RAK authority bans Damas seedlings
Ras Al Khaimah - The authority has also launched several campaigns to enlighten the public about the negative impact of these trees.
The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah has banned selling Damas seedlings.
Earlier, the authority had uprooted thousands of the harmful trees, scientifically known as Conocarpus Lancifolius trees, from across the emirate, mostly from the sewage and water networks, for their negative impact.
Dr Saif Al Ghais, director-general of the authority, said the Damas trees proved to have excessively consumed the underground water. "This is not a local tree and does not suit our environment," he said. "We have recently started removing this tree in collaboration with the factories and companies where they are planted."
The authority has also launched several campaigns to enlighten the public about the negative impact of these trees. The Damas tree is fast-growing and tolerant of heat, drought and salt, making it a perfect landscape tree and shrub for the UAE, he stated. "Native to the coastal and riverine areas of Somalia, Djibouti and Yemen, the tree is found throughout the Horn of Africa and South Asia. Damas tree were brought to the UAE some 20 years back. They were planted across the country since then, but their fast expansion in search for water under the ground has badly affected the infrastructure facilities."
Most of the Damas trees have been removed with immediate effect in collaboration with all the bodies concerned, said Dr Ghais.
"Beekeepers have also complained about these trees because the bees suck in their nectar and mix it with that of other local flowers and that negatively affect the quality and taste of the honey produced."
Dr Ghais urged all residents, factories and schools to plant local trees, such as mangrove and Sidr, instead of harmful Damas trees. "Local trees can tolerate the hot weather of the country and help protect the environment."
The authority has distributed thousands of local trees to farms and companies to be planted in the emirate, he added.