Saudi RSG launches first mangrove nursery aiming to plant over 50 mln trees

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Saudi Gazette report

TABUK — Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Global (RSG) has announced the inauguration of a first nursery specialized in mangrove saplings with the aim of planting more than 50 million trees by 2030.

The RSG stated that the mangrove nursery was set up in partnership with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification (NCVC).

CEO of RSG John Pagano said, “Although we are continuing to discover the latest technologies and innovation methodologies, we always find the best in nature in terms of finding solutions to face the current and future challenges.”

He said, “The mangroves are considered one of the most valuable natural assets we have as it is home to diverse wildlife”. The mangroves also contribute to reducing the effects of waves such as floods and erosion, as well as adapting to the effects of climate change, in addition to sequestering and storing carbon.

The nursery aims to increase the number of mangrove forests, and enhance biodiversity, which will contribute to achieving the ambitious environmental goals, Pagano said.

The process of taking care of the mangrove seedlings will be implemented for 8 months until the length of the seedlings reaches 80cm, after which they will be planted in the special mangrove gardens throughout the RSG’s destinations.

The specialist in RSG has chosen the local mangrove trees to increase the chances of success in cultivating other trees of the same species, such as the gray and red mangroves.

Head of Environment and Sustainability for the RSG Raed Al-Baseet said that establishing a sustainable environment for mangrove trees is considered a main part of the commitment toward protecting the natural environment for their destinations.

Mangrove trees are distinguished for being the most effective plant in absorbing carbon by 5 to 10 times more than other plants, in addition to their positive impact on environmental diversity.

“Our success in growing mangroves in our nurseries constitutes a key pillar in our ambition to increase the value of biodiversity by 30% across our destinations.”, Al-Baseet noted.

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The RSG adapts the highest level of protection for the nurseries to avoid the seedlings’ decay, as they are built in carefully selected sites that are protected from natural threats such as storms, extreme tides, free grazing of animals and others.

The planting of mangrove seedlings will be throughout RSG’s destinations, where mangrove gardens will be designated to be part of the experiences of visitors and guests, who will have the opportunity to visit and explore the gardens, in addition to learning more about the important role that these unique plants play in the natural ecosystem within the Red Sea region.

RSG’s Director of the Environmental Programs Department Tariq Al-Abbasi said that the process of planting and producing the mangrove trees will be conducted through the adoption of advanced technical skills, as well as a great plan and mastery.

“The mangrove forests need the coastal tide movement to grow; therefore, the nurseries are usually found in shallow waters in the intertidal zone to ensure optimal growth of seedlings,” he noted, adding that “for optimal growth in our nursery, we monitor tidal cycles to follow up on water level and the weather conditions”.

The establishment of a mangrove nursery, the latest initiative of RSG, aims to protect and enhance the key habitats of importance to biodiversity.

The previous projects of RSG included the first successful transplant of doum palms — known as Hyphaene — and acacia trees, which was carried out in early 2023, as well as the establishment of floating coral nurseries to contribute to increasing the number of coral reefs in the area.

RSG conducts environmental surveys of wildlife ecosystems on a regular basis in order to monitor and track the effects and improvements in the environment, with the aim of improving its approach and ensuring the achievement of renewable goals.

The RSG has recently issued a study on wildlife and the ecosystem, which was based on the results derived from the largest-ever survey on the environment, which has been conducted by a real estate developer in 2022. The survey covered an area of ​​250 sq km of the Red Sea coastline and specific areas from the Amaala destination.

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