On the occasion of World Environment Day Bahrain launches Invasive Alien Plant and Animal Species Blacklist project

06/06/2022

The Supreme Council for the Environment and the Bahrain Institute of Pearls and Gemstones (Danat) announce that the Kingdom of Bahrain has commenced work on a project to compile an invasive alien plant and animal species blacklist. The project, which will be carried out in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States and financially backed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), makes Bahrain the first GCC country to map how invasive alien species arrive and get transported and introduced into the environment, as well as the first to issue national regulations on invasive alien species.

As part of this project, a national workshop was conducted at the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH) in the Kingdom of Bahrain which brought together project partners, experts and representatives of the concerned authorities to raise awareness about invasive alien species and related international policies and programs. The workshop was held in conjunction with Bahrain’s celebration of World Environment Day, a global event which falls on June 5 each year aimed at highlighting the importance of addressing critical environmental issues. The chosen theme for this year’s event was "Only one Earth."

Her Excellency Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of ARC-WH said in a statement that the environment and climatic factors are imposing challenges to preserving ancient artefacts, sites and monuments and ensuring their sustainability and noted the Kingdom of Bahrain’s significant contributions in this regard. She went on to thank the organizers and laud the ARC-WH’s hosting of this workshop as part of its efforts to preserve the Arab world’s material cultural heritage.

For his part, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed bin Mubarak bin Daina, Special Envoy for Climate Affairs and CEO of the Supreme Council for the Environment noted that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s celebration of World Environment Day demonstrates its commitment to dealing with global environmental issues and supporting efforts to preserve the environment and its living resources in order to ensure its sustainability for future generations. His Excellency also commended the partners for organizing the workshop to launch the invasive alien plant and animal species blacklist project.

His Excellency further said that the sheer complexity and diversity of environment and climate-related issues makes it incumbent upon everyone to cooperate and unite in order to effectively deal with them and mitigate their impact on humans and the environment, as well as serve as a national example for environmental preservation and sustainability.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Danat, Mr. Yaser Alsharifi, hailed the pioneership of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the GCC level in launching the blacklist project. He also underscored the importance of the Supreme Council for the Environmen entrusting the management and implementation of this national initiative to Danat and the institute’s commitment to working closely with all stakeholders to ensure its success.

Mr. Alsharifi also stated that the project will support the national plan that is in place to revive the pearling sector in Bahrain, namely the Kingdom’s efforts to provide a healthy marine environment for the growth of Bahraini pearl oysters and limit the introduction of invasive alien species that may impact their formation and growth.

In turn, Dr. Abdulaziz Almuzaini, Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO to Egypt and the Arab League, commented his pleasure with involvement of of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science in the Arab States in carrying out this project, specifically in the areas of thought leadership and technical assistance. He also noted the successful partnership with the Kingdom of Bahrain in the deployment of several projects related to the environment and climate change, hailing it as a model for partnership between international organizations and national partners in Arab countries in the area of environmental protection and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The workshop included several main topics aimed at reviewing international best practice in preparing blacklists of invasive alien species and setting a project roadmap to facilitate cooperation between all concerned parties in drafting the preliminary regulations and invasive species blacklist in Bahrain to support the Kingdom’s efforts in protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.

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