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Bahrain participates in UN ‘Summit on Biodiversity’

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On behalf of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, HM the King’s Personal Representative and President of the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE), His Highness Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, participated in the UN “Summit on Biodiversity”, as part of the series of high-level meetings held on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75).

Addressing the Summit, HH Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa stressed that thanks to HM the King’s visions and directives, the kingdom is making steadfast strides towards achieving the best levels of preservation of the elements of biodiversity, noting that Bahrain was one of the first countries that joined international conventions and treaties that require protection and sustainability of the components of biodiversity, including the unique ecosystems in the Kingdom.

He expressed delight at participating in the virtual Summit, noting that the novel coronavirus poses a threat to all countries of the world, which required concerted efforts by all countries to develop emergency plans and programmes to contain this pandemic, in accordance with the international health regulations to ensure the safety and health of their citizens.

HM the King’s Personal Representative lauded and voiced pride in the UN’s various initiatives, plans and programmes aimed at protecting and preserving the elements of biodiversity despite challenges, such as climate change, air pollution, desertification, and the unsustainable use of the elements of biodiversity.

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HH Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad affirmed that the kingdom has been keen on preserving biodiversity through the issuance of several national legislation and laws related to the protection of natural environment and habitats, including the declaration of six natural reserves, accounting for more than 20% of the total area of the Kingdom, noting that the Government of Bahrain is interested in the marine environment because of its great importance in ensuring food security.

He also highlighted the Kingdom’s launch of a special pearl diving licensing scheme to preserve this authentic cultural heritage, in addition to the implementation of a number of projects, the most important of which is the declaration of the largest marine reserve in the region in order to protect oyster beds.

The SCE President indicated that the Kingdom has issued a number of national laws and legislation aimed at protecting endangered species, in addition to the ratification of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2012, adding that the country is in the process of issuing a draft-law on regulating international trade in endangered species.

He also said that Bahrain had included many projects and programmes aimed at preserving agricultural areas and increasing the number of plants in the Government Action Plan.

He also shed light on the kingdom’s preparation of the national plan for the adaptation to climate change, and efforts to ensure the sound management of chemicals, in addition to many measures aimed at preventing the release of ozone-depleting gases and managing them in accordance with best international practices to mitigate the effects of global warming and protect biodiversity from ultra-violet (UV) radiation.

HH Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad stressed the importance of protecting the sustainability of global biodiversity through stepping up the collective efforts of world leaders, and developing a unified environmental roadmap in order to face the challenges that threaten the planet, nature and wildlife.

HM the King’s Personal Representative welcomed the United Nations Convention on the High Seas, describing it as a distinct and serious international step towards the conservation and sustainability of global biodiversity.

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