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COP28 to lead the way to show why mangrove trees matter

Every attendee of COP28 will have 10 mangrove trees planted across the UAE.

COP28 to lead the way to show why mangrove trees matter
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Climate change is the biggest threat our world faces. One of the tools to reduce carbon emissions is the mangrove. Researchers have quantified how much carbon could be pulled out of the atmosphere if blue-carbon ecosystems such as mangrove forests are restored.

Drawing from research and experience, for every visitor attending COP28 held between November 30 and December 12 in the UAE this year, ten mangroves will be planted in Abu Dhabi, noted the environment officials. 

The climate summit is expected to attract about 80,000 attendees from across the globe, meaning that an estimated 800,000 mangrove trees will be planted in Abu Dhabi.

Using drone technology, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) had pledged to plant the mangroves in the last quarter of the year, with the trees being situated in coastal areas such as Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, Al Mifra City, and Jubail Island.

“Building a resilient, net-zero future depends on halting nature loss and restoring our natural ecosystems,” said Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28.

“Nature-based solutions, including those involving mangroves, have the potential to supply over a third of our climate mitigation needs and build resilience to the effects of climate change.”

The project works hand in hand with the UAE’s Year of Sustainability initiative, the UAE National Net Zero 2050 scheme, and the country’s aim to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030, said Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD.

“This initiative also highlights the UAE’s commitment to achieving climate neutrality and promoting nature-based solutions to reduce the effects and adapt to climate change and reduce the environmental footprint of conference visitors, at the rate of absorbing one tonne of carbon for every 5,000 mangrove trees,” added Al Dhaheri. 

With the UAE home to more than a dozen areas of mangroves, the project aligns with plans to expand and develop its presence along its coastline and shed light on their importance.

Similarly, Ajman’s Al Zorah City is projected to double its natural mangrove reserve over the next year through an initiative resulting from a joint venture between the emirate’s government and Solidere International PLC.

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