International Day of Mangrove Conservation
Natural vegetation is sparse in the United Arab Emirates, due to its hot and dry desert climate. But along its coast, mangroves have taken root. These hardy trees and shrubs are halophytes, salt-tolerant plants that can filter 90% of the salt from the seawater they live in. Despite their resilience, mangroves are threatened globally, largely due to human activity. Mangrove coverage is thought to have halved over the past 40 years, and they are dwindling much faster than forests overall. The UN has established the International Day of Mangrove Conservation, scientific funding, Global Geoparks, and World Heritage sites to try to reverse these trends. These efforts are vital; mangroves help prevent erosion and protect against storm surges, as well as providing a home for fish, crustaceans, and other wildlife.