Dry-tolerant, also in harsh wilderness conditions, are the Ghaf. This is important for the survival of animals or plants. It is a historic and cultural emblem of harmony and peace in the deserted landscape of the UAE. The Ghaf tree UAE, owing to its cultural and traditional importance, was declared the national tree of the UAE in 2008. Ghaf trees can live on average for up to 120 years. The 400-year-old “Tree of Life” in Bahrain is a well-known example of Ghaf which still grows in the desert without apparent sources of water. The lovely and precious Ghaf is the desert’s evergreen flower! In 2008, because of its great cultural and traditional value, it was proclaimed the UAE’s national tree.
Now let us discuss what is Ghaf tree and Why is the Ghaf Tree is the symbol of Tolerance?
What is Ghaf Tree?
Ghaf tree UAE is considered a hardy species, and they withstand harsh and arid environments in the dunes by falling very deeply into the Soil to the waters of ordinary plants. Prosopis cinerarium is a floral tree from the pea family Fabaceae, known as Ghaf, Shami, Jammi, or Khejri. It is an evergreen drought-tolerant found in the desert that requires very little survival water. Only one in five thousand seeds are currently rooted while insects are consuming it, but until the deep root system that is thinner than 30m, ties the land together to fight desertification, preserving essential desert habitats in contact.
Importance to Emirati Culture
In 2008 the UAE national tree was proclaimed not only for its protection due to low water usage and desert habitats but also because of its many cultural applications. Its pea-like cows were nourished during food shortages and even its bark made flour. It also served as fuel, as well as food, and supplied the rheumatism of the bark healing for resin, dye and medication, and bites from scorpions and snakes. It also provided accommodation and a gathering place and kept tribes under its branches. Also, it provided shelter to different people. It brought together the group and helped it in different ways as a critical source of life.
Supreme National Committee
In the United Arab Emirates, the supreme national committee added to the significance of the gulf tree that:
- Due to its significant importance as one of the authentic national trees in the world, the Ghaf tree was chosen as the main logo feature. A Ghaf has a strong cultural significance in the UAE and is linked to the country’s culture and heritage. The Ghaf is planted with various names in numerous countries worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, Asia Central and the Americas
- The Committee noted that, with the launching of the “Year of Tolerance,” the positive reaction of the UAE community contributes to hitting the 7 tolerance pillars which seek to create values of openness towards other cultures or peoples
Gulf Tree Description
The Ghaf tree UAE is regarded as a place of contact, and it was and is still considered a place to meet and talk before heading to their next destination. It means stability – it has proven its unique place in everyone’s heart that people are settled in the trees to recollect their thoughts or connect with another. The tree is also very powerful since it is a food supply for humans and animals when they are needed. It also encourages both the art of giving and sustainability.
The tree stands for the UAE’s nature. As a national tree, it has a tolerance to drought; it can tolerate extreme weather conditions and needs a minimum to no water, but they find it very hard to grow if insects initially damage the seeds. You would need the authorities’ approval to take any action. Our forefathers have come together to explore issues relating to their everyday life under their shadows. In the Year of Tolerance, we have selected the Ghaf as our emblem so that both of us can live up to the values of tolerance.
Ghaf Tree Uses
The Ghaf tree leaves are a major food source and a source of fuel, refuge, and medicinal products to humans and animals from the war against desertification and improve soil fertility in arid environments. Many birds establish nests at Ghaf – Eagle of the Desert, Orange, Sparrow of the Yellow Throat, and the Long Beetle. Examples are the nests built by birds.
The Bedouins searched it out for its plants, and the leaves used it once in place of maize, its expanded pods for the supply of milk, butter, cheese, and meat for animals. The Ghaf forests also sustain large insect numbers, which in turn feed reptiles, birds, and small mammals. This robust tree, which is always green, can survive long drought and high salinity, which tap the water deep in the sand. The Ghaf’s seedpods produce a sweet pulp, known locally as the “Khoka,” that almost all livestock and humans eat, and salads are made from the leaves – a delicacy here in the UAE. Such essential purposes include supplying building wood and the medical treatment of chest cough, toothache, and even snakebites. The use of wood is also advised.
Medicinal Uses and Purposes
The Ghaf tree UAE is of historical significance because it has acted as food for people and their livestock in traditional remedies, its fruit, and leaves and it also raises the amount of oxygen and helps to mitigate emissions in the desert. The Ghaf flower can be used to deter mistakes, although its residual stems extract has anti-inflammatory effects. Bronchitis, asthma, leucoderma, and muscular tremor were also traditionally used for the bark of the oak.
The Ghaf tree UAE is also used in herbal therapies for the treatment of rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and snakes. The ghaf tree leaves give environmental advantages, oxygen is exhaled to mitigate CO2 pollution, dunes stabilized, soil quality increased and crop plant growth encouraged under their shadows. The ghaf remains durable, under harsh conditions and enduring brimming heat with every advantage that it gives. The shadow of the Ghaf tree UAE was also a gathering spot for group meetings. The tribal leaders of the UAE arranged crucial meetings under its branches and listened to their constituents and consulted with them.
Why is the theme of Tolerance?
The Year of Tolerance also aims to help young people elevate certain policies, promote and disseminate traditional behaviors and a generalized, friendly world in which every person can live without being discriminated against. The key agenda of the country is to eradicate extremism and foster links among peoples of different cultures and nationalities, establish peace and harmony. Sensitivity campaigns and activities to maintain an inclusive, harmonious community are being carried out. The topic of tolerance is discussed in numerous fields, including occupational tolerance, school tolerance, tolerance and community, regulation tolerance, and legislation.
The Year of Tolerance’s biggest highlight is the Ghaf tree used as a tolerance sign. This can seem to many confounding, but the Ghaf tree UAE is important. It retains an ecosystem worth legacy as a witness to its evolution over the years and sheds light on old rituals and customs. It is regarded as “stability of the desert” with a monumental meaning. When crowds of people worked through the scorching sun and wanted a break, the tree has given its growing branches and bark a rest for shades.
The tree is under pressure due to modern urbanization and the construction of infrastructure that contributes to a lack of habitat, climate change, unsustainable resource usage, camels and goats overgrazing, and excessive extraction of the groundwater from trees. Invading plants, such as the Mesquite tree, purposely planted in Abu Dhabi, to assist forest efforts, but eventually contributed through suffocation to the challenge of the Ghaf tree UAE.
In reaction to all these challenges, the government, NGOs, and private bodies are taking action to protect the tree’s future! Since 2010, the “Give a Ghaf” Tree Planting Campaign was initiated to encourage awareness about the issues by organizations like Goumbook, a UAE-based social company, and since 2010 it has been illegal to cut down a Ghaf tree.
UAE Wildlife Campaign
In 2007, the Emirates Nature and the WWF began a campaign called Save the Ghaf Tree to make the endangered tree a national icon, and raise awareness among UAE people. Emirates Nature and Emirates Wildlife Society were formerly known as the Wildlife Emirate. The campaign was well-received and a great success, with nearly 1,000 trees planted and the Ghaf the next year proclaimed the national tree. Efforts to take care of this precious tree have been and still are ongoing and You can help the Ghaf.
Ghaf tree UAE was developed to address the need for guidance in the selection of environment instruments. Stakeholders, including natural resources managers and community planners, who understood the importance of integrating climate resilience into their projects, have struggled to find the right tool. Workshops were conducted around the Gulf Coast to ensure the Gulf tree leaves were important. During the sessions, prospective users shared current climatic problems, their collection of the tool, and unique features in the Ghaf tree.