Emirates News Agency – ADNOC uses innovative drone technology to plant mangroves

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2023 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced today that it has signed a contract with Distant Imagery, an environmental technology company based in the United Arab Emirates, for the plant of 2.5 Millions signed mangrove seedlings across Abu Dhabi using innovative drone planting technology adopted by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD).

The new contract, signed during Abu Dhabi Sustainable Development Week (ADSW), is part of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative and the existing partnership with EAD. It enables ADNOC to accelerate its mangrove planting activities using drones capable of dispersing more than 2,000 mangrove seeds in approximately eight minutes and the company’s commitment to planting up to 10 million mangrove trees in Abu by 2030 planting in Dhabi.

Ibrahim N. Al Zu’bi, ADNOC’s Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Climate, said, “Through our goal of net zero by 2050, we are placing sustainability at the heart of our growth and building on our proud heritage of environmental stewardship to create enduring value to create for the UAE and its people. Mangroves can be a living shelter against the effects of climate change, prevent erosion, stabilize coasts, improve Abu Dhabi and biodiversity, while contributing significantly to the region’s quality of life for future generations.”

As part of the first phase of the program, special bespoke drones and rigging equipment built by Distant Imagery and supported by EAD were used to plant more than 200,000 mangrove seeds in the coastal Mirfa Lagoon in Abu Dhabi, Dubai. Germination and growth of young shoots are monitored over the next year. At the same time, ADNOC will aerial plant a total of 2.5 million mangrove trees over a period of three years.

Ahmed Alhashmi, Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, said: “This ADNOC project, which will plant 2.5 million mangrove seedlings in different areas of Abu Dhabi, will make a major contribution to Abu Dhabi’s emirate-wide mangrove initiative The capital’s contribution to the UAE’s national target of planting 100 million mangrove trees by 2030. ADNOC has always been an important and long-standing partner for us at EAD and their efforts to ensure our national targets are met are vital. We look forward to working with ADNOC on this mangrove project to ensure we meet all of our goals in combating climate change through nature-based solutions, as mangroves are highly resilient and extremely important due to their properties as effective carbon sinks.”

An extensive volunteer program will be part of ADNOC’s mangrove planting initiative, with opportunities for volunteers to participate in every step of the planting process, from collecting the seeds to helping monitor mangrove growth.

Jane Glavan, co-owner of Distant Imagery said: “Restoring mangrove ecosystems is an effective way to mitigate the impacts of climate change and restore natural habitats and biodiversity. At Distant Imagery, we take a restoration approach to mangrove planting from on-site selection to planting patterns, and we are honored to be involved in such an impactful project that supports ADNOC’s net-zero ambition by 2050 and the ‘natural Ecosystem of Abu Dhabi”.

ADNOC is committed to using nature-based solutions as integral, ready-made and cost-effective offsets to support climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience, balanced energy systems and blue carbon ecosystems.

Working with the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, ADNOC has been restoring mangrove ecosystems for more than a decade and has planted around 2 million mangrove seedlings at its operational sites and across Abu Dhabi to help restore these natural carbon sinks. These efforts support the UAE’s goal of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030, as well as the UN conventions to protect biological diversity.

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