Silvia Razgova / The National, A flamingo wades in the shallow water in front of Mangroves in Abu Dhabi. i. Mangrove forests are the most important vegetation found in the areas of tide influenced coats having accumulated mud and silt. Announcements regarding the other four parks are expected in the coming weeks. Within the UAE there are approx 3000 hectares of mangrove forest (of which 2300 hectares are found in Abu Dhabi). Victor Besa / The National, Flamingos at Al Zorah Natural Reserve in Ajman. The UAE's dazzling National Day show will take inspiration from nature as the country's majestic mangroves assume centre stage. “Because of their ability to fix carbon dioxide into organic carbon and because of their ability to form complex root systems, they can support dozens of different species,” Dr Amin said. In 2014, the UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment completed the first phase of its date palm tree identification through DNA profiling through a collaboration with the UAE University.. Mangroves can protect coastal areas from erosion and floods, and Abu Dhabi is regenerating them to help fight climate change. An EAD spokesman said the mangroves were important ecological assets, along with forests, mudflats and salt marshes. “For example, mangroves cannot survive without microbes living around their roots just like we cannot survive without microbes in our gut that help us digest food,” Dr Amin said. More recently, efforts have been made to plant new forests and to preserve existing mangroves as a natural and resilient protector of the coast. In recent years Environmental impact assessment is done & environmental management plant is implemented while developing near the natural reserves. Arabic for "The Mangrove" is Al-Qurm (ٱلْقُرْم), and it is the name of a corniche that is popular amongst residents of the city, near Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street.. Also, the satellite town of Al-Wathba has a Ramsar wetland nearby. “For the UAE and with increasing sea level rise, mangroves are essential because I expect they will play an important role in protecting our shorelines from erosion,” Dr Amin said. Abu Dhabi moves to protect mangroves from development. The sprawling forestry of the water is estimated to cover more than 150 square kilometres of the UAE coastline and is heralded as the green lung of the Emirates' cosmopolitan cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The TDIC mangrove enhancement scheme aims to protect and enhance the mangrove habitats in its project and has a number of inter-tidal mangrove nurseries. “There are also large communities of fungi, algae and bacteria associated with the mangrove ecosystems.”. They are also viviparous, meaning that their seeds begin germinating before they fall from the parent tree, which increases the chance of successful rooting in tidal environments. ", The report also identifies the mangroves as an area of significant ecological importance to the country as a whole. Despite the carefully crafted guidelines, which the UPC said insist on "environmentally sensitive construction practices", part of the area is being developed into a major international resort. And, historically, mangroves also provided fodder for livestock and served as an important building material in pre-oil times. On top of all of these benefits, mangroves provide recreational grounds, as demonstrated by the Mangrove National Park in central Abu Dhabi. This unique appearance is the result of adaptations developed to survive in harsh environments, including high temperatures, high salinity and intense UV exposure. The Gheras microsite serves as a quick reference on the UAE’s native plant species and highlights methods to preserve them for future generations. 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. Mangrove wood was used for many different things in the past. We must urge people not to litter around the mangroves, especially tossing plastic bags, which can prevent the growth of mangrove trees and release pollutants that could be harmful to their health. The mangroves, which will eventually make up the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park, are to the east of the city, between Abu Dhabi island and the airport. Mangroves are UAE’s the most biodiverse geographical feature. Preserving the UAE's plant species. Most of us would see mangroves as a beautiful element of our landscape - a natural fringe to our developed urban environment, where flamingos flock together and fish and crustaceans proliferate. Anand Raj OK Sep 11, 2020. Visiting guests helped plant mangroves, contributing to the stability of the local ecosystem. “If we are lucky, we can also find ray fishes hiding under the sand, or even blacktip sharks that occasionally enter mangrove swamps. A mention of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coast might bring to mind the artificial islands near the city of Dubai. Mangroves provide habitat to many animal species. It adds: "As a coastal city, the mangroves provide a defining backdrop for the urbanised and urbanising backgrounds of Abu Dhabi. However, Dr Friis said there had been relatively few studies documenting UAE mangrove wildlife and further research was needed. “More efficient use of water and energy in our daily lives, and of course being respectful when visiting the mangrove forests, can help to protect this ecosystem,” Dr Friis said. "The environmental framework policies ensure the long-term protection of the mangrove area for future generations of citizens and visitors to Abu Dhabi." Both the Urban Planning Council (UPC), the body charged with overseeing all development in the city, and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) yesterday announced new planning guidelines for the new Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park. Mangroves are woody plants that inhabit the intertidal zones of tropical and subtropical coasts all around the world. That’s why WWF recently joined with Conservation International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and Wetlands International to establish the Global Mangrove Alliance. Dr Friis said sustainability was gaining weight in policy making in the Gulf, which provided an opportunity to introduce ecological considerations into urban development. Falah al Ahbabi, the general manager of the UPC, said: "The mangroves surrounding the city are the most important ecological resource in the country and contain more biodiversity than any other area in Abu Dhabi. The most noticeable feature, the aerial roots known as pneumatophores, help the plant cope with growing in oxygen-deprived sediments, and also physically stabilise these soft sediments. Mangrove forests are vital for the health of the planet, but they're rapidly disappearing. Both scientists agreed that ecotourism activities such as kayaking are good ways to enjoy mangroves while having minimal impact. That figure is believed to have nearly doubled over the past 20-30 years as a result of plantation and rehabilitation projects first initiated by Sheikh Zayed. In past, locals depend on mangroves for food and wood (for fire, construction material etc). Supporting mangroves in the UAE … “For example, some microbes are symbiotic with mangroves and are able to convert nitrogen gas into ammonia, the main constituent of agricultural fertilisers. Dr Friis said the ecological conditions which mangroves thrive in are particularly extreme in the region, both in terms of salinity and temperature variability. The mangroves in UAE are steadily increasing both in area and in size and it is the community and leaders of this country who will need to keep them protected from new developments and urban expansion. Even marine life is dependent on it, fish population cultivates in mangroves and once they are old enough, fish venture into oceans. At NYUAD, scientists are working to isolate and identify unique molecules produced by the microbes in mangroves that could have potential to tackle human diseases including cancer and pathogenic bacteria. The eastern mangrove lagoon in Abu Dhabi is a favorite holiday destination among rowers. Jubail Island developers say housing plan will not threaten wildlife, Leaving no footprints in a fast-developing city can be a tough call, Abu Dhabi to study climate change threat facing sea creatures, A fifth of Abu Dhabi's mangroves in moderate or poor health, study shows. 4. [3] In the past, the local populations depended on mangrove trees as a source of food, fuel and building materials for houses and ships, due to their durability and high resistance to rotting and termites. The dominant species in the Arabian Gulf region is the gray mangrove (Avicennia marina). “Although we can remove mangrove forests and re-plant them elsewhere, the fact that we are only planting mangrove trees without all the other microbes and higher organisms that are essential for mangroves means we are basically creating 'zombie' trees that can never flourish.”. Mangrove forests are integral to the preservation of the UAE coastline; it … “If we understand the effects on climate change in the UAE we might dedicate more efforts to finding out how much the mangroves can actually offset.” The concept of carbon stocks, although relatively new, has gained ground in international conservation efforts as a way of encouraging policymakers to declare legislation to preserve natural habitats. Sammy Dallal / The National, Kayakers navigate the cool early-morning waters between mangrove islands in Abu Dhabi. 6. Estimates of mangrove coverage in the UAE vary, with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, which uses high-resolution satellites to map the emirate's mangroves, putting their area at about 155 square kilometres. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the drone-powered reforestation project would help to protect UAE shores from rising seas levels and boost fish stocks. The area of mangroves in Dalma is small. But we must be careful not to tread too heavily as to destroy it,” Dr Amin said. Back in November it was announced that a brand new attraction showcasing the capital’s natural mangroves would open in early 2020. Smithsonian science is laying the groundwork for mangrove conservation by documenting the critical services that mangroves provide and by examining how human activities are affecting the functioning of these ecosystems. 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Published: October 10, 2011 00:00 Staff Report. But to the southwest, the UAE coast is dotted with a complex mixture of natural features: mangroves, salt domes, salt flats, and coral reefs. Ahlam Bolooki: Protection of UAE’s mangroves is more important than planting them anew. These coastal forests provide vital services to humans and wildlife, but mangroves are threatened throughout the world and disappearing at an alarming rate. The government of the UAE is determined to increase the number and area of mangroves – by 2030 there will be four more national mangrove parks. To the east of the island of Abu Dhabi is a national park with Grey mangroves. “To name a few of the species we can find, in the UAE there are reports of six different families of crabs; 49 mollusc species including clams and marine snails; examples of both residents and migratory birds like the Western Reef Heron or the Greater Flamingo; and numerous roving fish populations,” Dr Friis said. Mangroves are able to accumulate and excrete salt in their roots and leaves in order to exist in marine environments. The area is also a habitat for dolphins, dugong and turtles, as well as crabs, fish and seabirds. They are highly recognisable from their visible root systems which can give them the strange impression of being planted upside-down. Mangroves also protect coastal areas from erosion by creating a buffer zone, filtering and pacifying tidal flows, and can even reduce the damage and loss of life caused by tsunamis. The vast swathes of mangroves alongside the capital are to receive official protection from development. Silvia Razgova / The National, putting their area at about 155 square kilometres. iii. They are the first guidelines to be produced for what will be five national parks in the city. Because of their ability to sequester carbon, one of the major benefits of mangroves is their ability to reduce harmful the greenhouse gases which cause climate change. The UPC said the guidelines would ensure the "protection and longevity" of the sweeping mangroves, identified as a key area for protection in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, the developmental blueprint produced last year. The Eastern Mangrove "eco-resort", the brainchild of Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), will feature luxury villas next to the water, as well as 191 apartments, some of which will be next to a new marina. Pioneer project will use specialised, custom UAE-built drones and riggings to plant thousands of mangrove seeds near ENGIE’s Mirfa plant in Abu Dhabi. Mangroves are nature's lungs and more needs to be done to protect them in the UAE, a reader says. The mangrove is a unique tree species which helps reduce the impact of climate change. There are several key threats to mangroves, including urban expansion, limited fresh water resources and pollution and physical damage from humans. “We find more potential anticancer molecules produced from mangrove associated bacteria than researchers have found in most other marine habitats,” Dr Amin said. Victor Besa / The National, Tourists set off for a kayaking trip through the Eastern Mangroves. Date Initiated: 1990. Krishna, Kaveri and Godaveri Deltas are covered by … As primary producers like land plants or sea-dwelling phytoplankton, mangroves are photosynthetic organisms that can convert sunlight into energy. Dense mangrove is the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged under water, Ganga, Mahanadi. Many mangroves have been harmed already by plastic bags and litter. The mangroves, which will eventually make up the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park, are to the east of the city, between Abu Dhabi island and the airport. Other types of microbes in the mangrove ecosystem include sulfate-reducing bacteria that thrive in the oxygen-deprived environment, and organisms that produce methane. 5. Mangroves are essential nurseries to three quarters of tropical commercial fish. But people should be careful not to stand on the roots of plants, or the surrounding sediments. Evidence of Bronze Age civilisation has also been found in the mangroves, and the UPC confirmed the planning guidelines would ensure the key archaeological sites would be protected from development. The new attraction on Jubail Island, located between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island, opened to the public on January 30. Two biologists from New York University Abu Dhabi, Shady Amin, assistant professor of biology and Guillermo Friis, a postdoctoral associate in the marine biology lab, help us understand the truly incredible ecosystems which are on our doorstep – or for the lucky, in view of our apartments. Put your balance and strength to the test on a standup paddle board/Kayak while exploring the beauty of the mangrove ecosystem. Abu Dhabi’s new Mangrove walk has officially opened to the public. UAQ Mangrove Tours: Paddling the Mangroves UAE - See 3 traveler reviews, 4 candid photos, and great deals for Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates, at Tripadvisor. A number of commercially important fish and shrimp species use mangroves as nursery habitats. ii. The UAE aims to conserve its native plant species and use them sustainably. Mangrove trees in the UAE are known as “Qurm”, and take up 155 square kilometers of the UAE’s coastlines, according to the EAD. “One of the main things microbes provide for mangroves is nitrogen, a required element to make DNA and proteins. "Mangroves along the coast account for a large portion of the biodiversity of the country and provide an excellent habitat for the many migratory birds that transit the country between Central Asia and Africa," it says. “The ministry is working on a number of initiatives, including the planting of … The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has announced that it will be rehabilitating areas of Abu Dhabi’s mangrove habitats … Silvia Razgova/The National, Marine life attaches to a mangrove branch which hangs just above the water in the Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi. 3. Data Comparative Guide to Asian mangroves StraitsTimes 12 May 2010- Mangrove … “This is useful because the more carbon dioxide we put into our atmosphere, the more we suffer from climate change consequences.”. Ahlam Bolooki, co-founder of Mangroves 4 Mankind, a UAE-based initiative to preserve mangroves around the world, tells Anand Raj OK why protecting this natural wonder is crucial for our environment. Then, get people, community and government to preserve, conserve and even replanting mangroves! The walkway is open daily from 8am to 6.30pm. But how much do we really know about the complexity of our mangrove ecosystems? Positioned between the open water and shorelines, mangroves provide habitats for many species including oysters, phytoplankton, sponges, crabs and other organisms. Silvia Razgova/The National, Kayaking in the mangroves, Abu Dhabi. The 2030 Plan, the code with which Abu Dhabi developers must comply over the next 20 years, says sea levels in Abu Dhabi are expected to rise by about 0.75 metres in the long term. Although the measures do not prevent development in the mangroves altogether, they will stipulate that all construction is carried out strictly in keeping with the environment around it. Also avoid making loud noises that can disturb foraging and nesting birds. 2. UAE is blessed with number of mangroves, marshlands along it’s coast as well as wetland on coast or inland but unfortunately now most of wetlands are under development. “No organism on earth lives in isolation and all these microbes, the mangrove and other higher organisms like algae and crabs are interacting with each other,” Dr Amin said. Posted on November 18, 2020. “Coastal development is an important objective of human civilisation but if not done properly, it could severely harm these ecosystems, which in turn harm us on the longer time scale,” Dr Amin said. The grey mangrove is native in UAE. This in turn is used to transform carbon from carbon dioxide gas produced from burning fossil fuels, into organic carbon that feeds the plants themselves and the entire ecosystem they exist in. “In addition, different biological, chemical and physical processes connect mangroves to adjacent ecosystems including coral reefs or seagrass meadows.”. “They basically convert this greenhouse gas into organic carbon that is either released into the surrounding sediments or is used to build their complex root structures,” Dr Amin said. “Favouring the plantation of mangroves as soft defence structures to dissipate wave energy instead of breakwaters and seawalls would be an excellent way of preserving them while meeting urban development needs,” he said. Bring to mind the artificial islands near the natural reserves beauty of the heritage of United. Wildlife in mangroves is more important than planting them anew clear waters with,. 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