE's seven emirates - joined the government as environmental adviser.

The Green Sheikh now works as chairman of the International Steering Committee for the Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq and is honourable president of the Zayed Environmental Impact Network, at the UAE's Zayed University. He says of his previous career in the oil industry: "You want to go to paradise? First you go to hell."

See: 'Left Bloc slams Millennium bank's 'Salgados - Praia Grande eco-Resort' development'




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