President Sheikh Mohamed helped lay down roots for the UAE's green partnership with Indonesia by planting a mangrove sapling in Bali on Wednesday.
The UAE leader took a break from discussions at the G20 Summit to support Indonesia's sustainability drive at Ngurah Rai Forest Park.
Sheikh Mohamed was briefed on the mangrove nursery housed in the forest, which is in line with the Asian nation's efforts to combat climate change.
The UAE and Indonesia will lead an international task force dedicated to bolstering mangrove conservation around the world.
The partners aim to raise awareness of the critical role to be played by mangroves — described as the green lung of the planet — in combating climate change.
Members will work to rehabilitate and expand mangrove forests around the world in an effort to supply a natural solution to pressing environmental challenges faced by the world.
Mangrove forests are among the most productive and ecologically important ecosystems on Earth.
They can store carbon up to 400 per cent faster than tropical rainforests, offer vital protection to coasts from rising sea levels, erosion and storm surges, and provide a fertile breeding ground for marine biodiversity.
About 80 per cent of the global fish population depends on healthy mangrove ecosystems.
“Increasing reliance on nature-based solutions is an integral element of the UAE’s climate action on the domestic as well as international level, therefore we seek to expand our mangrove cover,” said Ms Al Mheri.
“At Cop26, we presented our ambitious target of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030. We are pleased to launch MAC jointly with Indonesia, and believe it will go a long way in driving collective climate action and rehabilitating blue carbon ecosystems.”
The minister said the UAE intends to plant three million mangroves within the next two months.
MAC members will be able to determine their own commitments in planting and restoring mangrove forests, promote multilateral co-operation, and share knowledge.
The participant countries will work together to support key projects in mangrove research, management and protection of coastal areas, and will help to educate the public about how the precious natural resource can be used as a tool to support efforts to turn back the tide on climate change.
Annual meetings will be held to track progress in achieving goals.