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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ghaf Tree

Ghaf Tree along Karama Street, Bur Dubai District

Sometimes referred to as the umbrella tree, Ghaf trees are ancient native trees of the Arabian peninsula, now designated as the national tree of the UAE. Numerous campaigns have been launched in the past years to spread awareness about Ghaf, but more importantly, the objective of these campaigns is to support the effort of preserving this endangered tree.

The indigenous ghaf (Prosopis cineraria) has been an integral part of the UAE's distinctive desert environment and the civilization that developed here. Ghaf is historically and culturally as valuable as it is ecologically. This wild tree can survive for hundreds of years with little water.

Sadly, a huge number of trees has dropped due to land clearance for development projects, over grazing, and excessive water extraction (isn't it disheartening how nature always takes a back seat to give way to urban development?). Thanks to the diligent efforts of concerned environmentalists, strict measures are now being implemented by the local government to protect surviving natural ghaf groves. Unauthorized removal of this endangered tree is now prohibited by law and hefty penalties are imposed on violators.

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9 comments:

  1. Umbrella...interesting!
    It's so great that government is taking care of them now.
    Mary Elizabeth @ Now and Then

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  2. Nature, especially trees, suffer first when a road needs to be built. They chop down the trees, build the road and name the road after the tree that they chopped down.

    It is a beautiful tree. I hope the campaign is successful.

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  3. Such lovely trees are a blessing and should be cared for.

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  4. It is tragic the way we degrade the world by building on the best arable land until there will be nowhere left to grow food.

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  5. this is so cool, I love how this tree looks in front of the building.

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  6. That is one huge tree! Great to hear that it is now being protected.

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  7. Such an interesting looking tree! I'm glad they're trying to protect it.

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  8. What an interesting tree. I'm sure there's someone in that building with a window who doesn't like it. :-)

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  9. Looks like an angry sort of tree. Sort of like those grumpy trees in the magic forest in The Wizard of Oz

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