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12 July 2024

Nation Brand's pledge to plant 10.6 million trees in Nepal, Indonesia underway despite pandemic


The Emirates Nation Brand's commitment to plant a tree for every vote received during the Nation Brand Selection Campaign is being fulfilled, despite travel restrictions, curfews and lockdowns being experienced as the world counters the new coronavirus.

The long-term planting projects will bring much-needed stability and continuity to rural communities in both Nepal and Indonesia, with over a million trees already planted.

"We promised to plant a tree for every vote received from people selecting from the three candidate logos for the Emirates’ new Nation Brand as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their contribution," said Alia Al Hammadi, Assistant Director-General at the Public Diplomacy Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, in a statement released by Emirates Nation Brand on Sunday. "We’re making good that promise despite the difficult situation the world faces right now."

The statement explained that the planting campaigns, will not only make the world a greener place, but provide much-needed employment in both of the areas where planting is taking place, the rural communities of Amaltaari in Nepal and Numfoor Island in Indonesia. At Amaltaari, 200,000 tropical and sub-tropical trees are being planted throughout a 104 square kilometre site, while planting at Numfoor will see some 433,000 propagules per month being prepared and planted by a team of 200 staff. The eventual target at Numfoor is to plant 10.4 million mangroves.

"These projects are important, not only because they provide valuable environmental benefits, but because they provide employment to rural communities," said Dr. Stephen Fitch, founder and CEO of the Emirates’ Nation Brand’s planting partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. "Not only in planting, but in long-term husbandry and protection roles. We provide education, resources and long-term funding to ensure that we don’t just plant trees, but nurture and protect them and the communities around them."

The mangrove planting, in particular, has an important environmental impact as mangroves not only feed oxygen into the atmosphere but are natural sequestrators of carbon – each year the world’s mangroves sequestrate some 24 million tonnes of carbon.

At Numfoor Island, planting began in April 2020 and will continue for 24 months until the end of March 2022, while at Amaltaari a nursery has been constructed to grow seedlings, which will be planted commencing with the rainy monsoon season in June 2020 through to September 2020.

Throughout the nursery construction phase, and indeed throughout the project at both locations, social distancing, handwashing and other safety procedures are being observed in order that work can continue without fear of infection from COVID-19, the statement added.

"We are pleased and proud that we have been able to go ahead with our planting projects as originally envisaged and scheduled, making good on our promise to the people who helped to choose our nation brand and marking this campaign by doing good for the world around us," Al Hammadi concluded.