UAE’s global tree planting drive underway despite coronavirus curfews and lockdowns


More than one million trees have been planted in Nepal and Indonesia as part of the Emirates’ Nation Brand Tree Planting Campaign despite travel restrictions, curfews and lockdowns affecting the world.

The brand is keeping up to its commitment to plant a tree for every vote received during the Nation Brand Selection Campaign. “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. “We’re making good that promise despite the difficult situation the world is facing right now.”

The planting campaigns provided employment in 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. “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 and will continue for 24 months until March 2022, while at Amaltaari, a nursery has been constructed to grow seedlings, which will be planted before September.

“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,” said Al Hammadi.

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