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Sat 28 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

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Plants may harm UAE ecology garden

A researcher working with the Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wildlife Fund (EWS - WWF) in the UAE has discovered that adding plants and trees to the natural habitat would not necessarily improve the country's ecological footprint and could raise it even higher.

A researcher working with the Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wildlife Fund (EWS - WWF) in the UAE has discovered that adding plants and trees to the natural habitat would not necessarily improve the country's ecological footprint and could raise it even higher.

Speaking to Construction Week, Tanzeed Alam, Climate Change and Sustainability manager at WWF in Dubai said: "Maintaining plants and greenery in this harsh climate is not easy and one has to take into account the kind of energy that would go into helping them to survive here."

"This region is arid and is a desert. Water is a precious commodity and things like gardens will be high maintenance so it's not all that certain that this could have a positive effect on the country's carbon footprint."

But he also said that if the country came up with a good solution that could lead to less energy being used in maintaining the plants then it could work in its favour. The odds were against this, however.

The EWS study stemmed from the 2006 Living Planet Report that ranked nations according to their per capita ecological footprint. The UAE had the world's highest footprint.

EWS - WFF partnered with the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, the Ministry of Environment and the Global Footprint Network to conduct the study. It measured factors including CO2 from energy consumption.

The six key components of calculating the global footprint include CO2 from energy use consumption, grazing land, crop land, forests, fishing grounds and built up land.

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