UAE Minister plants rare tree at Biodiversity Centre


Dr Al Jaber planting his tree

Together with the Minister for Environment and Energy, Prof Rolph Payet, Dr Al Jaber planted an endangered bilenbi maron (Colea Seychellarum) tree at the National Biodiversity Centre, Barbarons.

The main threat to this endemic tree's habitat is the invasion of alien species causing a decline in the quality of its habitat, leading to its placement on the IUCN red list of endangered plants.
“You can tell I have never done this before,” Dr Al Jaber joked, as he started to transfer the waiting topsoil into the hole.
“I will help you out now,” said the environment minister, after just a few spadefuls.

“That would be good, otherwise I will take two more hours,” said Dr Al Jaber, looking unsatisfied with his progress, to the amusement of those assembled.

One could see Professor Payet was a seasoned professional at planting trees, a fact he readily admitted as he confidently shoveled the soil.

“So far this year we have planted 16,000 trees in Seychelles,” said a proud Professor Payet, referring to his ministry's drive to plant 20,000 trees in Seychelles over the period of 2012-13.

“Okay, okay, now I know how to do it,” said Dr Al Jaber, eyeing Professor Payet’s enthusiastic digging with mock jealousy. Taking the spade once more, he attacked the heap of soil with a lot more vigour, to the encouragement of his countrymen.

The Minister of State, who is also the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar, told the media he felt the horticultural exercise was a meaningful one.
“To me, it means that through partnership, collaboration, care and respect, this tree will ensure that we will always stay well-connected.”

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