International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem: Over 4,000 mangrove saplings restored through Emirates NBD and Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition

July 26, 2023 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Emirates NBD joined the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition in 2021 as part of its commitment to conservation, positive environmental contributions, and support for the UAE’s net-zero ambitions
  • Thousands of new mangrove saplings have been restored across the UAE through the partnership
  • The sustainable management, conservation, and uses of mangrove forests are marked on 26 July each year across the world


Dubai, UAE. 26 July 2023 – Mastercard and Emirates NBD have announced a new milestone in its joint environmental restoration efforts as part of the Priceless Planet Coalition. On the occasion of International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, the partners announced that 4,200 new mangrove saplings have been restored in the UAE over the past year through the contributions provided by Emirates NBD.

Emirates NBD was among the very first partners of the Priceless Planet Coalition, which was formed by Mastercard together with Conservation International and World Resources Institute to unite the efforts of the public and private sectors to fight climate change by restoring 100 million trees.

Through a series of initiatives and activations by Emirates NBD and Mastercard, a total of 4,200 mangroves saplings have been restored in Khor Kalba in Sharjah and Khor Al Yeefrah in Umm Al Quwain to date. The planting was organized by Emirates Nature-WWF and supported by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). The initiatives and outreach activities covered topics such as site selection and baseline surveys for mangrove planting, blue carbon, mangroves ecosystems, its biodiversity, and more. 

Mangrove planting is a great example of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to address climate change, given its ability to sequester carbon and reduce the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere. These forests are also extremely beneficial from a biodiversity perspective and provide a habitat for many bird and marine species, while stabilizing shoreline erosion and reducing storm surges.

Vijay Bains, Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Group Head of ESG at Emirates NBD, said, “As a pioneer member of Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition, we are pleased to mark World Mangrove Day together with Mastercard, a testament to our ongoing and shared commitment to initiatives that support the UAE’s sustainability goals. Mangrove planting and conservation are critical to protecting our country’s marine resources and especially useful in the global goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. As a leading UAE bank, we aim to continue to take the lead in lending support to important conservation and environmental initiatives that will positively impact the UAE and its communities.”

With the UAE marking 2023 as the Year of Sustainability and being the host of COP28, along with December’s announcement of the UAE’s national goal to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030, the milestone also demonstrates the commitment of Emirates NBD and Mastercard to collaborate on helping the UAE achieve its ambition.

“Our relationship with Emirates NBD continues to be a longstanding collaboration we are proud of, especially when we can join forces for a greater purpose: that of adding value to our planet. COP28 UAE will be a milestone moment as the world takes stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement, and a reminder of the crucial importance of partnerships in securing a better future for all. As one of the first partners of the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition, Emirates NBD sets a great example for how financial institutions can take the lead in giving back to the environment,” said Gina Peterson-Skyrme, Vice President and Country Business Development Lead, UAE and Oman, Mastercard.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General, Emirates Nature-WWF, added: "Nature is a powerful ally against climate change. The restoration of critical natural habitats and coastal ecosystems like mangroves is a crucial step in enhancing climate mitigation efforts, ensuring climate adaptation and opening up multiple benefits for biodiversity and people. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with Mastercard and Emirates NBD, and look forward to further advancing science-based Nature-based Solutions in the UAE as implementation partner for the Priceless Planet Coalition." 

Reforestation is widely acknowledged as one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to positively counteract climate change. The Priceless Planet Coalition is not only focused on planting trees, but on employing science-based best practices to re-grow forests in diverse geographies for positive impact on climate, community and biodiversity goals. Beyond the UAE, restoration efforts are also happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya and other parts of the world.

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