EPAA concludes ‘Grow Mangroves’ school initiative

  • Wednesday 26, February 2020 04:43 PM
  • EPAA concludes ‘Grow Mangroves’ school initiative
Sharjah24: To raise students’ awareness about the importance of mangrove trees and ways to preserve them, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) organised a closing ceremony for the Sustainable Tree Initiative. Three hundred public and private schools across the UAE took part in the “We Grow Mangroves at Our School” initiative.
Organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Sharjah Private Education Authority, the initiative was aimed at students in the first and second stages of primary education and secondary education at public and private schools in the UAE. Outstanding schools were honoured at the ceremony.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “As part of EPAA’s efforts to educate people and raise awareness about the mangrove, a sustainable tree, for the fifth year in a row, more than 3,000 mangrove seedlings were planted at 300 public and private schools across the UAE. As part of the Sustainable Tree Initiative, a diverse 8-day programme of activities was implemented from January 26th to February 4th, 2020. The programme included a day for male and female students, departments, teachers and parents to plant mangrove seedlings.

In addition, individuals working at organisations targeted by the schools also planted seedlings. The initiative aimed to raise community awareness about the importance of preserving mangrove trees and protecting them from logging given their past and present status and importance. Mangrove trees are a form of national heritage to which Emiratis have long been attached.”

Al Suwaidi pointed out that the initiative aimed to achieve several goals. These included reflecting His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah’s vision and directives by conserving the environment and biodiversity, helping to educate students about species of perennial trees – especially mangrove trees which are native to the UAE – and boosting students’ awareness about the importance of mangrove trees and their benefits to humans and animals.

More than 2,200 Arabic and English posters, booklets and brochures with educational information about identifying mangrove trees and their names, features, locations, types and past and present importance were distributed. The printed material also listed the reasons the mangrove is considered a sustainable, environmentally-friendly tree, with ancestral sayings about mangrove trees and information about practices and actions that endanger the mangroves.

The programme’s activities at the participating schools were modern and innovative. They included a variety of competitions for students and parents, such as photography and drawing competitions and contests to design posters and brochures. The schools’ activities were evaluated based on specific criteria, including the development of action plans and the integration of activities into Arabic, English, social studies, arts and computer classes and other subjects in the curricula. In addition to excellence and innovation, the activities were evaluated based on the extent to which they spread awareness about the importance of mangrove trees at neighbouring schools, institutions and homes.

Seven schools were honoured for their comprehensive and excellent programmes. The ceremony at EPAA headquarters included a presentation about the schools’ activities.