UAE a pioneer in adopting green, environment-friendly technologies - GulfToday

UAE a pioneer in adopting green, environment-friendly technologies


The UAE is in a unique position to contribute to the global green agenda. The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan would transform the City of Wonders.

Inayat-ur-Rahmnan, Gulf Today

The Dubai Green Economy Initiative under the slogan ‘a green economy for sustainable development  aims to make the UAE a global pioneer in green economy products and technologies by maintaining supporting long-term economic growth while protecting the environment.

It involves developing programmes and policies in the fields of energy, agriculture, investment and sustainable transport in addition to new environmental and construction policies.

The UAE’s efforts to reduce emissions include increasing reliance on clean energy, boosting energy efficiency, expanding capacity for carbon capture, promoting sustainable agriculture and implementing environmentally friendly waste management.

As a robust economy, situated in an arid region, with water scarcity and a low proportion of green cover, the UAE is in a unique position to contribute to the global green agenda. In order to implement the  cutting-edge innovations, the nation can help create a template for reversing desertification, globally. And this is not an opportunity that is lost on changemakers - within the government, among eco-entrepreneurs, and corporates with a sustainability focussed CSR agenda.

In recent years, with the implementation of initiatives such as cloud seeding, UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the focus has shifted on breakthrough technologies, as agents of change to create a greener more sustainable UAE.

Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand told Gulf Today that many organisations and institutions are showing an increased enthusiasm for socially-conscious initiatives.

“For the UAE, issues such as desertification and water scarcity represent an existential challenge. Therefore, in the Ramadan spirit of giving, and creating a better world, we believe there has never been a better time for greening office spaces, or undertaking tree-planting initiatives”. Dake added.

Dake Rechsand has now partnered with Dubai-based social enterprise Goumbook, as part of the Heritage Forest project - a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at reforesting degraded urban, suburban, and desert plots, in the UAE, which ties in with the Dubai Agenda 2040. The first-of-its-kind project in the Middle East encourages companies and institutions to extend Ramadan’s spirit of giving, to the region’s sustainability cause.

Substantiating Chandra’s claim is a comprehensive study, which notes that one tree absorbs 20kgs of dust and 20 tonnes of carbon annually, while “swallowing up” 80kgs of mercury, lithium, and lead-based suspensions. In addition, one tree creates 700kgs of oxygen, and purifies 100,000 m2 of polluted air in a year, the study has found.

“In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of creating social, economic, and environmental benefits, all plant species chosen for our Heritage Forests offer specific environmental, medicinal, or economic benefits,” said Goumbook’s Founder Tatiana Antonelli Abella. “The resulting Heritage Forests are a network of green spaces that take over low-density urban or desert areas, with a mix of indigenous, drought-tolerant tree species and an understorey of shrubs and herbaceous plants.”

In an appraisal by the American Forestry Association, a single tree was found to provide $73 worth of air conditioning, $75 worth of erosion control, $75 worth of wildlife shelter, and $50 worth of pollution reduction. To put this into perspective, the compounding of the total $273 for 50 years, at 5% interest, would amount to a whopping $57,151. However, since tree planting initiatives in the Middle East rely on conventional methods that are severely restricted by water scarcity, Dake Rechsand is offering its Breathable Sand solution, which enables optimal plant growth with nearly 80% less water use. This transformative solution is now being backed by advocates for large-scale tree planting initiatives, such as Goumbook, which has the distinction of planting over 95,000 ghafs in the region.

For their part, Dake Rechsand is committed to empowering corporates, educational institutions, communities, and sustainability champions all across the Middle East, as partners that make it possible for all interested parties to contribute to the greening of the region, using the scalable and water-wise Breathable Sand solution.

“Ghaf is a drought-tolerant tree that exemplifies resilience. It’s a habitat for birds like yellow-throated sparrows and long-legged buzzards, an indicator of underground water, and a cultural insignia,” explained Chandra Dake. “Dake Rechsand would like to extend an invitation to all ecologically conscious entities in the GCC, to commit to being sustainability champions, and leverage our breakthrough technology to help transform the region through water-wise tree planting initiatives. Together, we can make a dramatic difference to the net carbon-footprint and extent of green cover, within the region”.

“Companies and institutions can plant between 100 to 1000 trees and, in doing so, unlock quantifiable economic, social, and environmental benefits. Trees are a gift that keeps on giving, and there’s no better time than Ramadan, to contribute to creating a better and more sustainable world”, Chandra added, in closing.

Related articles