Mangroves integral to UAE’s sustainable ecosystem: Masdar Institute

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, has announced that the mangroves of Abu Dhabi are crucial to the very concept of sustainable development and commended the efforts of various organizations towards  preserving one of the rare natural resources of the UAE.

As part of its contribution to preserving the mangroves, students of Masdar Institute are actively participating in Green Abu Dhabi 2013 to ensure the success of the month-long exhibition of art that opened on 2 May.

Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the exhibition is created by Suhail Jashanmal, founder of Green Abu Dhabi, and supported by Masdar Institute. The show at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara aims to support the ‘mangroves project’ that seeks to preserve the UAE’s natural resources.

George Lewis, an emerging artist who earlier exhibited at Green Art Abu Dhabi 2010, is showcasing his selection of works, underscoring the importance of integrating the environment into our daily life. The artworks also aim to drive home the ‘green message’ of the on-going environmental efforts and sustainable development in Abu Dhabi.

Partial proceeds from the auction of artworks and other items at the event will go towards helping partners including the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Worldwide Fund (EWS-WWF), Future Center for Special Needs (FCSN) in Abu Dhabi, and 21'st Century Leaders Foundation.

Additionally, Green Abu Dhabi 2013 will organize events throughout May, including the YAS Waterworld Sculpture Weekend, the first cleanup of the Landmark Mangrove Project, and the Community Celebrity Auction. The month-long show will conclude with an art auction at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara on 8 June.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said: “As a graduate-level institution that drives research to obtain clean and green energy solutions while propagating preservation of natural resources, we are privileged to join our partners and support Green Abu Dhabi 2013 program. The Mangroves of Abu Dhabi are integral to the UAE’s coastal ecosystem and Masdar Institute researchers play a major role in the preservation and up-keep of this natural habitat to continue their research activities for the benefit of the global community.

“At the same time our students’ active involvement in the art exhibition and the initiative to clean up the mangrove further demonstrate Masdar Institute’s commitment to the preservation of this natural marine system. With the guidance of the country’s leadership, we will continue to support such projects that remain a symbol of community activism and effective outreach, enabling the society to learn more about our environment.”

Except for the summer months of June, July, and August, the following months will see around 50-60 people from different walks of life volunteer for the mangroves clean-up campaign. Students from Masdar Institute will also be participating in the clean-up program, which the organizers plan to hold as part of Green Abu Dhabi every year.

Suhail Jashanmal Jhangiani, Founder/Artist of Green Abu Dhabi, said: “This year’s art exhibition celebrates diversity and sustainability, and the UAE is a great example of how these two principles can generate growth and prosperity. Emiratis have always found a way of living with their harsh environment. And it was this adaptability and ability to integrate various ideas that have led to their success. Today, very few people actually realize how crucial the mangroves are to a healthy fish stock or to many other environmental issues.

“Abu Dhabi’s mangroves are rare to find in such an arid environment and remain instrumental in protecting the fish-stock. They also help reduce global warming and protect our coastline from storms and beach erosion. Therefore, it is the responsibility of everyone in the UAE to support the project.”

Noura Al Dhaheri said: “As a student at Masdar Institute, I firmly believe in sustainability and preservation of natural resources. That is why I feel proud to be part of the Green Abu Dhabi initiative, which aims to protect the mangroves and the marine ecosystem. I sincerely hope this initiative will help raise awareness about preserving the environment among the wider community in the UAE.”

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