Coastal Blue Carbon ecosystems – such as mangroves – can help reduce the risks and impacts of climate change while providing multiple co-benefits: they offer critical habitats for biodiversity, enhance local fisheries production, and protect coastal communities from erosion and storms. Yet mangroves face many threats, including deforestation, coastal development, pollution and climate change.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The “Restoring mangrove ecosystems of the UAE” project uses an ecosystem-based approach and is run through the “Priceless Planet Coalition”, an international initiative implemented by Mastercard in collaboration with Conservation International (CI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), which aims to plant 100 million trees by 2025 to restore global forest ecosystems.
In the UAE, Emirates Nature-WWF has selected different sites to plant mangroves, one of them being Khor Al Yeefrah, in Umm Al Quwain. Khor Al Yeefrah is home to dense mangrove forests, rich biodiversity, as well as kayaking activities near beautiful lagoon-side beaches. The area is also the breeding ground for the largest colony of the Socotra Cormorant bird in the Gulf region. As such, this area is renown to be rich for its oldest and most genetically diverse ecosystems and biodiversity.
HOW VOLUNTEERS WILL HELP
Volunteers will assist our team of scientists to plant mangroves and collect biodiversity information while planting mangroves in Khor Al Yeefrah, Umm Al Quwain. If time allows, volunteers may also help to monitor the biodiversity and record wild plants in the area, count crabs and their burrows, the number of snails in a sample area, the number of species of birds seen throughout the day, signs of insect pollinators and pests.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
From Thursday 16 March to Tuesday 21 March 2023 (every afternoon) over six consecutive days, Emirates Nature-WWF will be organizing outreach and planting activities, which volunteers will be able to come and join.
The programme includes:
Introduction to the marine ecosystems, blue carbon and the importance of mangroves by our experts;
Exciting and educational activities such as scavenger hunt where volunteers will be looking out for different species of wildlife native to mangrove forests (e.g., try to find footprints) or bird identification using a bird guide;
Awareness about the cultural and ecological importance of mangroves, the threats they face and how we can work together to ensure their resilience;
Planting of mangrove saplings and adding your name on them!
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
This type of fieldwork is physically challenging, it will be outdoors. Willingness to get dirty and have fun is vital as it gets really muddy in the mangroves!
Please note that this trip is not suitable for children under the age of 7. However, children can only attend upon requests and must be accompanied by adults. For such requests, please reach out to [email protected] .
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