Gulf Research Center in association with The
Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi
will hold an environment workshop entitled
Gulf Research Center, Dubai
Environmental awareness is slowly but surely growing in the Gulf, the proof of which lies in some of the measures instituted and implemented by the governments in the region.
In line with its vision for a Green Gulf and a greener planet and realizing the importance of environment conservation and sustainable development, the GRC has widened the scope of its activities to include environmental research and awareness activities to facilitate solutions to the problems faced by the region and the world due to the degradation of precious natural resources.
Given several constraints in assessing the damage to the environment due to the non-availability of or inconsistent data, which hinders devising and implementing solutions, a beginning toward addressing this issue has been initiated by the GRC, in cooperation with New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Called the “Green Gulf” project, the GRC–TERI partnership is a scientific attempt to address some of the most critical problems facing the region in the form of unsustainable patterns of productions and consumption.
The Green Gulf study focuses on the natural resources of the region and the state of the environment, both critical for the future of the Gulf and the world. The questions that we will seek to answer are:
1. What are the major trends in the state of the environment and natural resources in the last few years?
2. What have been the major causes of these trends, including socio-economic factors?
3. What have been the major initiatives to address some of the identified concerns?
4. What are the obstacles to reform and the strategies required to overcome these?
Further, the GRC also intends to target and mold young minds with green thinking through their academic curriculum and information dissemination, as youth are the catalysts for change. The program includes devising a Web-based education module for inculcating and creating awareness about environmental issues, preparing supplementary Arabic reading material and conducting Arabic quiz programs for sensitizing the students.
Other proposed activities include building a Web-based environmental database for the GCC countries, which will provide a storehouse of information on environmental and related issues; an annual youth conference that will focus on leading environmental threats and an annual regional report on the environment.
The fieldwork for the Green Gulf study is now complete after researchers visited each of the GCC countries to collect data and seek expert advice. A draft of the report will be sent to a specially constituted Advisory Board for comments. On 21 December, detailed presentations will be made to the Advisors on the findings, followed by discussions at the day-long workshop.
The resultant recommendations will then be incorporated into the study, which we hope to make as comprehensive and informative as possible. The preliminary report will be released in February 2006 to coincide with the Special Session of Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme to be held in Dubai.