Caring for environment 'is crucial'
Manama, January 31, 2011
Bahrain and the rest of the world is lagging behind in implementing measures to take care of the environment, says a top official.
Pollution and water management are 'very serious issues' which must be tackled, said UN under secretary-general and United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) executive director Achim Steiner.
'No nation and that includes Bahrain has been able to have effective and total enforcement yet,' he said during a Press conference at the Unep's new offices in Bait Al Tajjar, Sanabis.
'We are losing our environment faster than we are acting on preventive issues. This can be disastrous.'
Steiner said the challenges facing the world were many.
'It is encouraging to see the governments of the world are taking action and are making headway,' he said.
'In Bahrain, there is a very real purpose in the way things are going. The situation here is much better than it was a few years ago.'
Steiner said the pollution issues were not Bahrain's alone.
'It can look after its own areas but there are cross-border pollutants to look at,' he said.
'One country can only do as much and no more, so co-operation is a must. There have to be co-ordinated efforts in looking at the problem and solving it.'
Steiner said developed countries were the major culprits for which the developing world was suffering.
'Everywhere, forests are declining, fish stocks are depleting and coasts are being polluted. These are the real challenges which have to be addressed,' he said.
Steiner said efforts the world over also need to be fine-tuned.
'Only then will individual efforts bear fruit,' he concluded.
On the issue of rising sea levels, the expert said countries like Bahrain were in no real danger in the very near future.
'In the Pacific, for example, governments are already thinking of evacuating populations as a result of rising sea levels brought about by climate change,' he said.
Earlier, Steiner, who was in Bahrain at the personal invitation of His Majesty King Hamad's Personal Representative and Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, opened the new offices of the Unep, located on the building's 13th floor.
UNDP's Bahrain permanent representative Sayed Aqa, UN officials and guests attended.-TradeArabia News Service