Dubai: Some 30,000 mangrove trees will be planted and coral gardens cultivated to develop the coastal and marine areas in the UAE as part of the celebration of the Year of Zayed.
Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, announced the two initiatives of the ministry for 2018, which are part of the ministry’s strategy for 2017-2021 to achieve sustainability of natural ecosystems, conserve biodiversity and reduce impacts of climate change.
“Both initiatives contribute to safeguarding biodiversity in the country, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the air through the sequestration of carbon dioxide — these initiatives support the country in achieving the goal of sustainability as outlined in the UAE Vision 2021. The ministry will coordinate with local authorities in each emirate to determine the locations to implement the initiatives,” he said.
Dr Al Zeyoudi pointed out that the protection of biodiversity is a cornerstone of the UAE’s environmental conservation and development policy and is aligned with the UAE Vision 2021, as a primary responsibility of the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment.
He also noted that work is ongoing through a series of national programmes to achieve the goals outlined in the National Biodiversity Strategy prepared by the ministry in conjunction with the environmental and other concerned authorities in the UAE.
“Mangrove trees play an effective role in reducing carbon emissions, and they contribute to minimising the impacts of marine natural disasters and protecting coastal areas from erosion. They are also incubators for many marine species, and they help maintain the ecological balance, while protecting species from the risk of extinction, in addition to supporting and encouraging ecotourism. For their part, coral gardens provide a natural habitat and an incubator for several marine species, and the Ministry has succeeded in cultivating 24 species of corals,” he said.