The Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA) organised a series of tree planting initiatives in the Emirate of Sharjah during 2023, which resulted in planting a total of 1,300 mangrove seedlings in the AlQurm & AlHefaiyah Protected Area in Kalba City. The initiatives are organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Emirates Nature-WWF.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah, noted the intention to increase the number of seedlings by the end of the year. Since the initiative's launch in 2018, a total of 6,900 seedlings have been planted, with 4,000 planted by the EPAA and 2,900 planted by the Emirates Nature-WWF.
Hana Al Suwaidi added that this year's mangrove tree planting initiatives included the mangrove trees in the city of Kalba. This reserve, located in Khor Kalba on the southern outskirts of the city, is one of the oldest mangrove habitats in the UAE. It is a haven for rare birds and marine turtles. She confirmed that in the coming period, work will continue and an updated implementation plan will be developed to specify the number of mangrove trees planned for planting in Sharjah in the coming years. This will particularly focus on coastal areas, which are considered ideal environments for cultivating such environmentally friendly trees, with significant impacts on nature conservation and the restoration and sustainability of natural ecological systems.
The EPAA's initiatives align with the UAE's strategy to continue planting mangrove trees and expanding the forest cover to achieve the UAE's goal of planting 100 million mangrove trees by 2030.