How we can save the mangroves in Abu Dhabi
In the inhospitable deserts of UAE, a paradise exists. They shelter rare exotic species, both terrestrial and aquatic. They act as carbon sinks, absorbing much of the carbon dioxide we belch out. They are so appealing that one of them is among the contenders for the New Seven Wonders of the World. They are located in Bu Tinah Island, Ras Gharab and Ras Ghanada and cover 110 square kilometers. They are the mangroves of Abu Dhabi.
These beauties, which are among the few to colonize the inter-tidal zones, inspite of the harsh saline conditions, and support a huge diversity of creatures, are being lost. Around 21% of their area has been reduced since 1980. But why are we doing this? Why are we destroying something that protects us from extreme weather and slows down climate change? Why are we removing the nursery of 75% of our tropical juvenile fish? Why do we not consider that if the mangroves are absent a highly prodive source of biomass energy in this arid land will be lost? Why? The answer lies in the fact that in the face of progress, man has lost sight of nature. We are concerned only about our ease and luxury at the cost of long-term harm to our planet, Earth. We throw trash in the vicinity of these delicate ecosystems. We dredge and dig, disrupting their natural cycles. We pour pollutants into the air, which again affect their growth.
The harm has been done. But is there anything we can do to stop anything more from going wrong? The answer is ‘yes’. Not only can we stop further harm to the mangroves, luckily for us, we can also restore much of the lost treasure. Every one of us can help in our own small way to make a huge difference. The first and easiest thing we can do is not to litter the area. Plastic bags not only choke the inhabitants of the forest, they also release pollutant gases that harm the mangrove trees. So the next time we visit such a place, we must ensure that we do not leave behind any...
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