UAE is Planting 10 Mangroves Trees for Every COP28 Visitor

In a bold stride towards environmental sustainability, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi has embarked on a monumental endeavor to bolster the UAE’s mangrove population. The Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi has undertaken a significant initiative, planting 850,000 mangrove trees along the coastal areas of the Abu Dhabi Emirate as part of the ‘Ghars Al Emarat’ (UAE Planting) initiative.

This effort aims to plant 10 mangroves for each participant at COP28 held in Expo City Dubai, which hosted approximately 85,000 attendees last year. Employing innovative techniques such as drone seeding, these mangrove trees were strategically planted in locations conducive to optimal growth, including the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, Al Mirfa City, and Jubail Island. With an estimated carbon uptake rate of one tonne per 5,000 mangroves, this initiative is expected to absorb 170 tonnes of carbon annually from the atmosphere.

This endeavor underscores the UAE’s commitment to achieving climate neutrality and promoting nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change. It has been initiated under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of EAD’s board of directors.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, emphasized the significance of mangroves as a critical coastal habitat for blue carbon, playing a crucial role in supporting biodiversity and mitigating the effects of climate change. She highlighted mangroves’ productivity and their provision of various environmental and economic benefits.

EAD continues to conduct research and studies on mangroves, with ongoing science-based restoration efforts across Abu Dhabi, home to the UAE’s largest mangrove areas. Studies conducted by EAD have revealed mangrove trees’ remarkable ability to store carbon, with mangroves in Abu Dhabi storing carbon at a rate equivalent to 0.5 tonnes per hectare per year, totaling 8,750 tonnes at the emirate level.

The Ghars Al Emarat Initiative, established within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy, aligns with national initiatives such as the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative and supports the UAE’s goal of planting 100 million mangrove trees by 2030. Mangroves currently cover approximately 176 square kilometers across the Abu Dhabi emirate, storing over 3 million tonnes of carbon. This underscores the crucial role of mangroves in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation efforts.

As mangroves continue to thrive and expand across the Abu Dhabi emirate, they serve as a powerful symbol of the UAE’s dedication to environmental conservation and climate action. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, the nation is paving the way towards a more sustainable and prosperous future, where nature and humanity can coexist in harmony.

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