UAE announces groundbreaking of Mohamed bin Zayed - Joko Widodo

May 22, 2024 / 9:55 AM
Sharjah24 - -WAM: The UAE has achieved a significant milestone in climate action with the groundbreaking of the Mohamed bin Zayed-Joko Widodo International Mangrove Research Centre on the island of Bali, in collaboration with the Republic of Indonesia.
This initiative, made possible with a $10m commitment from the UAE, will bolster international efforts in nurturing mangrove ecosystems, recognised as a critically important nature-based solution in combatting climate change and preserving coastal ecosystems.

This took place at an event in the Indonesian province of Bali in the presence of Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments of the Republic of Indonesia, Minister responsible for the UAE-Indonesian relations; Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Special Envoy for His Highness the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Indonesia; Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Abdulla Balalaa, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Sustainability Affairs; Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and ASEAN, non-resident Ambassador of the UAE to the Democratic Republic of East Timor, alongside several officials from the UAE and Indonesia.

The MBZ–Joko Widodo IMRC stands as a pinnacle of the UAE's commitment to fostering global environmental sustainability while safeguarding the planet against the impacts of climate change. Furthermore, the Centre underscores the depth of partnership between the UAE and Indonesia across various critical domains, with a primary focus on advancing sustainable development initiatives and harmonizing efforts to forge a climate-resilient future for both nations.

H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes' Affairs and Chair of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, said: “The groundbreaking of the MBZ–Joko Widodo IMRC demonstrates the UAE’s dedication to working in partnership to address global sustainability challenges. The UAE’s commitment underscores the critical importance of protecting the environment, and through this dedicated space for innovation and international collaboration together we can ensure the preservation of these vital ecosystems for future generations.”

Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Special Envoy for His Highness the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Indonesia, stressed that the Mohamed bin Zayed-Joko Widodo Center is a major step in enhancing international cooperation in environmental research. The project reflects the UAE’s commitment to the protection of critical ecosystems, such as mangroves. It is in line with our climate mitigation efforts and will contribute to developing effective strategies to safeguard the environment.”

He added: “The Center will be an ideal platform for scientists and researchers to join forces and exchange knowledge to improve our ability to counter current and future environmental challenges. It supports the UAE’s directions, reflected in the outcomes of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), to drive collective climate action and environmental sustainability. It reflects the UAE’s dedication to lead joint environmental initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak affirmed that the UAE, guided by the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, consistently demonstrates its commitment to assuming a significant role in powering a new generation of sustainable development and tangible nature-preserving climate solutions for all inhabitants on earth.

"The MBZ – Joko Widodo IMRC stands as one of the UAE's paramount collaborations with Indonesia, aimed at advancing nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change on both national and global scales. Mangroves, being natural carbon sinks, complement technological solutions aimed at curbing carbon emissions.”

Dr. Al Dahak added that the centre will bolster efforts to plant and preserve more mangrove forests worldwide, particularly in the UAE, which has pledged to grow 100 million mangroves by 2030, and Indonesia, which is home to the largest and most diverse mangrove ecosystems globally.

“As mangrove forests are being decreased globally, the UAE recognises that additional loss of these forests is exacerbating the effects of climate change such as increased flooding and storms, and threatening people living in coastal areas. The centre’s goals are to stop the loss of this ecological treasure, restore its prosperity worldwide, and contribute to creating a sustainable future for all”

Dr. Al Dahak said that the centre will complement global efforts to increase the spread of mangroves, through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), launched by the UAE in collaboration with Indonesia and involving 41 countries from around the world, and the Mangrove Breakthrough, which represents a collaborative effort between the Mangrove Alliance for Climate and UN Climate Change High-level Champions.

The Mohamed bin Zayed-Joko Widodo International Mangrove Research Centre will be built on 2.5 hectares of land, with supporting infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and water, already in place, within the Ngurah Rai Forest Park in Bali. Already home to a wealth of biodiversity, the Ngurah Rai Forest Park covers 1,158.44 hectares of mangrove ecosystems around the Benoa Bay.

The Mohamed bin Zayed-Joko Widodo Centre aims to conduct further research to cultivate mangroves, enhancing their role as natural carbon sinks, their role in addressing climate change, improving coastal habitats and promoting biodiversity.

The centre will also foster an exchange of knowledge in developing mangroves with different countries to compensate for the global loss of this valuable species.

Mangrove forests are among the most productive and ecologically important ecosystems on earth. With the ability to store carbon more than 400 percent faster than land-based tropical rainforests, mangroves absorb emissions and protect the coastal environment. Furthermore, about 80 percent of global fish population depend on healthy mangrove ecosystems.

The establishment of a mangrove research centre was first announced at COP28, hosted by the UAE last year.
May 22, 2024 / 9:55 AM

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