[ Socotra: Appeals for Urgent Intervention to Prevent More “Dragon Blood” Trees Death ]
Local residents of Socotra Archipelago- Yemen, located on the Indian Ocean, complained the increasing of rare Dragon Blood trees fall and death that the island is distinguished with and now controlled by UAE through STC militia.
Activists warned from the continuous falling of the rare tree, required for urgent intervention by the concerned authorities through field visits for more closer view at the disaster scale, performing the necessary studies.
The activist in Socotra, Abdullah Bada’han- in a letter sent to the government by the Ministries of Fisheries, Agriculture, Water and Environment, the Public Authority for Environmental Protection, the Agricultural and Plant Pests Unit, and the UNESCO Heritage and Culture Organisation- said, “Since November 2021, we have launched many calls and appeals regarding the phenomenon of death and fall of dozens of dragon's blood trees in the Daxum Reserve, central of Socotra.
"We have tried, through voluntary personal efforts, to draw the attention of concerned local government agencies and relevant international organisations, and to ask them to intervene urgently by studying the phenomenon and searching for solutions that contribute to stopping this extremely dangerous environmental deterioration”, he added.
He pointed out that they faced a lot of neglect and indifference on the part of government agencies, to the extent of denying the matter by trying to hide the truth from public opinion, and leaving the matter as if it was normal despite the extent of the losses that were caused to the natural environment here, especially the rare “dragon’s blood” tree, threatened with extinction. The tree is known of slowly growing, as it takes hundreds of years to reach this shape and size that seen today.
Bada’han said that “The dragon's blood tree represents a great symbolism for the natural environment in Socotra”, pointing out that it enjoys importance and sanctity among society and the indigenous people of the archipelago, as it is linked to many ancient myths in the culture and literature of Socotra people throughout time.
"I have personally worked during the past two years to form a volunteer team of local residents, and during this period we shared many efforts during which we monitored the phenomenon of the falling and death of these trees, through field visits to different areas of the island, especially the Dexum Reserve in the center of the island. Through The local volunteer team, we received many reports from residents once these trees fall”, he added.
"We count, document, photograph, and record data related to each fall incident, and archive it in weekly and monthly reports. We work to present all of this to the concerned authorities, that we hope their response and cooperation. We are ready to network with any interested organisations or parties, whether at the local or international level” Bada’han explained.
He continued, "Since November 2021, we have monitored more than 86 incidents of the dragon's blood tree falling in the Daxum Reserve within a geographic range not exceeding 5 km”.
He pointed out that the team discovered some of the causes that represented by strange insects that were noticed to spread in the roots and branches of the trees. "We sent pictures of the insects to experts specializing in agricultural and plant pests, who confirmed their danger and the necessity of working to combat them. But we committed not to intervene directly because we are not specialists or legally authorized to do so”, he said.
He continued, "On this day, October 13, the International Day for Disaster Reduction, we renew our call and appeal to all concerned parties, primarily the Yemeni government, and the relevant local and international institutions and organisations. We demand that they take the necessary steps and intervene by sending specialized experts to study the phenomenon and determine its causes." We also hope that they will work on preventive measures to limit the spread of the phenomenon, and take responsibility towards the plant environment on the island in general.”