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Mangrove planting drive on Sir Bani Yas island

posted on 28/01/2009: 3310 views

Over 1,500 mangrove seedlings are being planted on Sir Bani Yas Island, the nature-based destination recently opened to tourists, as part of a visitor pledge by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the resort's master developer.

When Sir Bani Yas Island opened to guests last October, TDIC pledged to plant one mangrove for every visitor, ensuring tourists contribute to the preservation of Abu Dhabi's natural resources.

"The pledge has been well received by guests who are all eager to learn more about the island's eco-system,” said Lee Tabler, CEO of TDIC.

All guests visiting the island receive a brief on the environmental landscape of Sir Bani Yas, which lies in the far-western coast of Al Gharbia and is the former royal nature-based reserve, home to the Arabian Wildlife Park and its herd of around 400 Arabian Oryx — one of the largest of its kind in the world — is another attraction.

"This is a nature destination like no other in the Arabian region, which is home to a vast range of animal, bird and marine life, with protected waters and lush mangrove deposits,” Tabler said.

"Conservation is at the heart of the ethos of the desert island destination, which has Sir Bani Yas as its core.”

According to Nasser Al Shaiba, head of TDIC's Environmental Department, mangroves are a significant element in the marine and birdlife ecosystem of Sir Bani Yas Island, as they form a habitat for many species of fish, crustaceans and birds.

"Leaves that fall from the mangroves are broken down by micro-organisms to become the first link in the food chain for a large segment of the island's aquatic community, so every mangrove counts,” he pointed out.

Flying fish and other rich wildlife in the mangrove plantation can be enjoyed by visitors, as part of the supervised kayak trips on the island. – Khaleej Times


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