One of the main aims of EEG is to mobilise the community together and to find unique ways of giving back to the environment. On 8th November 2006, with inspiration from Professor Wangari Maathai, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched its “Plant for the Planet – The Billion Tree Campaign”. Under this campaign, UN encouraged all the entities in the society, from both Government and Non – Government Organisations to plant trees in their respective locales to cumulatively plant one billion worldwide by 2010.
EEG as an organisation accredited to UNEP, was invited to participate as a local partner, and launched its “Million Tree Project” in 2007 as part of UNEP’s campaign. EEG, by the end of 2007, had facilitated the pledging and planting of more than one million trees in UAE and the surrounding region.
With EEG’s active engagement with the community, it received pledges from various entities in UAE to support and plant trees under the “Million Tree Project”. By 2010, EEG had managed to exceed the target and plant 2,091,240 indigenous and well adapted trees within the UAE. This marked the culmination of the official affiliation with UNEP for the tree planting project, which went above and beyond in fulfilling its responsibility to the campaign.
The tree planting programme went on to become one of the most popular programmes of EEG. Organisations, Academic institutions and Families became more responsive and interested in preserving the environment through this beautiful endeavour. EEG thus continued its advancement over the years in this direction by launching several projects under the umbrella of “For Our Emirates We Plant”, which incubated several projects that fed into the programme namely:
1. Your Can for a Tree
2. Neighbourhood Recycling Project
3. One Root, One Communi-Tree
4. Recycle Reforest Repeat
5. Together We Plant
6. Planting for a Greener Future
On the historic date 20.12.2020, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) organised and conducted its annual tree planting campaign, “For Our Emirates We Plant”. This significant event was conducted at two locales in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai.
Under the patronage and presence of H. E. Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, member of the Executive Council of the Government of Ras Al-Khaimah and Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Ras Al Khaimah, the tree planting in the emirate of RAK was conducted in the early morning at Skheiber, Al Minae Area. The second tree planting activity was organised in association with Dubai Municipality and Saih Al Salam Protected Area Management, at Saih Al Salam, Al Qudra in Dubai.
The event was successfully carried out due to the attendance and participation of people from all sectors of the society including government and private entities, academic institutions, families, students and many VIPs. These likeminded individuals with a mindset towards environmental sustainability, planted a total of 2,000 indigenous Ghaf and Sidra Tress in both sites. With proper nurture, these trees will reach maturity in 5-7 years and will help mitigate over 31 Metric Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalence from the atmosphere annually.
Since the inception of EEGs afforestation programme in 2007, EEG has managed to plant 2,100,789 indigenous and desert tolerant plants all across UAE. These trees sequester 12,388 Metric Tonnes of CO2e from the atmosphere annually, which is equivalent to removing 2,564 cars of the road for a year. In the next decade, EEG will continue its legacy of improving and increasing the sustainable green spaces and creating carbon sinks in the UAE and mark its commitment to UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) by planting more trees across the country.