Mitigation of Hurricanes Impacts on Endemic and Threatened Plants of Socotra Archipelago

ARC-WH is continuing its support to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of Socotra, Yemen, to implement International Assistance financed by the UNESCO World Heritage Fund with the objective of establishing two regeneration plant nurseries for endemic flora of Socotra threatened by the destructive impacts left in the wake of two cyclones that struck the island in 2015, as well as overgrazing from goats and construction projects.

In February 2019, the implementation of the first nursery plot in Homhil started, targeting the regeneration of Boswellia (Boswellia elongate), more commonly known as Socotran Frankincense trees. The nursery fence was completed in April 2019 with the committed efforts of members from the local community, who have also undergone training to ensure that the nurseries will be adequately monitored and managed.

It is predicted that the protected area will need around 7 to 10 years to grow and mature in order to withstand the damaging effects of goat grazing. Other Boswellia trees are now flowering in Homhil and it takes up to two months till the seeds are ready to be collected in order to plant them in the nursery.

A second plant nursery will be established soon in Fermin to rehabilitate damaged areas where the iconic Dragon Blood trees (Dracaena cinnabari) grow.