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Global warming 'a threat to Bahrain'

MANAMA, May 26, 2015

Bahrain’s status as an archipelago means it is at higher risk from global warming than its neighbours, according to a regional expert.

That is largely due to the impact of rising sea levels, Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) regional director Dr Mounir Bouchenaki told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

He made the comments at the opening of the Bahrain Europe Environment Week (BEEW) yesterday at the ARC-WH, in Juffair.

The forum is being held under the patronage of the Supreme Council for the Environment (SCE) with support from the British Council in Bahrain, Alliance Francaise and the French, German and Italian embassies.

"This is a very unique occasion for the European Union (EU) and the UN to have Bahrain taking part with this important meeting, contributing towards an important global agenda," said Dr Bouchenaki.

"There has been a series of meetings in small islands across the globe, ever since the UN floated the world agenda for the upcoming COP21 (21st session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December).

"Experts have highlighted the fact that a lot of natural disasters one after the other have struck parts of the world, like the Caribbean islands, the Sea of Japan and the Philippines.

"These aspects are important for Bahrain and the Gulf region as a whole, which tells us that we have to study the impact of rising temperatures, which could in turn impact the sea level.

"The rise in carbon dioxide and its effect on the life and security of the population is also a matter of concern."

It is hoped that potential solutions and partnership programmes could emerge from the four-day forum.

Meanwhile, Dr Bouchenaki described the event as a major one initiated by Bahrain to ensure its contributions to the COP21 meeting.

"The Supreme Council for Environment and the ARC-WH are working together on these topics so that Bahrain can submit its recommendations and suggestions to be added to the draft agenda for COP21," he said.

SCE chief executive Dr Mohamed Bin Daina said Bahrain had several initiatives that would be officially submitted at the end of the forum.

"We are working on energy efficiency and adaptations as part of our Intended National Determined Contributions," he told the GDN.

"We are considered as one of the small developing island nations, which is vulnerable due to rising sea level.

"But at the same time we are improving on our efficient use of alternative (energy) projects towards attaining sustainable goals regarding the climate.

"We are closely working with the EU in terms of technical and financial support to achieve new sustainable development goals of 2015."

Sessions on small islands and climate change and sustainable development goals took place at the forum yesterday.

Today's activities include a seminar on climate change at the Arabian Gulf University, while there will be a talk on green technology tomorrow at the ARC-WH.

The forum will conclude on Thursday with the screening of a film called Climate Change Disruption at Alliance Francaise, in Isa Town. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | warming | global |

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