Call to protect Bahrain's environment
Manama, June 7, 2010
People in Bahrain were urged to help protect the country's environment by pledging themselves to four conservation commitments.
Environment experts called on Bahrain's community to conserve water and electricity, reduce waste and plant a tree.
More people are currently using more resources with further more intensity than at any time in human history, said Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife senior environmental specialist and engineer Rehan Ahmed.
He was speaking at a World Environment Day celebration at the Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE) in Juffair yesterday.
It was organised by the UN's Bahrain Country Team in association with the Bahrain Society of Engineers and Institution of Engineers Pakistan - Bahrain Chapter (IEP-BC).
'We are living beyond earth's carrying capacity and are depriving our future generations,' said Ahmed.
'It is regrettable to note that the human ecological footprint has reached 1.4 times the earth's biological capacity.
'This means we need 1.4 planet earths to sustain us and this number is growing with the human population.'
He said people relied on the natural world for food, clean water, air, fuel and better living.
However, because of over use of the natural environment, the earth was suffering.
'The destruction of the natural world is costing the global economy $2 to $5 trillion every year,' added Ahmed.
'We need to place a global financial value on biodiversity, just as we need on carbon emissions,' he said.
'If we can fully value nature, only then can we properly protect it.'
Ahmed said each person should make a commitment to invest in the environment through small actions, such as using less and conserving more.
He urged Bahrain's community to make at least four commitments towards conserving water and electricity, reducing waste and planting a tree.
Ahmed said 25 to 50 litres of water per person, per day, was sufficient to meet domestic demands, but in Bahrain people were using more than 10 times that quantity.
He said by turning off the tap when brushing teeth could save 3.8 gallons of water a day.
'Together in Bahrain we can conserve 1,525 million gallons of water in a year,' he said.
'Use potable water judiciously. Don't run the water tap unnecessarily during bath, washing face and brushing teeth.
'Using a water flow reducer in each tap can save 3,000 litres of water per tap.'
Ahmed called on the community to reduce its consumption of electricity by switching off lights when not in use.
This is in addition to replacing ordinary light bulbs with energy savers and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which consume four times less energy and last eight times longer.
'Replacing four light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs will eliminate one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the CFLs,' said Ahmed.
'Together in Bahrain we can save enough kilowatt-hours to power more than 5,000 households.
'Use a laptop instead of a desktop, as it consumes four to five times less electricity.
'If we all switched off TV sets and other electronic appliances instead of leaving them on standby, in a year it will save enough electricity to power all households in Bahrain for two years.'
Ahmed said use of plastic bags in Bahrain needed to be reduced.
He said if the country reduced it to 25 per cent, it could save 200 million bags per year.
The energy from recycling one aluminium can was enough to run a television for three hours, he said.
'By recycling just one glass bottle, you save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours,' said Ahmed.
'Ten litres of water is required to produce one sheet of A4 paper.
'One tree makes about 3,077 pieces of A4 paper and each tree provides oxygen enough for three people to breathe.'
Ahmed also encouraged each person in Bahrain to join the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Billion Tree Campaign by planting at least one tree to reduce global warming and improve the environment.
'Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and produce oxygen for us to breathe,' he said.
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. It is marked annually on June 5.
The theme for this year's event is 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future'.-TradeArabia News Service