Emirates Nature-WWF is channelling community volunteering efforts to aid flood recovery in rural areas of UAE Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In response to recent extreme weather events, local environmental charity Emirates Nature-WWF is channelling community volunteering efforts to aid flood recovery, build resilience of rural communities and implement climate adaptation measures at key sites where the charity implements a portfolio of conservation projects with local governments.

For the next three weeks, all community mobilisation activities organised as part of the charity’s flagship ‘Leaders of Change’ programme, will be open to the public and dedicated towards clean up and restoration at impacted rural areas, with the aim of climate-proofing these areas against future storms, flash floods and inundation.

Natural trails

Volunteers will join conservation experts in clearing debris and repairing falaj irrigation channels to ensure the continuous flow of fresh water. Farmlands and nature trails affected by flooding will also be restored. In addition, volunteers will support the implementation of climate adaptation efforts to build long-term resilience of rural communities, such as the planting of native Arabian Moringa Shu’a trees to improve soil health and enhance ecosystem stability.

“People across the UAE have demonstrated the power of community, coming together at this challenging time to support one another,” commented Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF.

“By channelling our Leaders of Change and community volunteering efforts towards recovery, we aim to strengthen the resilience of rural communities whom we work with closely on local conservation projects around climate mitigation and adaptation, preservation of nature, and food and water security.”

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Building resilience of rural communities

Around the world, climate change is altering weather patterns and causing more extreme weather events, which can range from intense storms and heavy rainfall to longer and more severe droughts. While additional rainfall can be beneficial for biodiversity in dry, arid parts of the world, it requires climate adaptation measures such as the development of storm walls, or gabions, and water catchment zones to manage the flow of excess water and enhance water storage. These solutions also help reduce the potential impact of future floods on communities and infrastructure.

Falaj irrigation chanels

The charity works closely with rural farmers to restore traditional falaj irrigation channels, implement sustainable irrigation and promote circular farming practices that improve soil health, support local crops and unlock multiple socioeconomic benefits for the community. In addition, a pilot project is currently underway to innovate new food products that can be derived from native crops that can be produced by local communities and contribute to economic diversification, SME growth and overall resilience of the local community.

Register now for flood recovery

Leaders of Change and members of the public are invited to register for the following events taking place this weekend:

Reviving Resilience: Wadi Shees, Sharjah

Saturday, April 27, from 7:30am to 11am

Open to individuals aged 7 and above

Reviving resilience: Al Bithnah, Fujairah

Sunday, April 28, from 7am to 11am

Open to individuals aged seven and above

Additional events will continue to be announced. Sign up for updates at the website of Leaders of Change.