An overview of the mangrove forest.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The mangrove forest planted in the Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary marks a decisive action towards earth restoration of a forest in the desert coastline of the UAE.
The project by the Emirates Marine Environmental Group and consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) is in line with Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's plan for more than half of the city to be transformed into nature reserves by 2040.
Located on the Dubai coastline, the P&G Dubai Mangrove Forest will set in an area comprising coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and a natural beach.
Maj Ali Al Suwaidi, president of the environmental group, said the aim was for at least 500,000 square metres of sand to be blanketed by greenery.
Suwaidi said he hoped for one million mangroves to be planted this year and for the numbers to go up to two million.
The sanctuary selected for the forest is a place of global significance, a United Nations protected reserve that is being managed by EMEG and has been included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
The initiative is in line with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan that maps out a comprehensive future map for sustainable urban development in the city.
Nature alone can help us solve up to one-third of climate change. The Dubai Mangrove Forest aims to help balance out Dubai’s cosmopolitan impact in agreement with Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which aims to expand green spaces focused on enhancing the population’s well-being.
Dubai Mangrove Forest will not only be used for forests but also animal rescue and species preservation.
Omar Channawi, CEO of P&G Middle East, East & West Africa, and General Export Markets, added, “P&G has undertaken a large number of initiatives to help protect, improve and restore nature around the world. Regionally, this campaign is focusing to bring nature back to life, and we felt it particularly significant for the regeneration to take place in the desert. The move aligns with Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan’s mission to double green areas to provide a healthy environment for residents and visitors.”
The teams will be using this specially designated land next to the sea to plant a mangrove forest.
Mangroves are an ideal natural climate solution as they use saltwater that they self-filter, removing irrigation from the equation and making them ideal for water conservation as well.
They are also able to store three to five times more carbon than forests found on land, and also crucial to biodiversity health with three-quarters of all tropical fish species being born within mangrove forests.
P&G intends to plant new mangroves on the Jebel Ali site and also adopt some mangroves that are older (4 or 5 years old) to maximize the future carbon sequestration and offsetting potential.
The Forest initiative also aligns with the UAE Vision 2021 objectives towards a more sustainable environment and is the latest in a series of innovative ecological initiatives P&G is putting its weight behind as a Force For Good. By 2030, P&G is committed to making a difference in all environmental footprint actions including becoming carbon neutral within this decade.
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