WITH a clear vision and determination to change the environmental situation of his country, the speech of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad at the “Middle East Green Initiative” summit in Riyadh can be considered as a road map, not only for the official Kuwaiti institutions but also for citizens who bear great responsibility in this regard, to work on reducing carbon emissions and their negative effects on the Kuwaiti environment, which has changed in the last five decades due to the absence of urban planning based on a balance between the environment, human well-being and urbanization.
In this well-studied scientific discourse, there are lessons that must be taken into account in terms of combating desertification, which has increased in the past three decades as a result of the continuous encroachment on natural life, and the reduction of the afforestation area, which increases pollution.
This phenomenon has led to higher temperatures than what they were nearly 40 years ago, in addition to the increased reliance on import of food items due to decline in the agricultural areas and the failure to pay necessary attention to food security, or to limit it to ornamental trees.
Therefore, when His Highness the Crown Prince says,“The continuation of climate change leads us to a series of natural disasters”, he is sounding the alarm bell that should push everyone to assume responsibilities, each in his position, to combat the causes of environmental deterioration in the country. They are undoubtedly affected by what is happening around the world, which is subject to climatic changes, especially considering that our environment is fragile and lacks studied green spaces, due to which the negative consequences will be higher.
Here begins the responsibility of the concerned authorities, either in terms of treating thousands of dead trees due to neglect and failure to care for them, or the lack of afforestation of sidewalks and islands, as well as helping to reduce pollution resulting from car emissions.
It is true that Kuwait is a water-poor country, but in light of advanced technologies, the exploitation of sea water desalination, and treatment of wastewater and using it for agriculture and afforestation would help increase green spaces and would benefit everyone.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad affirmed that “Kuwait will increase the area of afforestation and reservoirs, rehabilitate the oil sector, and reduce emissions”. This is a generous invitation and a directive to those concerned to immediately start working with all honesty and responsibility to achieve the environmental strategy in line with “New Kuwait 2035” vision, which is fast approaching.
This is the real challenge and test for everyone in terms of preserving the local environment and paying more attention to agriculture, as well as contributing to the fight against global warming, from which we are the first to suffer as a result of the harsh nature of our country.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times