EPIC Dubai, the region’s first sustainable living expo, concluded on Friday June 24 at The Dubai Mall by inspiring thousands of visitors who donated over 400 Ghaf trees to Goumbook for the ‘Give a Ghaf – Tree Planting program’.
“We were incredibly excited to promote Goumbook during our EPIC expo,” said Laura Stagl, International Liaison from Sustainable Media Group, the joint venture between the Globe Foundation and S. S. Lootah International (the global business and investment arm of S.S. Lootah Group), which produced the sustainable living exposition at The Dubai Mall, 22-24 June.
“Not only are we excited about the 400 tree which will be planted through the Give-A-Ghaf program, but we are also delighted to be registering these trees with the United Nations Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, an initiative which aims to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year and strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees appropriate to local environments,” added Ms. Stagl.
Goumbook and its local partners, Ecoventure and the UAE Environment and Protected Areas Authority, have launched the “Give a Ghaf” program back in January to encourage people plant Ghaf trees and help protect one of the world’s most valuable symbols of the living desert.
Nowadays the Ghaf is being over-lopped and over-grazed to destruction. Ghaf groves are succumbing to urbanization and rapid infrastructure development. An accelerating decline in Ghaf trees and woodlands would imply a loss in cultural and biological heritage, and Goumbook wants to lead its conservation by giving the opportunity to plant the wild Ghaf and preserve its aesthetic, cultural and ecological significance.
The aim is to raise public awareness about the multiple values of Ghaf, raise the tree’s profile and reach out to the public to plant Ghaf trees. We believe this will help protect the species.
Goumbook has a dedicated section of the website set up to provide comprehensive information about the Ghaf and to enable the site visitors to plant trees online: seeds are planted for them and taken care for a period of 5 years providing water and organic fertilizers. Later, when the trees are strong enough, they will be given back to the local community and donated to parks, municipalities, schools or urban areas where natural shade and greenery are needed.
Tatiana Antonelli Abella, co founder and Managing Director of Goumbook, was in Dubai Mall to encourage people donate and to raise awareness on the Ghaf. She was helped by a total of 35 volunteers from the Volunteer in Dubai association (click here for more photos).
“It is important to meet with the local community to share information on the importance of the environment and to define our role as individuals in the field of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources”, she said.
“The ‘Give a Ghaf’ initiative enables people to participate in positive action and reinforces the Society’s role in changing behaviors when dealing with the environment, stimulating joint work for a better future,” she added.