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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Announces Two Initiatives to Plant 30,000 Mangrove Trees

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment, announced the launch of two environmental initiatives by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOCCAE) for 2018 that has been declared the Year of Zayed. The first initiative will include planting 30,000 mangrove trees, the second to cultivate coral gardens, both geared to developing the coastal and marine areas in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said: "The two initiatives are part of the Ministry's strategy for 2017-2021, which aims to achieve the sustainability of natural ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and reducing the 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.”

His Excellency 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 programs to achieve the goals outlined in the National Biodiversity Strategy prepared by the Ministry in conjunction with environmental and concerned authorities in the UAE.

He added: "MOCCAE's announcement of the two initiatives to expand the numbers of mangroves and coral gardens in the country stems from their environmental importance. Mangrove trees play an effective role in reducing carbon emissions, contribute to minimizing the impacts of marine natural disasters and protecting coastal areas from erosion. They are also incubators for many marine species, and 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.”

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said that through such efforts to protect biodiversity in the country, the Ministry underlines its commitment to collaborating with its partners and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to promote ecotourism, rehabilitate natural areas and consolidate the UAE’s position as one of the main destinations for such tourism on the global map.

In closing, he said: "The development of ecotourism is one of the main initiatives of the Ministry's Strategic Plan 2017-2021, the UAE Green Development Strategy and the National Environmental Education and Awareness Strategy 2015-2021. The concept of sustainable ecotourism is a good and effective model for reducing pressure on resources caused by regular tourism. Therefore, we seek to focus on such efforts and highlight the most important areas that tourists can enjoy in the country.”


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