Abu Dhabi boosts climate action by planting 44 million mangrove trees

Abu Dhabi leads in mangrove conservation for a sustainable future
Abu Dhabi boosts climate action by planting 44 million mangrove trees
Mangrove trees in Abu Dhabi can store carbon at a rate of 0.5 tons per hectare per year

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD)  announced a major milestone in the UAE capital’s environment initiatives. It announced 44 million mangrove trees have been planted in Abu Dhabi since 2020. This achievement is part of the UAE’s broader commitment to combating climate change.

In collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), EAD has planted a remarkable 23 million mangrove trees within the last two years. This ambitious effort, equivalent to 9,200 hectares, is a key component of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative (ADMI). The ultimate goal is to plant 100 million mangrove trees by 2030, contributing significantly to the UAE’s pursuit of climate neutrality by 2050.

Restoring Abu Dhabi’s mangrove ecosystems

The ADMI, aligning with the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy, aims to preserve and restore mangrove ecosystems. These mangrove trees are expected to store approximately 233,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. This amount is equal to the energy consumption of over 25,000 homes. Furthermore, studies by the EAD indicate that mangrove trees in Abu Dhabi can store carbon at a rate of 0.5 tons per hectare per year. This amounts to at least 8,800 tons annually.

Expressing his satisfaction with this milestone, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized the continuity of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to preserving mangrove trees. He said, “Mangroves are among the most productive coastal ecosystems in the world. The play a key role in adapting to climate change and reducing its effects, by capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

Moreover, mangroves are considered one of the essential ecosystems for the life of many marine organisms.

ADNOC’s commitment

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, minister of Industry and Advanced Technology UAE Special Envoy for Climate, and group MD CEO of ADNOC, commended the achievement. He said: “[We confirm] our commitment to supporting the UAE’s efforts in protecting the environment and natural habitats by utilizing nature-based solutions to reduce the consequences of climate change and enhance biodiversity.”

Abu Dhabi mangroves

‘Lungs of the City’

Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, secretary general of EAD emphasized the great value of mangroves, saying “They are a very important coastal ecosystem and a source of blue carbon. They play a key role in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.”

She added: “The Emirate of Abu Dhabi hosts 85 percent of the country’s total mangrove forest cover, most of which is located in marine protected areas and near the city. Moreover, they provide several important environmental services such as eco-tourism activities, and are an important shelter for native species. In addition, they play an important role in purifying the air and marine waters. This is why mangroves are known as the ‘lungs of the city.”

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The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative

Launched in February 2022, the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative focuses on innovative solutions for mangrove research, restoration, and conservation. As an extension of the Blue Carbon Project, the initiative partners with the Zoological Society in London. It aims to become a global hub for mangrove-related research and studies.

Since its inception, the initiative has organized 12 awareness programs, including mangrove planting on Jubail Island. It organized public presentations on the benefits of mangrove conservation. Moreover, the initiative includes plans for an advanced mangrove nursery in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi’s remarkable achievement in planting 44 million mangrove trees stands as a testament to the emirate’s dedication to sustainability. As the UAE hosts COP28, the international community can look to Abu Dhabi as a beacon of hope. Thus, it is showcasing the transformative power of nature-based solutions in the face of global environmental challenges.

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