Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Spotted: Prince William birdwatches in Kuwait's Jahra Reserve

The British royal also met the Kuwaiti Emir at Bayan Palace

The first full day of the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Kuwait started peacefully as he attempted to spot birds at the Jahra Nature Reserve before a lunch with the country's Emir.

Prince William was escorted around the man-made freshwater reserve in a golf cart by workers from Kuwait’s Environment Public Authority (EPA) . He used a set of binoculars to look for some of the 300 species of bird at the reserve both from the cart and a bird hide.

William arrived in Kuwait on Sunday evening on a commercial flight for the visit that will also include Oman.

"Throughout the tour, the duke's programme will pay tribute to the historic ties Britain shares with Kuwait and Oman, and will highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence," Kensington Palace said.

The Jahra Nature Reserve is a regionally important stopover for migratory and overwintering bird species covering an area of 18 square kilometres. As well as bird spotting, William participated in a beach clean against the scourge of plastic pollution.

Dr Sian Limpenny, working in Kuwait for the British Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science called William's visit a "great privilege".

"His visit will give a welcome boost to the work of the NGOs and help raise public awareness on the importance of the marine environment in Kuwait," she said.

"For me, the real highlight from Prince William's visit was seeing him take a genuine interest in the work of young Kuwaitis who have set up socially responsible enterprises for the benefit of current and future generations."

On Monday afternoon, William met Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah at the Bayan Palace. The pair have some campaigning goals in common. Both have spoken with concern about social media; the Emir in October said it has created divisions in society and the Prince has lent his support to services designed to suport young people using social media.

While in Kuwait, he will take part in celebrations for the 120th anniversary of the signing of the 1899 Treaty of Friendship between the country and the UK. The treaty was originally signed on January 23, 1899.

William will also join young leaders, entrepreneurs and university students at an desert encampment in the Kuwaiti desert in a tent to experience some of the country's rural traditions.

William will travel to Oman on Tuesday, where he will take in more natural wonders. A visit to one of Oman's unqie wadis is planned and meetings with more young people working to protect their natural environment.

Updated: December 2, 2019 03:10 PM

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