Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, announced on Tuesday the launch of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC).
Led by the UAE and Indonesia, the initiative seeks to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems for the benefit of communities worldwide.
The announcement took place at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
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Five other countries - India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain - have joined the alliance.
MAC seeks to raise awareness about the role of mangroves as a nature-based climate change solution, and, through its members, will work toward expanding and rehabilitating mangrove forests globally.
Mangrove forests are among the most productive and ecologically important ecosystems on earth. They offer significant climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits, as they store carbon up to 400 percent faster than land-based tropical rainforests, protect coasts from rising sea levels, erosion, and storm surges, and provide breeding grounds for marine biodiversity. Around 80 percent of the global fish population depend on healthy mangrove ecosystems.
“Increasing reliance on nature-based solutions is an integral element of the UAE’s climate action on the domestic as well as international level, therefore, we seek to expand our mangrove cover. At COP26, we presented our ambitious target of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030,” Almheiri said.
“We are pleased to launch MAC jointly with Indonesia, and believe it will go a long way in driving collective climate action and rehabilitating blue carbon ecosystems,” she added.
The minister noted that the UAE intends to plant three million mangroves within the next two months.
At the MAC launch ceremony, the website which features the alliance’s goals, work mechanisms, and a pledge form for members, went live.
MAC will follow a voluntary approach. Members can determine their own commitments toward planting and restoring mangrove forests, promoting multilateral cooperation, and sharingknowledge, while the alliance will support their projects in the areas of mangrove research, management, and protection of coastal areas, and educating the public about climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Collectively, members will demonstrate their dedication to maximizing the potential of nature-based solutions through mangrove planting and conservation campaigns, enhance mangroves’ climate change mitigation capabilities through research and innovation, contribute to mangrove conservation worldwide through scientific and socio-economic studies, engage the community and the private sector in mangrove planting to expand blue carbon ecosystems, and step up concerted efforts to advance the global climate agenda.
MAC will feature multiple interactive platforms, including annual meetings to track progress in implementing its goals, drive cooperation between members, and approve annual reports.
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