Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Prince William's Kuwait visit: a guide to Jahra Nature Reserve

The wetland reserve is on the Green List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

On the first day of his official visit to Kuwait, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visited the Jahra Nature Reserve to learn more about the country’s plans to protect its natural environments.

Located 35km north of Kuwait City, Jahra covers an area of 18 square kilometres, and is one of Kuwait’s most significant wetland reserves. It is characterised by an integrated system of freshwater ponds, with pools of weeds and aquatic organisms that attract numerous species of endemic birds.

It is managed by Kuwait’s Environment Public Authority, which is working with the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science to promote Kuwait’s biodiversity and enhance marine environment conservation.

The Duke of Cambridge being shown around Jahra Nature Reserve. Twitter/ @Kensington Royal
The Duke of Cambridge being shown around Jahra Nature Reserve. Twitter/ @Kensington Royal

The Duke of Cambridge explored Jahra's salt marshes, reed beds and sandy sabkha flats – and even set about identifying some of the 300 species of bird that can bee seen in the reserve. He also joined a beach clean, in line with Kuwait’s efforts to tackle the issue of plastic pollution through a combination of public awareness, recycling and education.

In September, Al Jahra Nature Reserve was registered as Kuwait’s first protected area, as a prelude to having it added to the Green List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Consisting of both government and civil society organisations, the IUCN has more than 500 members and is dedicated to conserving nature and accelerating the transition to sustainable development.

Abdullah Al-Zaidan, deputy director general of technical affairs at the Public Environment Agency, told the Kuwait News Agency that he was collaborating with the IUCN to see how the Jahra Nature Reserve could fulfil the 17 criteria necessary for its inclusion as a "green reserve".

“Jahra Reserve is committed to high standards of environmental and social performance as the reserve is managed in a way that ensures the preservation and exploitation of its resources in a fair and sustainable manner taking into account the beneficiaries,” he explained.

You have to get a permit from the Environment Public Authority before you can enter the reserve.

Updated: December 2, 2019 03:26 PM

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