The Emirates Environmental Group, EEG, organised its annual 'For Our Emirates We Plant' on 18th December, under the umbrella of the Clean Up UAE Campaign and under the patronage and presence of Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, member of the Executive Council of the Government of Ras Al-Khaimah and Chairman of the RAK Department of Civil Aviation, at the Sidr Nature Reserve in Al Minei.
During the event, environmental enthusiasts representing different sectors of society – governments private entities, academic institutions, officials and students – from all over the UAE, planted 1,000 indigenous Sidr trees. When these trees mature in five to seven years they will help eradicate six metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
The EEG continues its legacy of creating sustainable green spaces in the UAE. Under the umbrella of the campaign that kicked off in 2007, EEG has managed to plant over 2,096,802 indigenous trees in the country. This has resulted in the mitigation of 12,364 MT of CO2.
Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of EEG said, "The movement towards a deeper commitment to environmental protection through planting new trees and taking care of the existing ones is gaining great interest across the UAE."
In his opening speech, Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi said, "The trees planted in this Sidr nature reserve will help save more than one billion bees, this local UAE initiative is for the benefit of local and global causes. We thank EEG for its support and its perseverance to engage the different sectors of society together for a better environment. I hope all of you will be back again next year to once again plant trees and be part of the beautification and greening of this nation."
EEG has uniquely combined its recycling programmes with tree planting and continues to encourage participants to be engaged in both these pro-environmental platforms.
The Sidr tree has grown in the deserts of this region for thousands of years. The tree can withstand any weather condition, creating a beautiful and safe habitat for numerous species including the native species of bees who feed on the pollen of the tree and produce the exquisite Sidr honey which possesses unparalleled medicinal and nutritional value. The planting of the prominent Sidr tree guarantees sustainability and a healthy future and it is EEG’s meaningful way of concluding the Year of Zayed.
The event was a true testimony to Emirati culture and heritage with live cooking by local ladies that served delicious local Emirati cuisine to the participants and VIPs.
This year, the 'For our Emirates We Plant' project saw the participation of 50 companies, 24 schools and 163 families. The participants had the liberty to choose the names under which the trees were planted and accordingly EEG prepared placards which were placed in front of every tree that was planted by the participating entities. Further, a hands-on activity enabled the participants to understand the importance of trees and lasting benefit to the environment and to their health and instilled in them the sense of responsibility and ownership.