The Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD) has announced that the Blue Carbon Environmental and Social Responsibility project in collaboration with ENGIE and Distant Imagery has been selected among the Top 12 Uplink Ocean Innovations.
The drone technology developed by Distant Imagery for EAD is one of the winners of the Blue Carbon Challenge created by Friends of Ocean Action, Uplink and the Mangrove Task Force. Conservation International, Coastal Oceans Research and Development (CORDIO), East Africa, REV Ocean and GIB Asset Management are also participating as supporting partners.
UpLink’s Blue Carbon Challenge recognizes innovative solutions, projects and tools that can harness the potential of the blue carbon market to support conservation, habitat restoration, and coastal management for people and nature, and to combat climate change.
12 UpLink Ocean Top Innovators will receive valuable technical support and links to implement their projects.
The Blue Carbon project, carried out by EAD in partnership with ENGIE and Distant Imagery, involves planting more than 35,000 mangrove seeds in Abu Dhabi’s Mirfa Lagoon using highly innovative drone planting technology. The project is in line with the UAE’s recent ambition, the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Tree Initiative, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chair of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office called to life. The Duke of Edinburgh in February this year.
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director – Land and Marine Biodiversity said: “At EAD we always strive to work with innovative and cutting-edge technologies to implement our projects and to be recognized by Uplink for our Blue Carbon projects, we are on the right path. . Our project is very ambitious and pioneering because it has never been done before in the region and by using advanced drone technology to plant mangroves, we aim for high recovery success.
He added: “Blue carbon – carbon stored in aquatic ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrass beds – has the potential to store five times more carbon per square foot than terrestrial ecosystems. Through projects like ours, we will be able to reduce emissions and sequester carbon in natural carbon sinks, which is a transition step towards net zero by 2050, which is one of the main goals of the UAE.
“We are pleased that our partnership with EAD allows us to further develop our drone technology. Our collective success stems from adopting an environmental approach at every stage of the project; The seeds were released at the right time, the tide levels, the bottom depth and the ideal location, but it was nature that made it that way and made it a success,” said Jane Glavan, co-founder of Distant Imagery.
Florence Fontani, Vice President of Communications and Sustainability, ENGIE Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA) added: “Technology and sustainability have come together beautifully in this unique conservation project in Abu Dhabi. This project is truly a world first and I am proud to have received such recognition for the innovation demonstrated. This project demonstrates a new approach to restoring the emirate’s mangrove habitat using drone technology. We are a powerful tool for mitigating the impacts of climate change and restoring natural habitats and biodiversity. We look forward to sharing knowledge from this unique project and implementing similar initiatives that will accelerate our carbon neutrality goals.
UAE-based environmental analysis company for unmanned aerial vehicles, Distant Imagery, has developed highly accurate maps and analyzed potential planting sites. Remotely controlled imaging drones made of simple, scalable 3D printed components combined with highly precise plantings can set a benchmark for mangrove restoration. The technology can drop 2,000 germinated seeds or 500 balls in ten minutes.