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Kuwaiti official urges more planting in Kuwait to combat desertification

local2ANKARA: Desertification affecting Kuwait should be tackled through more planting of trees and shrubs and increasing natural reserves throughout the country, says a visiting Kuwaiti official. Azhar Al-Assad, the head of the marine and land environment at Kuwait Municipality, made the call for beautifying the Gulf country with more green land patches while acknowledging that the Kuwaiti authorities face a major natural hurdle in the efforts to fight desertification; sand dunes.

The State of Kuwait spends a lot of money for removing the sand dunes, said Al-Assad, in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), on the fringes of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), hosted by the Turkish capital, Ankara, indicating that the sand dunes are the major obstacle obstructing the efforts to combat desertification in the Gulf country. Arid lands in Kuwait constitute up to 85 percent of the national territories. Agricultural projects contribute to boosting biological diversity and land reclamation, she said, also noting that the approach to care for the land serves the overall sustainable development strategy.

Al-Assad, a member of the Kuwaiti National Committee on Combating Desertification, indicated at current efforts to work out an international treaty to combat desertification, alluding the phenomenon to excessive shepherding, population growth and mounting number of waste dumping sites in addition to drastic climatic changes. Kuwait is participating in this conference with delegations from Environment Public Authority (EPA), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), besides others.

Ecological challenges
Among the varied features of life in Kuwait as portrayed in the Kuwaiti pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 is a display delineating the achievements of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) in overcoming ecological challenges to contribute to the nation’s growth and development, said a pavilion official yesterday. The display was launched last Wednesday and was planned to be ongoing for three days, said pavilion director Mazen Al-Ansari, in a statement to KUNA.

Attending the launching of the display was Kuwait’s minister of oil Ali Al-Omair and a bevy of KPC officials, said the director, noting that the minister and the officials expressed their delight with the display showing Kuwait’s endeavors at meeting nature’s challenges in a part of the world known for its aridity and paucity of natural resources, except thankfully for the black gold, oil.

The KPC display also shines the light on Kuwait’s well-recognized contributions to humanitarian causes worldwide, leading the UN to confer the title of Humanitarian Leader on His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and Humanitarian Center on the state of Kuwait, said Al-Ansari. Besides the display at the pavilion, KPC is also organizing a number of events, through audio-visual presentations and roundtable discussions and forums, to inform expo goers of the multifaceted endeavors of KPC and its subsidiaries, said Al-Ansari. – Agencies

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