UAE charity urges people to help clean up, climate-proof areas after rain - GulfToday

UAE charity urges people to help clean up, climate-proof areas after rain


Residents across the UAE have demonstrated the power of community during adverse circumstances.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

In response to recent extreme weather events, local environmental charity Emirates Nature-WWF is channelling community volunteering efforts to aid flood recovery, build resilience of rural communities and implement climate adaptation measures at key sites where the charity implements a portfolio of conservation projects with local governments.

For the next three weeks, all community mobilisation activities organised as part of the charity’s flagship Leaders of Change programme, will be open to the public and dedicated towards cleanup and restoration at impacted rural areas, with the aim of climate-proofing these areas against future storms, flash floods and inundation.

Volunteers will join conservation experts in clearing debris and repairing falaj irrigation channels to ensure the continuous flow of fresh water. Farmlands and nature trails affected by flooding will also be restored. In addition, volunteers will support the implementation of climate adaptation efforts to build long-term resilience of rural communities, such as the planting of native Arabian Moringa Shu’a trees to improve soil health and enhance ecosystem stability.

“People across the UAE have demonstrated the power of community, coming together at this challenging time to support one another,” commented Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF. “By channelling our Leaders of Change and community volunteering efforts towards recovery, we aim to strengthen the resilience of rural communities whom we work with closely on local conservation projects around climate mitigation & adaptation, preservation of nature, and food & water security.”

Building Resilience of Rural Communities

Around the world, climate change is altering weather patterns and causing more extreme weather events, which can range from intense storms and heavy rainfall to longer and more severe drought. While additional rainfall can be beneficial for biodiversity in dry, arid parts of the world, it requires climate adaptation measures such as the development of storm walls, or gabions, and water catchment zones to manage the flow of excess water and enhance water storage. These solutions also help reduce the potential impact of future floods on communities and infrastructure.

The idea is to build resilient communities.

Emirates Nature-WWF’s conservation work around Building Resilient Communities focuses on advancing agroecology principles and implementing Nature-based Solutions across rural communities in the UAE to support carbon capture, climate adaptation and biodiversity preservation while also strengthening local food security and creating alternative income for rural communities.

The charity works closely with rural farmers to restore traditional falaj irrigation channels, implement sustainable irrigation and promote circular farming practices that improve soil health, support local crops and unlock multiple socioeconomic benefits for the community. In addition, a pilot project is currently under way to innovate new food products that can be derived from native crops that can be produced by local communities and contribute to economic diversification, SME growth and overall resilience of the local community.

Register now for Flood Recovery:

Leaders of Change and people are invited to register for the following events taking place this weekend:

Reviving Resilience: Wadi Shees, Sharjah

Saturday, 27 April from 7.30am to 11am

Open to individuals aged 7 and above

Reviving Resilience: Al Bithnah, Fujairah

Sunday, 28 April from 7am to 11am

Open to individuals aged 7 and above

Additional events will continue to be announced so please sign up for updates at

About Leaders of Change

Recognised as the UAE’s largest movement for nature, Leaders of Change is an annual membership programme that mobilises all members of society – government, corporate entities, individuals and students – to create positive impact on the ground through training, ideation sessions and conservation in the field. All actions contribute directly towards Emirates Nature-WWF’s portfolio of conservation projects in the UAE.

Since the launch of Leaders of Change in 2021, the community of 4,000+ changemakers has contributed over 17,500 hours to protecting nature. They have collected, surveyed and safely disposed of 3,500+ kg of litter from the natural environment, recorded 7,000+ nature observations across the UAE, restored 5 natural habitats (including mangroves, wetlands, falaj, deserts and mountains) and built 250+ km of nature and hiking trails.


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