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30 November 2023

MOCCAE collaborates with Al Rostamani Group to drive the UAE's commitment to planting mangroves


As part the Year of Sustainability and UAE’s preparations for hosting COP28, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Al Rostamani Group to support the Mangrove Planting Initiative to achieve the target of planting 100 million mangroves trees by 2030.

The MoU was signed at the Ministry's headquarters in Dubai in the presence of Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment. It was signed by Dr Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi; Assistant Undersecretary for the Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector at the Ministry and by Hassan Abdullah Al Rostamani, Vice-Chairman of Al Rostamani Group.

Mariam Almheiri said: “The UAE is committed to promoting nature-based solutions as part of the nation’s strategy to drive climate action. As the UAE celebrates the Year of Sustainability and prepares to host COP28 in November, the UAE is building a global model in promoting mangrove planting as a nature-based solution to address climate change, having launched the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) initiative in partnership with Indonesia.”

Almheiri added, “The UAE recently endorsed the ‘Mangrove Breakthrough’ initiative, a collaborative effort between the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) and the UN Climate Change High-level Champions, which aims to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. The UAE is focused on accelerating efforts to realise our target of planting 100 million mangrove trees by 2030, and to share our experience with the world.”

Almheiri added, “The cooperation with Al Rostamani Group reflects the concerted efforts by the Ministry with the private sector to achieve the UAE's climate and environmental goals and we look forward to further cooperation to achieve our Net Zero by 2050 goals.”

Marwan Abdullah Al Rostamani, Chairman of Al Rostamani Group, said, “The UAE since its inception took strides in building the nation and enabling its people, an endeavor that we are all part of from one generation to the next. We are committed to the legacy of our founding father the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was a leader of sustainable development. He foresaw a greener future, and we aspire that our children also follow the pathway and treat nature and the environment surrounding them with respect and appreciation.”

He added: “Al Rostamani Group is proud and honored to support this initiative with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as part of our commitments and support to our country, as well as to the UAE’s strategic vision and the Ministry’s long-term plans towards environmental sustainability and clean energy.”

The Al Rostamani Group's contribution to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment's initiative will support the expansion of mangrove plantations across the UAE and will aid in establishing a modern mangrove nursery for the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

As part of the 100 Million Mangrove Trees by 2030 Initiative, this newly established nursery will concentrate on producing seedlings. This approach aims to lower operational expenses and raise the annual production capacity to 7 million mangrove seedlings until 2030, achieving approximately 1 million seedlings per year.

Mangrove forests play a key role in protecting the UAE's coastlines from rising sea levels and storms, provides habitats for marine species, and act as natural carbon sinks. The UAE is home to 60 million mangrove trees, covering an area of 183 square kilometres that capture 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. With the addition of 100 million mangrove trees, the total cover will reach 483 square kilometres that can capture 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Mangrove trees are one of the most effective, nature-based solutions to capture and store carbon emissions, with many studies highlighting their ability to capture carbon emissions up to 4-5 times that of terrestrial ecosystems. Mangrove trees are also capable of storing over 1,000 tonnes of carbon per hectare in its biomass and soil according to United Nations reports, as well as being safe natural habitats for marine species with 80% of the global fish species dependent on mangroves.