Information on Abu Dhabi’s environmental heritage is just a click away for nature-loving pupils in the emirate — helping them to experience and learn about nature in an entertaining manner. The Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD) on Tuesday launched an online interactive version of the popular Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate that was unveiled at the Eye on Earth Summit held in Abu Dhabi in December 2011. The Interactive Atlas is an online resource that takes the user into the environmental heritage of Abu Dhabi emirate highlighting along the way the profound influences on the past, present and future of human development within the region. It was developed as part of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). The EAD launched the Interactive Atlas in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and AGEDI. It is packed with teacher and student resources and has been designed to support the curriculum by making resources available online, offline, for self-study purposes and within the classroom environment. It also offers support for teachers and students alike; from step-by-step lesson plans for teachers to self-study quizzes for students. Like the paperback version, the Interactive Atlas is divided into nine sections. Within each of these sections, the Interactive Atlas interlaces anecdotes, case studies, maps and images to bring each section to life. “Today was chosen for the launch, as we celebrate International Biological Diversity Day, a day focused on sharing knowledge and understanding of biodiversity issues. This Interactive Atlas provides not only the students of Abu Dhabi with a wealth of information about the Abu Dhabi environment online, but also makes it accessible to the rest of the world,” said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General, EAD. Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), said: “The Interactive Atlas is a pioneering step in linking education to the environment, which is an ideal opportunity to highlight the natural heritage of the UAE and enrich the academic sector with the environmental information they need. This Atlas will help strengthen students’ ties to their society and culture and encourage them to protect the environment and its natural resources.” Fozeya Al Mahmoud, Acting Director of the Environmental Information, Science and Outreach Division at EAD said: “The Atlas will help explain our historical ties to the land and sea and give us a sense of why we should care. It is not a substitute for experiencing nature, but a way to better understand the environment in which we all live and work.” Free online content Abu Dhabi The Interactive Atlas is available for free in both Arabic and English online at www.environmentalatlas.ae. It also offers users the ability to keep in touch via its own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts. The hardcopy version of the Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi Emirate is also available in Arabic and English and is available for sale in all leading retail outlets in the Gulf and internationally as well as online at www.booksarabia.com and www.ead.ae. The development of the hard copy of the atlas involved more than 100 accomplished experts in their field from scientists to storytellers across 65 different organisations.