Abu Dhabi has launched a project aimed at numbering and coding old, endangered trees, which have historical importance in their natural environments and habitats.
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) will aims to give each tree an identification tag bearing serial numbers classified according to the tree type, in addition to electronically numbering trees and identifying them via serial codes linked to geographical databases.
Dr. Shaikha Salem al-Dhaheri, secretary-general of EAD, said, “This project aims to tag old Ghaf and Samar trees of important environmental and heritage values.”
“EAD has begun to implement the program by identifying the targeted tree species using satellite and aerial images, taking coordinates for each tree and storing them within the geographical databases of the agency, followed by the actual numbering of the historical trees.”
Dr. Al Dhaheri said the program will begin at Jebel Hafeet National Park in Al Ain city, where EAD has implemented a project to rehabilitate Samar trees in areas affected by climate change, illegal human violations and infrastructure development projects.
The agency plans to tag 1,500 Samar trees in the protected area in the first phase of the project, in addition to 1,500 Ghaf trees across the Emirate by the end of the year. The trees will be tagged with specially designed metal panels bearing the species details and tag identification numbers.
Dr. Al Dhaheri also stated that through the project, EAD seeks to achieve its environmental and cultural objectives of protecting local trees from illegal activities.
The project will also contribute to enhancing the quality of available data on local trees in natural habitats, a detailed assessment of the condition of each tree as well as other morphological information which will further help in assessing their resilience in combating desertification and mitigating impacts of climate change.
Ahmed al-Hashmi, acting executive director of terrestrial and marine diodiversity at EAD, said, “The numbering of historical trees is one of the main pillars from which EAD will launch a long-term protection plan for local trees in Abu Dhabi to ensure their sustainability as a symbol of our natural heritage and distinguished cultural heritage.”
The numbering of the trees will be carried out using specially prepared metal panels, etched with a distinctive number mounted on the trees. This number is linked to an electronic number within the geographical databases of EAD, where the health status of the trees will be recorded and monitored, as well as their condition and the threats to which they are exposed.
Abu Dhabi has nearly 100,000 naturally growing Ghaf and Samar trees. Similar to other local trees, these two types are protected under Federal Law No. (24) of the year 1999.