Sidr trees planted in Ras Al Khaimah to help clean the air

Planting of indigenous trees will also boost habitat of bees

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Jan 13, 2016. A Sidr tree in Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School Eco Garden. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: NicK Leech Section: FOCUS) Job ID: 16962 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20160113_SCHOOL_007.JPG

At least 1,000 native sidr trees have been planted in Ras Al Khaimahr as part of efforts to boost the environment.

When the trees reach maturity in about five to seven years, it is hoped they will help eradicate six tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions every year.

The For Our Emirates We Plant initiative was undertaken by the Emirates Environmental Group on Tuesday and enthusiasts ranging from Government officials to school pupils participated.

Since the campaign started in 2007, the group has planted millions of indigenous trees across the country.

The sidr tree has grown in the deserts of the region for thousands of years. It is known for being extremely hardy as it can withstand extreme weather conditions. The sidr also provides habitat for bees.

At least 50 companies, 24 schools and 163 families took part in the group's tree planting initiatives this year.

Habiba Al Marashi, chairwoman of the EEG, said: "The movement towards a deeper commitment to environmental protection through planting new trees and taking care of the existing ones is gaining great interest across the UAE."

The planting on Tuesday is part of a larger plan to make RAK a greener place. The emirate's Environment Protection and Development Agency launched an initiative in 2015 to plant more than a million trees.

Tens of thousands of seedlings, including sidrs, ghafs and other trees, have been planted. The seedlings were numbered so the agency could track their growth.

"We want to make the emirate greener,” Saif Al Ghais, executive director of the EPDA, said.

Native trees have made a welcome reappearance across the UAE in recent years. Government legislation encourages the use of native and drought-tolerant species.

The ghaf tree is also to play a central role in Dubai's Expo 2020. One tree, thought to be about 70 years old, is being protected as the huge Expo site creeps up around it.


Native plants make a welcome comeback to Abu Dhabi’s streets

UAE's national tree to take pride of place at Expo 2020 Dubai