Etihad Airways and Marriott International celebrated the planting of 12,000 mangrove trees to complete the Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest in Jubail Island. Spread across more than 150 square kilometers of the UAE’s coastline, the Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest now makes up part of the only evergreen forest in the GCC region providing a natural habitat for marine and terrestrial species.
The culmination event was attended by teams from Etihad Airways, Marriott International and Jubail Island. Senior leaders from the organisations, including Anthony Capuano, President & Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, David Marriott, Chairman of the Board, Marriott International, Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group and Engineer Abdulla Saeed Al Shamsi, Corporate Director, Jubail Island Investment company, planted the final set of trees to complete the initiative.
Employees from Marriott International hotels in the UAE will continue to volunteer to support preservation efforts of the forest while also monitoring the status of the mangroves through a dedicated app which includes educational information on the mangroves and the technology and processes used to help preserve the mangroves.
Globally, mangroves store approximately 6.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, almost four times more than other terrestrial forests. At a rate of just more than 12 kilograms a year, the average mangrove captures over 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide in its 25-year lifetime, helping to fight the effects of climate change such as coral bleaching and coastline degradation, and support biodiversity and wildlife.
The Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest initiative reinforces Etihad Airways and Marriott International’s commitment to sustainability and reducing carbon footprint, while supporting the UAE’s sustainability efforts. The collaboration with Marriott International is part of the broader Etihad Forest initiative, which is targeted to plant 182,000 mangrove trees in the first quarter of 2023, before the programme expands to plant forests across international destinations the airline operates to.