Ministry of Climate Change launches first phase of Coral Gardens Initiative

ABU DHABI, 3rd March, 2018 (WAM) — Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has started the implementation of the first phase of its initiative to cultivate three coral gardens over a total area of 850 square meters in Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Qaiwain, and Ajman.

As part of the initiative, MOCCAE has succeeded in cultivating 24 species of corals and is working on the rehabilitation of ecosystems to provide a natural habitat and an incubator for several marine species, aiming for a substantial increase in fish stocks and ensuring their sustainability.

Commenting on the initiative, Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of Ajman Tourism Development Department, said: “The UAE presents a world-class model of environment protection and natural resources sustainability. Our environmental commitment was instilled in us by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose concern for the environment was highly acclaimed.”

Al Geziry indicated that MOCCAE’s initiative to cultivate coral gardens in these emirates, including Ajman, spreads environmental awareness among the general public in line with the vision of the UAE prudent leadership and is part of the nationwide drive towards preserving natural resources and mitigating climate change impacts, to ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.

Salah Abdullah Al Raisi, Director of the Fisheries Sustainability Department at MOCCAE, said that the initiative is part of the Ministry’s strategy for 2017-2021, which aims to achieve the sustainability of natural ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and reducing the impacts of climate change. The initiative contributes to safeguarding biodiversity in the country, and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the air through the sequestration of carbon dioxide – the initiative supports the country in achieving the goal of sustainability as outlined in the UAE Vision 2021.

Al Raisi noted that through such efforts to protect biodiversity in the country, the Ministry underlines its commitment to collaborating with its partners and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to promote ecotourism and consolidate the UAE’s position as one of the main destinations for such tourism on the global map.

Dr. Saif Mohammed Al Ghais, CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority (EPDA-RAK), said: “The initiative to cultivate coral gardens, carried out by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as part of its initiatives in the Year of Zayed, supports the Authority’s strategic projects and initiatives 2017 – 2020, which are aimed at preserving fish stocks and ensuring their sustainability.”

He further added that EPDA managed to cultivate 650 species of corals and installed 703 artificial caves, as part of its strategy to enhance marine biodiversity in the emirate.

MOCCAE announced last month the launch of two environmental initiatives for 2018 that has been declared the Year of Zayed. The first initiative includes planting 30,000 mangrove trees, and the second to cultivate coral gardens, both geared to developing the coastal and marine areas in the United Arab Emirates.

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