COLLECTIVE MEASURES are required to preserve Bahrain coral reefs in the same way as efforts exerted by Belize, a Caribbean nation that is home to parts of the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.
Bahrain Authority for Cultural Authority (Baca) Antiques and Museum Director Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa believes Bahrain could learn a valuable lesson from Belize, which has managed to save its barrier reef system from the list of world heritage sites at risk.
The World Heritage Committee (WHC), hosted for its 42th session in Manama, has removed the reef from UNESCO's list of inheritance properties.
The committee said that the decision was justified in view of the safeguard measures taken by the country, in particular the introduction of a moratorium on oil exploration over its shipping and the reinforcement of forest regulations that allow for better protection of mangroves.
GDN was issued in March by the Supreme Council for Environment, in cooperation with Baca and other entities, drawing up a detailed plan for regulating fishing activities as part of the efforts to protect sites at Tubli Bay, Dohat Arad, Mashtan Islands, Hawar Islands, Bulthama Reef and Northern Marine Reserves covering Najwat Bulthamat and Hayr Pearl Oyster Beds.
"Many of the successful conservation efforts are the result of collective efforts that include both state and non-governmental agencies," said Shaikh Khalifa GDN. [1
" Belize State Party has demonstrated its ability, with proper management and legislation, to protect the coral reef's excellent universal value.
"Like the WHC states, there are about 30 such coral reefs in the World Heritage List, a testament to it. Having this representation of such an important convention, which primarily aims at preserving and preserving such places around the world.
"We definitely have a lesson to learn from Belize, which is really the power of collective action that we can take measures to preserve our coral reefs as well. "
Belize Barrier Reef is its size other than just the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and is a popular tourist attraction. The coral reef extends over 300 km and is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the largest in the Western Hemisphere,
Belize Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber told GDN that Bahrain should learn from its country's mistakes and work to preserve its coral reef for future generations.
"In Belize where Tourism is a bit negligible in terms of conservation. We were more in rush to make sure we have big hotels and other such amenities, and it hurts the product, so to speak, "he said later on.
" My first word of advice to Bahrain, which is home to beautiful and precious coral reefs, is not to go for something that benefits in the short term but to look at what we can maintain in the longer term, for the benefit of our future generations.
"Next is listening to those who are worried, which is the next big lesson we learned as a government.
" There are units that represent a wider perspective on the world and when you have tears in your marine system it's not just your responsibility to preserve and protect them for your country, but it's also something we have to do for the rest of the world.
"We must play the role expected of us at global level".
The reserve was enrolled in the "Risk List" 2009 due to the destruction of mangroves and marine ecosystems, offshore oil extraction and the development of non-sustainable construction projects.
During the union, a young environmentalist from Belize, 12-year-old Madison Edwards, WHC and Member States for the
thanked me, "I'm so glad we've returned our barrier reef to the legacy and are sure," she added.
The WHC session, which ended on Wednesday, gathered around 2000 experts from around the world and was under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain.