Young environmentalists plant trees at the Al Ghusais Landfill as part of the Green Spaces-New Life initiative yesterday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Young Emiratis and expatriates alike joined forces on Saturday to do their bit for the planet by planting 150 damas trees at the Al Ghusais landfill.

Organised by youth group Synergy, 45 Emiratis and five expatriates toured the landfill on Saturday morning with the support of Dubai Municipality before proceeding with the tree planting activity. The initiative was part of the Green Spaces-New Life programme of the youth group.

“We have been blessed to live in a good place and so it is our responsibility to take care of it,” Simran Vedvyas, 15, who led the group, told Gulf News.

Salem Mohammad Al Mazroui, who joined the group for the first time, said: “Such events result in a greater motivation to protect and preserve the environment. Environmental volunteering, whether in parks, gardens, or with our native animals, is great for the mind, body and soul.”

Synergy has planted around 800 trees since January with particular focus on landfills and treatment plants. Earlier this year, the group planted more than 250 damas trees at the Jebel Ali Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility. Some 50 trees were planted at the Al Tadweer Plant as well.

Damas trees are good absorbers of carbon dioxide and are a good source of oxygen. They thrive in desert conditions and grow relatively fast.

The Al Ghusais Landfill adopts the Clean Development Mechanism initiative registered with the United Nations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Through this, the Dubai Municipality aims to reduce methane emissions and remove 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. The addition of the trees will help the project keep greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.

“With the installation of our system, we are able to keep the landfill active to continue receiving waste for many more years,” said Anita Nouri, Business Development Director of Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability, which is tasked with harnessessing and transforming harmful greenhouse gases from the site to reusable forms.