Experts with Multidisciplinary Backgrounds
Understanding Terrestrial Biodiversity
Supporting the National Aquaculture Industry
Developing Efficient Food Production Techniques
Biodiversity, Conservation, and Ecosystem Management


Challenge

Kuwait’s natural ecosystems play a critical role in preventing desertification, slowing soil erosion and protecting watersheds. Kuwait’s terrestrial desert ecosystems have become seriously degraded due to a variety of factors, most notably the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, overgrazing, recreation, infrastructure and industrial development. The desertification of Kuwait’s ecosystem has affected its ability to support native flora and fauna by reducing plant cover and accelerating soil erosion. This phenomenon results in a loss of productive land for agricultural use and dramatic increases in dust storms and sand displacement, changing ecosystems’ natural dynamics.

Goal

The BTE Program will develop local strategies in line with international treaties to oversee the implementation of a plan to repair the environmental damage caused by desertification, climate change, human activities and oil pollution, with the goal of conserving biodiversity and enhancing greenery sustainably.

Program Thrusts

Conservation and Restoration of Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity — Characterize and document Kuwait’s natural biodiversity while monitoring and evaluating damaged terrestrial ecosystems.
Remediation and Restoration of Degraded Land — Develop and propose methods to assess and measure environmental degradation to reverse desertification and restore heavily contaminated land, map and develop management strategies for protected areas and sustainable land use.
Sustainable Urban Landscape Development — Conserve urban biodiversity through a Specialized Unit for Urban Greenery Research and Development, which will develop greenery technologies and provide desert-tailored solutions for the sustainable utilization of natural resources in urban areas.

Accomplishments

  • Developed environmentally sound techniques to promote sand stabilization by identifying plant species, locations and irrigation systems that best reduce the environmental impact of desertification and soil erosion.
  • Developed and currently manages a national seed bank, a collection of Kuwait’s indigenous plant species, in order to preserve the national heritage of Kuwait’s diverse ecosystems.
  • Provided technical support for the Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program (KERP), playing a key role in helping Kuwait meet UNCC requirements and earn full management of the KERP initiative in December, 2013.