Kuwait, 2 May 2011 (IUCN) – Decision makers, civil society and research institutions gathered in Kuwait for the IUCN 2011 Regional Conservation Forum, which is organized by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) – Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA), co-hosted by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and co-funded by IUCN, KISR and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) from 2-5 May, 2011.
Climate Change and Biodiversity: Climate Change, Threats and Opportunities for Biodiversity and Ecosystems is the theme of this regional forum that aims at shaping the environmental agenda in the West Asia region.
The forum’s opening was held under the patronage of the Director General of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Dr. Naji Al Mutairi and in presence of H.E. Sheik Ahmed Al-Abdulla Al-Sabah, Minister of Oil and Minister of Information in addition to a number of key policy makers, civil society representatives and international and regional experts.
“We are now standing at the threshold of a major climate change that we have already witnessed in various aspects of our lives,” said H.E. Sheik Ahmed Al-Abdulla Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Minister of Information, “we should seize available opportunities through reconsidering our energy, food and water consumption patterns and adopt new approaches and behaviors towards environmental resources,” added Al Sabah.
“Climate change has become one of the major priorities of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, this forum is the third event that KISR hosts on climate change within the past year. These events have demonstrated the efforts that scientists pay to address sound solutions for climate change impacts in the West Asia region,” said Dr. Naji Al Mutairi, Director General of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).
The forum will give an opportunity for IUCN members and partners, as well as the wider conservation community to prepare for an effective regional participation in the 2012 World Conservation Congress (WCC) that will take place in South Korya from 6 to 15 September 2012.
“The transition towards freedom in our region is considered a big responsibility that urges us to deepen the environmental movement in support of good governance and social justice,” said Dr. Odeh Al-Jayyousi, IUCN West Asia Regional Director.
The forum creates a platform for networking among IUCN members and partners in West Asia to exchange experiences and share best practice on nature and biodiversity conservation, climate change impacts on ecosystems and opportunities that will pave the way for shaping a sustainable future in the region. The forum also provides an opportunity for capacity building for environmental, scientific and developmental institutions.
IUCN presented its draft 2013-2016 global and regional programmes to its members who are expected to provide their input into the draft IUCN Intercessional Programme that will be submitted for approval to the next World Conservation Congress. Through this process IUCN ensures promoting the involvement of members and IUCN Commission members in the implementation of the IUCN Programme at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels.
As part of the forum’s program, a number of experts have presented case studies on climate change risks and hazards threatening natural resources and ecosystems in several West Asian countries. Participants will also address the opportunities to overcome climate change challenges through scientific research, community involvement, shaping regional policies through regional organizations such as the League of Arab States and others. IUCN also provided a rich platform for scientific exchange through the learning sessions on protected areas and world heritage, wetlands, marine and coastal ecosystems, gender and climate change and the role of civil society in climate change mitigation. A field trip to Failak island is also planned as part of the forum on the last day.
IUCN West Asia Members from governmental, non-governmental and research organizations are expected to participate in the forum from Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran.
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.
The world's oldest and largest global environmental network, IUCN is a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists and experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN's headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.
The mission of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) is promoting scientific and applied research, particularly in matters related to industry, natural and food resources and other primary constituents of national economy, in an endeavor to serve the goals of economic, technological and scientific development, and to advise the government on scientific matters and on scientific policy issues.
KISR was established in 1967 by the Arabian Oil Company Limited (Japan) in fulfillment of its obligations under the oil concession agreement with the Government of the State of Kuwait. The Institute was established to carry out applied scientific research in three fields: petroleum, desert agriculture and marine biology.
The main objectives of the institute is to carry out applied scientific research, especially related to industry, energy, agriculture, and the national economy, to contribute to the economic and social development of the state and to advise the Government on the country's scientific research policy.