Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi and Dr Abdullah Al Karam, plant a sapling in the Indian High School’s urban forest. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Indian High School (IHS) officials say the school is helping fight climate change by growing its own urban forest on its campus.

On Monday, officials gathered to walk through what they called the “forest bathing corridor” created by students through tree planting as part of the annual Van Mahotsav (forest festival) tree-planting celebration.

In a statement, the school said it “has achieved a milestone in addressing climate change as a crucial concern by planting trees [and] today hosted the first course of exploration of the ‘urban forest’ developed in its premises.”

The one-kilometre-long green sanctuary “is divided into 6 zones – Ghaf Avenue, Madhuban, Green Heart, Enchanted Forest, Pluck, and the Sophrology Centre. Each zone has a meaning and significance, especially created to soothe senses and relieve stress. A large variety of trees and plants have been planted to engage students, including learning about the species of trees, learning how to care for them, with scope for research. There is also a patch for students to grow their own vegetables,” said school officials.

In years to come, the forest bathing corridor will continue to be embellished with more plants and trees - “a wild sanctuary resembling a miniature forest”.

Dr. Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “It is a pleasure to come here and see how the IHS students are engaged in activities related to cultural and environmental aspects. We have come together as a nation to support this social initiative.”

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General, KHDA, said that the “46 year-long journey of UAE has been challenging but we have together worked to make this country a sought after location. To see IHS working to provide better facilities to students and willingly contributing to nature is overwhelming.”

Dr. Ashok Kumar, CEO, IHS, said the project will benefit everybody and that the “IHS Urban Forest is a commitment to elevate mental health, well-being, increase social inclusion, and instill problem-solving skills. As happier students equals enhanced productivity, IHS foresees a healthier and merrier surrounding for its students, staff and community.”