Abu Dhabi, March 14th 2023: As part of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative and inspired by the Queen’s Green Canopy Project, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the British Embassy Abu Dhabi planted 70 mangrove saplings on Jubail Mangrove Island.
The Queen’s Green Canopy Project is a tree planting initiative created in 2022 to mark the Platinum Jubilee of the late Queen Elizabeth II, while the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative was launched in February 2022 during a meeting of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and head of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and His Royal Highness Prince William, at Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative was established to provide a platform for the development of innovative mangrove planting solutions, while helping mitigate the effects of climate change, and raising awareness of mangroves’ importance and the need to restore them.
Representing EAD at the event was the Secretary General, Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, who was joined at the ceremonial planting ceremony by His Excellency Patrick Moody, His Majesty’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Engineer Abdulla Al Shamsi, Corporate Director of Jubail Island. Also in attendance was a group of Emirati and British students, who helped with planting the mangroves as part of a youth outreach programme – a core mandate for both EAD and the British Embassy.
On the occasion, Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha, said: “It is such a pleasure for us at EAD to honour the late Queen Elizabeth and be inspired by the Queen’s Green Canopy Project, with today’s planting ceremony acting as an extension of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative, especially in the Year of Sustainability, which highlights the UAE’s rich heritage to promote sustainable practices. At EAD, we have several UK partners with whom we have developed a series of successful projects and programmes. I would like to thank His Excellency Patrick Moody for joining us today, helping to plant a significant species whose prime carbon-sink properties help us to combat climate change.”
She also provided an update on the recent achievements of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative and outlined the Agency’s impressive progress regarding the planting of mangroves in Abu Dhabi as part of EAD’s successful marine conservation programmes.
His Majesty’s Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody said “During his visit to Jubail Mangrove Park in February last year, His Royal Highness Prince William had the honour to meet His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed where Abu Dhabi set out their ambitious plans to establish the Emirate as a global hub for research and innovation to support the conservation of mangroves. Their first partnership was with the Zoological Society of London, who remain committed to working with EAD to support nature and climate positive mangrove projects internationally.
“As we look forward to the UAE hosting COP28 later this year it is important that we take action in a variety of ways to tackle the interlinked crises of climate change and nature and biodiversity loss. Conserving and planting mangroves provides natural adaption to the effects of climate change and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Engineer Abdulla Al Shamsi Corporate Director of Jubail Island said: “At Jubail Island, we are proud to be part of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove initiative and we are committed to planting one million mangroves on Jubail Island over the next ten years. The Abu Dhabi Mangrove initiative allows us to work towards this target, and we thank the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the British Embassy Abu Dhabi for their support on this project”.
Recently, EAD has planted around 15 million mangroves across Abu Dhabi’s coastal areas, including Jubail Island, Al Mirfa, and different locations across Al Dhafra region. This is in alignment with UAE’s aim of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030 to help achieve Net Zero by 2050.
EAD has also successfully planted one million mangrove seeds using drones, as part of the first phase of a project supporting the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative. EAD is the first organisation to plant mangroves on such a large scale using drones. The planting of the one million seeds is a result of a successful phase implemented by EAD in partnership with ENGIE, the global energy company, and Distant Imagery, a drone engineering solutions company.