The UAE has stepped up its ambition to expand its mangrove cover by promising to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030.
The Emirates originally agreed to plant 30 million saline-tolerant trees by 2030, in its second Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.
Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, announced the new target at a high-level ministerial meeting on adaptation action during Adaptation, Loss and Damage Day at Cop26 in Glasgow.
Speaking at the event that was held on Monday, Ms Al Mheiri said the UAE was keen to use nature-based solutions to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
"I am proud to announce an important new step in strengthening our blue carbon ecosystems – an increase in our mangrove-planting target to 100 million by 2030," she said.
"We aim to work closely with non-governmental organisations and the private sector to fulfil our commitment to safeguarding the sustainability of our mangrove forests.”
Blue carbon is carbon captured by the oceans and coastal ecosystems.
Mangroves in the UAE
Mangroves reduce carbon emissions and provide critical natural habitats for baby fish and other sea creatures.
The trees also protect the UAE’s coasts from rising sea levels and storms.
The Emirates is already home to 60 million mangroves that form forests spanning 183 square kilometres and capture 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Planting 100 million mangroves will increase the coverage to 483 square kilometres, with the forests able to capture about 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.