Biodiversity and climate change in Kuwait

Samira Omar Asem (Food Resources and Marine Sciences Division, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Safat, Kuwait)
Waleed Y. Roy (Food Resources and Marine Sciences Division, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Safat, Kuwait)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Publication date: 2 March 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the various consequences of climate change on the biodiversity of Kuwait. Many world organizations have established strategic plans for climate change, such as The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which is adopted in 2002 by the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utlizes a wide range of research projects completed at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which provide information leading to the degradding effects and risks of climate change on the biodiversity and ecosystem services of Kuwait.

Findings

The biodiversity of Kuwait is under severe stress due to natural and anthropogenic factors. The region is also threatened physically and biologically by the global warming phenomena. More severe and harsh climatic conditions will cause increase in formation of sand dunes, sand encroachment, and extreme dust storms. In 2008, Kuwait has the worst ever reported summer since 1991 with increase in intensity and frequency of dust storms. Drought will cause more water demand for local consumption and irrigation. The seawater temperature increase would affect the spawning period of fish and shrimp and would cause migration of fish to other more suitable areas. This would cause severe impact on the fish industry in Kuwait and the region. Losses in plant cover will be due to sand encroachment or erratic rainfall periods causing runoff and flooding.

Research limitations/implications

The work is based on various projects at the KISR and by some journal publications that relate to climate change impact on biodivesity. More research work is needed to test the long‐term impact of climate change on bidivesity of Kuwait.

Originality/value

There is a need to develop a strategic plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Kuwait. Specific elements of the plan would include: research for identification of vulnerable species, collecting field population data, conducting modeling research to inform conservation programs; monitoring key species; ex situ conservation using living collection and ensuring representation in conservation collection; in situ conservation and increase in protected areas; education and public awareness programs; networking; and sharing knowledge.

Keywords

Citation

Omar Asem, S. and Roy, W. (2010), "Biodiversity and climate change in Kuwait", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 68-83. https://doi.org/10.1108/17568691011020265

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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