Prince William told school children ‘you are the future’ in the fight to save the planet as he planted mangroves with the children at Jubail Mangrove Park, Abu Dhabi, on his first official trip to the UAE.
The Duke of Cambridge arrived in Dubai for his first official visit to the UAE Wednesday evening. Prince William flew into UAE on a commercial airliner as opposed to a private jet.
At Jubail Mangroves, Prince William met with Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office. During the meeting, Sheikh Khaled and Prince William discussed their work on globally impactful sustainability initiatives.
During the meeting, Sheikh Khaled and Prince William discussed their work on globally impactful sustainability initiatives. The royals were briefed on Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi's (EAD's) ongoing work to protect the environment and enhance biodiversity and the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative. The initiative marks Prince William's visit, aiming to establish the emirate as a leading global centre for research and innovation on mangrove conservation and resilience.
The initiative, which will be implemented by EAD and has formed its first partnership with conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) – of which Queen Elizabeth II is patron – will provide a platform for innovation in mangrove research, climate change mitigation, and community engagement. It will also see a state-of-the-art mangrove nursery established in Abu Dhabi as a research, learning, and outreach centre.
The initiative will enable the mass scaling of mangrove recovery as a key nature-based solution to biodiversity and climate crises through research and innovation. These areas will provide sources of connection to nature, carbon stores, havens for biodiversity and sustainable incomes for local communities.
The partners will also build a joint programme of research support on the assessment of blue carbon storage in different regional ecosystems and support the translation of science into policy practice, as well as collaborate on developing standardised assessment methods across habitats (mangroves, reefs, seagrasses) that allow comparison of datasets.
Royals meet school students
Prince William tweeted, “First stop in the Jubail Mangroves, a nature preserve and a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi.”
While at the park, Prince William and Sheikh Khalid spent time with several school students, with whom they planted mangrove saplings, and discussed the importance of young people's commitment to sustainability efforts, now and in the future.
Prince William tweeted, “The Mangrove Initiative will focus on sustainability and preserving the natural environment, providing vital research for supporting biodiversity - including the development of more resilient varieties of the mangrove, which will in turn help protect the Abu Dhabi coastline.”
“These parks also play a role in their communities, especially for the next generation and it's great to see programmes are in place to inspire young people to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow,” tweeted the Duke.
The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative's efforts to enhance mangrove resilience include developing cutting edge genetic and planting methods to breed resilient strains. ZSL will support these endeavours by field testing different approaches. Using the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative as the centre, ZSL will work with nurseries developed within regions and foster the direct exchange of expertise between centres to build knowledge and expertise.
The programme will also develop outreach, training, and advocacy for mangrove restoration in local contexts and global networks.
The park is home to various birds, land, and marine wildlife. It features two kilometres of the boardwalk, where visitors can learn about the important ecological function of mangrove habitats in protecting and supporting biodiversity.
Mangroves are coastal, intertidal forests that play a vital role in protecting coasts from storms and floods. They also provide a habitat for wildlife and regulate climate change, capturing more than four times the carbon of tropical forests.
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