UAE to plant 10,000 more mangroves

Ten thousand mangroves will be planted in seven regions of the United Arab Emirates in 2023. The initiative coincides with the year of sustainable development and is part of the country’s commitment at the Cop27 climate summit to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030.

The initiative aims to encourage people and communities to adopt sustainable farming practices and reduce their environmental impact. More than 2,000 volunteers have already registered to take part in the tree planting project and events will take place in Abu Dhabi and Ajman.

Mangroves are a vital part of the UAE ecosystem, helping to reduce carbon emissions and providing a natural habitat for fish fry and other marine creatures. The trees also protect the UAE coastline from rising sea levels and storms.

There are already more than 60 million mangroves growing in the UAE, which form a forest of 183 square kilometres and absorb 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Planting 100 million mangroves would increase the area covered to 483 square kilometres and the forests could absorb about 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

In January 2023, the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD) used drones to plant nearly one million mangrove seeds in the Al Dhafra region. The use of drones simplifies the planting process.

In particular, they eliminate the need for physical labour and transportation of seedlings and maintenance of mangrove nurseries. Thus, the overall cost of planting mangrove trees, including in remote and inaccessible areas, is reduced.

An unmanned aerial vehicle has been designed and engineered to drop seedlings from the air, monitor mangrove growth, map their growing environment and create three-dimensional images of the forests.

Mangrove plantations were a personal passion of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE. It was the UAE’s first president who started planting them on the coasts of islands and the mainland.

Source: The National

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