HAWAR-ISLANDS.com



Back



 Nomination file 
The Hawar Archipelago
Supplementary

Submitted to UNESCO February 2004

 
Att. David Shepard
Head Prog. on Protected Areas
IUCN
Att. Mr. Peter Scott
World Heritage Center
UNESCO

23 February 2004
Ref: Evaluation/Bahrain
World Heritage Nomination: Hawar Islands Bahrain

Dear Sirs,

It was indeed our pleasure to meet with and then escort Dr. Alain Jeudy de Grissac on his IUCN evaluation mission around Hawar. HRH Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Head of the Commission would like to take this opportunity to pass on his apologies and personal regrets at not being able to greet Dr. Grissac during his visit to Bahrain, HRH unfortunately was attending to matters of State outside the Kingdom during the time of that visit.

In reply to your letter requesting additional information and clarification we have formulated our response so as to first answer your queries raised by question (5), as clarification of the points raised by that question have a direct bearing on our response to others.

Question (5)

The Government of Bahrain recognises that it has a fundamental responsibility in the maintenance and support for the continued existence and conservation of the Islands of Hawar and is committing and obligating itself to a predefined course of action as set out under The World Heritage Convention that includes as a condition of acceptance, a management plan for the Islands of Hawar. Nonetheless it regards with pride the current state of preservation of the Islands and their potential for use as an important component in a National strategy for conservation and sustainable development however it does recognise that some developments on the main Island of Hawar undertaken in the later part of the nineties during the period the ICJ hearings were not always beneficial and certainly at that time were not accompanied by a corresponding growth in any management capacity.

In part to redress such a perceived imbalance, it had long been recognised locally that a complete overall and reorganisation of Bahrains’ Wildlife, Environmental and Fishery services was long overdue. Such an opportunity presented itself early in 2003 as part of a government ministerial reorganisation itself part of the democratisation processes underway in Bahrain.

The Governor of the Southern Region (which includes Hawar), HRH Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa initiated the establishment of a “Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife” by the merger of three organisations previously attached to a variety of government organisations and Ministries,

°    The National Commission for Wildlife Protection
°    Environmental Affairs
°    The Directorate of Fisheries and Marine Resources

His Royal Highness Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa was appointed Head (with a rank equal to a Minister) of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife in addition to his existing position as Southern Area Governor.

The Civilian Authority for Hawar including that of local Municipality was also rationalised and reduced and is now exclusively represented by the Southern Area Governate. The Governate acts as the focal point of contact and control for all other government ministries and organisations. No works, schemes, plans or projects can be now be undertaken without the approval of the Southern Area Governate and the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife. 

The restructuring and reorganization of The Public Commission allied to the changes in the Civil Authority for Hawar nominally changes the Kingdoms previous response provided under section (3) Management in the original Hawar application to be as follows.
  
3 d)     Agencies with management authority
Southern Area Governate
°    Office of the Minister of Royal Court at the Court of His Majesty the King
°    The Office of H.H The Prime Minister
°    Government Ministries and Municipal Council
Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife

The Minister of Defence (BDF) and Ministry of Interior (Coastguard and Police) act on behalf of the Kingdom of Bahrain, to ensure and provide only security, policing and the judicial authority for Hawar.

3 e)    Level at which management is exercised
Decisions are implemented at Directorial level or above on approval from the highest authority or according to the Law and Constitution of Bahrain.

  At the time of nomination, it was also reported (Section 3 management (f) Agreed plans related to property) that the Southern Area Development Company SADC had in progress plans to further develop the Hotel site on Hawar and that that those plans were the subject of an environmental assessment survey. Early in 2003 the four major shareholders of SADC, the Pension Fund, The General Organisation of Social Insurance, the Housing Bank and the Government of Bahrain (represented by the Ministry of Works and Housing) were informed that, HRH Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Southern Area Governor had reviewed their plans and found that they posed a serious environmental threat to the integrity of Hawar. As a direct consequence he had issued instructions for the immediately cancellation of that project under Legislative Decree No 21 of 1996 in respect of the Environment (in brief as follows)
 Article 26.

The Minister shall consider the cessation of work, partial or total operation if considered a hazard to the environment. The cessation may be permanent or for a certain period determined by the Minister in his order.

His Royal Highness reminded SADC of the sensitivity of Hawar, that its integrity was not open to negotiation and that any further development at the Hotel site would not be approved until such proposals were consistent with the stated aims of decrees, edicts and laws applicable to Hawar’s protected areas, the environment, and wildlife protection. Furthermore the Ministry of Works and Housing (technically the major shareholder in SADC) were requested to cease all other planning and consultative projects in respect of Hawar forthwith and hand all documentation to the Southern Area Governate, in line with the ministerial reorganisation. Responsibility for regional planning previously with The Physical Planning Directorate at the MOH had been allocated to the individual Governates and municipalities. This action effectively removed the Ministry of Housing (since renamed to Ministry of Works and Housing) a major player in the past, from the list of Ministries that directly exercises any authority in matters relating to Hawar.

Another immediate and constructive beneficial factor of the reorganisation has been the establishment of closer liaisons with the BDF (Bahrain Defence Force), which continues to maintain a presence on the Islands. However that presence continues to be reduced with the initiation of a program of works for the removal and restoration of military installations. It should also be noted that the role off the BDF has been reduced further to one influenced by the needs of National security.

The reorganisation and subsequent creation of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife has thus provided the means and necessary tools and placed responsibility for the management of the Hawar Protected area firmly with a single organisation working within the National legislative framework. The necessary National legislative changes became effective in October 2003 (published in the Official Gazette), internal reorganisation and rationalisation were finalised in January 2004. For administrative purposes the Commission has been split into two General Directorates, the first envelops Wildlife Protection and Environmental Affairs, renamed to Environmental and Wildlife Protection, General Manager Dr. Ismail Madany; the second envelops Fisheries and Marine Resources renamed to Marine Resources, General Manager Jassim Al Qasser.

Further to these changes, Head of the Commission, HRH Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has submitted to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and to the Civil Service Bureau, budgetary and staffing requirements for the establishment of a field unit that will include Marine and Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Protection Section. Once approved and then trained this additional arm to the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife will take over all roles and responsibilities as that currently fulfilled by the Coastguard in marine protection and fisheries patrols plus providing in the future, Bahrain with Wardens, Rangers and protected area Managers, an element in Bahrains present management capacity currently under resourced.

When the then NCWP initialized the application to UNESCO for the Hawar Islands to be included in the Natural World Heritage List, it did consider for Hawar

-    An agency with management authority, and its
-    Staffing requirement - professional, technical, and maintenance, and
-    Material support for such an Authority

The NCWP did not foresee the merger of the fore mentioned agencies as a strategy to include and provide, sources and levels of finance for a management authority for Hawar, fully incorporated into regional planning and supported by government policies in the planning and management for the protected areas of Bahrain. This merger has provided the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife with the primary management functions and the tools to act within the existing legislative framework of the Kingdom of Bahrain as the National Authority for the Hawar protected area.

In reply to the query concerning the current IUCN “category” for the site, historically those agencies previously empowered to act or deemed responsible for the protected area of Hawar, seem only to have based classifications for Hawar as per the Ramsar submissions for the site. Environmental Affairs in a National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) “Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6” stated that the Ramsar criteria for the Hawar, was as defined under that convention; 1a, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3c.

The Ramsar web site has the following listing for the site, Site: Hawar Islands Designation date: 27/10/1997 Criteria: (1c, 2a, 3a, 4b): 1, 2, 5, 8.

Researches of Environmental affairs records would indicate that no official definition for Hawar in terms of the IUCN categories (IUCN 1994a) as follows was derived:

I.    Strict protection
a.    Strict Nature Reserve
b.    Wilderness Area
II.    Ecosystem conservation and recreation (National Park)
III.    Conservation of natural features (Natural Monument)
IV.    Conservation through active management (Habitat/Species Management Area)
V.    Landscape/seascape conservation and recreation (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
VI.    Sustainable use of natural ecosystems (Managed Resource Protected Area)


The Public Commission therefore, consistent with work currently in hand to develop zoning plans for the Islands that define and regulates all development and planning constraints; define specific geographic areas or zones with boundaries that provide lateral spatial separation from sensitive core areas, and the means of controlling usage, access and development in or around the protected area, have concluded that the site should be regarded as multi-functional. Based on national obligations and commitments as outlined by Royal Decrees, International Declarations and Convention Ratification and the draft Management Plan (UNESCO January 2003), the Public Commission zonation plans for the protected area will be based in general terms on the following IUCN classifications,

Zoning for the major Island namely “Hawar” and the sea to its west to be classified as
Category II - National Park: protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and tourism
Definition: Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to
a.    Protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations,
b.    Exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area, and
c.    Provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.

Whereas the balance of the protected area that being All the lesser (smaller) islands to the north, northwest and east of the main island of “Hawar” including sea and marine environments classified as
   
Category Ia - Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Area: protected area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection
Definition: Area of land and/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features, and/or species, available primarily for scientific research and/or environmental monitoring.

The process for the declaring the site a National Park is a matter legislative and executive review under the Constitution of Bahrain.

The regime of the Kingdom of Bahrain is that of a hereditary constitutional monarchy, the system of government is democratic. The King is head of Sate and its nominal representative. Legislative authority is vested in the King and the National Assembly, which consists of two chambers; the Consultative Council (appointed) and the Chamber of Deputies (elected), Executive authority is vested in the King together with the Council of Ministers and Ministers, and Judicial rulings are issued in the name of the King, the whole being in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Executive authority consists of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister (PM), and a number of Ministers; The Council overseas state interests, lays down the implementation of general government policy, and supervises the course of business in the Government apparatus. However all Ministers are responsible to the Chamber of Deputies (elected) for the business of their Ministry but Ministers submit proposals for change, amendments or proposals for new laws, rules and regulations affecting Ministries etc. first to the Council of Ministers, Council of Ministers decisions can be submitted directly to the King for approval in certain cases where the issue of a decree is required otherwise they are presented as a law or a bill (bills are generally used to regulate economic and financial matters) to the Chamber Deputies for discussion and referral onwards to the Consultative Council. No law may be promulgated unless both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies or the entire National Assembly has debated and approved it (as the situation demands) and the King ratifies it. In all cases for a bill once it has been approved it is referred back to the PM who submits it to the King.

Article 37 of the constitution,
The King shall conclude treaties by decree and shall communicate them to the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies accompanied by the appropriate statement. A treaty shall have the force of law once it has been concluded and ratified and published in the Official Gazette.
However peace treaties and treaties of alliance, treaties relating to sate territory, natural resources, rights of sovereignty, the public and private rights of citizens, treaties pertaining to commerce, shipping and residence, and treaties that involve the Sate Exchequer in non-budget expenditure or which entail amendment of the laws of Bahrain must be promulgated by law to be valid.

It is assumed therefore without prejudice to due process that a declaration nominating the site as a National Park would require a Law to that effect, first presented by the Head of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife to the Council of Ministers, the decision as to whether it is presented directly to His Majesty the King for the issuance of a Royal Decree or sent for consideration by the National Assembly before being presented to the King would be a matter for the Council of Ministers to decide. The Constitution does provide in exceptional cases for either. Irrespective of the route, the final outcome would be the same a Royal Decree, the former much quicker than the later; it is felt that given the numerous public statements on this subject by representatives across the spectrum of society and its elected representatives, the proposal would be greeted favorably by the vast majority of the people of the Kingdom.

Question (1)
   
    On receipt of the Hawar Management Plan (first draft from January 2003), despite the MoU with the Government of Bahrain, the NCWP did face some difficulties in seeking general approval. This was in part a consequence of the fact that the legislative instruments for full acceptance were then ascribed to a variety of government organisations. Acceptance required coordination cooperation and negotiation with these agencies; differences of opinions, often little more than inherent rivalries in perceived spheres of responsibility, did however delay the plan from being universally accepted. The creation of the Public Commission and the subsequent merger of NCWP and Environmental affairs into one General Directorate brought those discussions to a natural conclusion and enabled its General Manager to issue a memorandum of understanding accepting the UNESCO Management Plan (first draft from January 2003) within the National legislative framework as the environmental management concept for the management of Hawar, the memorandum being based on existing laws and Decrees (in brief).

 Legislative Decree No 21 of 1996 in respect of the Environment

Article 3
The Environmental body shall undertake the issue of resolutions and instructions in all matters relating to the environment and be empowered to exercise all the required authorities and powers particularly the following
(1) To draw up plans, policies and to supervise their implementation for the purpose of accomplishing its objectives.

Article 4
For the purpose of implementing its objectives, the environmental body shall cooperate and coordinate with all relevant authorities to carry out the following
(6) To lay down the required basis to link the environmental consideration with the planning and development policies and the State level through the introduction of the environmental management concept as an integral part of the defined policy for planning implementing and follow up of development projects;
(21) To seek to accomplish coordination on both regional and International levels to ensure the safety, protection and development of the Environment.

The Draft Management Plan had now been circulated to all directorates and departments in the Public Commission for consideration and comment with a view to the drafting of the complimentary ecosystem management plan.

The response to the query “are adequate human and financial resources available for its implementation” in view of the recent administrative changes in respect of Hawar requires that it be stated – “the situation has improved”. The Southern Area Governate manages public funds directly attributable to Hawar for infrastructure and municipal support however in the opinion of its Head HRH Shaikh Abdulla, the newly created Public Commission remains under funded. HRH has warned government that in general terms, the per capita expenditure in funding environmental protection and scientific endeavour in Bahrain is currently inadequate for the Commission to meet all of its objectives. HRH continues to lobby Government for increases in expenditure on behalf of the Public Commission.

Undoubtedly the most important change, one that is already having a direct bearing on the implementation of the Management Plan for Hawar is in the area of human resources with the inclusion of the highly qualified professional and technical staff of Environmental Affairs and Fisheries along with their associated scientific, logistic and legislative resources under a single supportive umbrella. Historically the influence of certain elements in the hierarchy of the Ministry of Housing, their associations with agencies involved in development, environmental protection, municipal services and the provision of Tourism services in the past should not be underestimated, for when a major player, conflicts of interest, contradictions even the pre-emption of legislation were inevitably a regular occurrence. The removal of that conflicting influence and interest group regime from the decision making processes on Hawar and the general acceptance of the Management Plan has made it possible to initiate very positive changes in management issues related to the protected area simply by a positive application and implementation of existing legislation.

In such areas as fisheries protection to overcome shortcomings due a lack of human resources, requests for additional assistance from the Coastguard made through the Office of the Southern Area Governate to the Ministry of Interior have resulted in both an increase in the resources made available by the Ministry and improvement in the efficiency of their use. It is expected; that in the short term, such cooperative efforts will probably increase, as they continue to provide essential resource elements in the management of the site.

Question (2)

Under Edict No. 16 of 1996, the protective order does not provide any tabulation for the area in hectares for the surrounding territorial waters it describes. The Ramsar web site has the following listing for the site, Site: Hawar Islands Designation date: 27/10/1997 area 5300 hectares, the area given here approximates the land or surface area of the Islands of Hawar only and was probably provided to Ramsar on that basis. No defining maps to compliment either any local or International agreement pertaining to Hawar including marine environments could be found in the records of the old Environmental section at the Public Commission. Environmental Affairs was in 1996, part of the Ministry of Housing, Municipality, and Environment (MOHME). The failure to produce definitive maps is viewed as the primary factor that resulted in the numerous transgressions, conflicts of interest, and contradictions or obstructions of legislation during the tenure of the MOHME.

Question (3)

The Marine elements of the proposed site are an integral part of the nominated area and as such are recognised as being of equal importance and value, as any of the other components that constitute the site. They will be subject to zoning under a variety of classifications with each zone subject to rules and regulations for access and/or usage. It is envisaged that the zoning plans will be one of the most important management tools developed as part of the overall ecosystem management plan for the site. Basic zoning plans are currently being prepared in coordination the Bahrain Center for Studies and Research as overlays for inclusion on the centres GIS database. Examples of the on-going work without lengthy explanation have been included in our response purely for illustrative purposes. The work is still in its early stages and will be subject to considerable change as it develops.


Once developed the zoning plans will establish the extent and type of zone, based on known sensitivity and scientific importance. The zones will allow for the spatial separation of potentially conflicting activities such as development, nature-based tourism and scientific study in accordance with the Hawar Management Plan and the IUCN. They will provide a coordinated and integrated management procedure to initiate the sustainable development of Hawar while ensuring the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and management of the Islands. In addition, the partial or total restriction on activities in some zones will be a key strategy to facilitate monitoring and research with the creation of scientific and sanctuary areas

Question (4)

In reply to queries concerning the Oil and Gas industry – “What specific regulations are applied to the marine environment, particularly oil exploration and production” - assistance was sort from the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO).

Anwar Khalaf, Manager of Exploration and Development at BAPCO provided the following information: -

Hawar Islands and the surrounding waters are part of the Exploration Block # 6 currently assigned to Petronas Carigali as per the EPSA agreement signed between the Ministry of Oil and the aforementioned company. 

Petronas has already conducted a seismic survey on the area (non intrusive i.e. not using explosives) and drilled one deep well close to the northern edge of the proposed Heritage site adjacent to the International boundary with Qatar. We plan to drill a second well during the second half of 2004 or during the first half of 2005.  (added 2005 PETRONAS are leaving Bahrain insufficient oil and gas found)

The environmental compliance is stressed in the agreement. The agreement states that the CONTRACTOR shall conduct Petroleum Operations as a reasonable and prudent Operator in a diligent, safe and efficient workmanlike manner in accordance with the laws of the State of Bahrain and international laws and with generally accepted international petroleum industry standard and practices with regard to safety and protection of the environment. 

The Contractor shall take all actions necessary and/or desirable in respect of such laws, standards and practices in order to prevent any risk or harm to public health and safety and any damage or disturbance to the general environment, including without limitation the surface, subsurface, air, sea, lakes, rivers, spring, animal life, plant life, corps and other natural resources and property. The order of priority of action shall be the protection of life, environment, and property. 

We invested around one million US$ to optimally mange the disposal of the rock cuttings from the first exploratory well. The rock cuttings were grinded and then injected back into the subsurface. All Exploration activities were explained and discussed with the Environmental Directorate. Environmental studies and surveys were done by international agencies with the complete involvement of the Environmental Directorate staff. 

Question 6
“What is the status of mineral and oil exploration and production activates”? 

There are no oil or gas production activities in the subject area (Hawar Island and surrounding waters).  All current and near future activities are focused on exploration activities to asses the hydrocarbon potential of the subject area.  As mentioned above we are planning drill one more well during 2004 and 2005. 

I want to draw your attention to the fact the Bapco takes safety and environmental protection very seriously.  In witness of this fact all major projects such as drilling of exploratory wells are preceded by environmental baseline studies and followed by environmental impact studies.

Question (4)(continued)

In reply to “What specific regulations are applied to the marine environment, particularly fisheries”, a new fisheries Law, Decree No. (20) 2002 concerning the Regulation of Fisheries, Exploitation and Protecting Marine Fisheries has since the original World Heritage application was made become effective in Bahrain (this replaces 10 previous decrees dated 1975 to 1997).

As authorised under Section 3 of the new Decree No. (20) 2002, Protecting the Marine Fisheries Article (16) through to Article (23), severe restrictions on fishing activities within the nominated area have been implemented by Head of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife. His Royal Highness Shaikh Abdulla personally briefed Coastguard crews working within the nominated area as to their responsibilities on the implementation and enforcement of the new restrictions.

In outline, to the east of the main Island of Hawar, the most sensitive marine environment a complete ban on all fishing activities, to the west, gear restrictions, with a ban on all gear except hook and line, applicable in all areas. The use of nets, trawls, traps, guns and gaffs or other means now result in the confiscation of gear and/or other equipment, cancellation of any boat and fisheries licence and prosecution to the full extent of the Law.

The use of existing Haddrah (static) traps continues to be allowed but will be the subject of a resource review in the near future.

The duty Coastguard crews briefed Dr. Grissac during his visit to Hawar on the enforcement of the new regulation. The ban has resulted in several arrests and the confiscation of a large amount of equipment, often abandoned on the approach of the Coastguard boats.  Complete radar surveillance of the nominated area including that for periods of darkness has been achieved by the permanent stationing of a large patrol boat north of Mu’tarid reef. Local patrols have been reinforced by the allocation of a second fast patrol boats on station at Hawar.

As was stated in the Draft Management Plan “(2.2) Legislative Context” Bahrain has experienced considerable political change with the onset of the processes of democratisation in recent years. This last year been just as noteworthy, the rate of change has been no less dramatic, the rationalisation of the National authority for Hawar through the establishment of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment and Wildlife linked to the progressive reforms in the civilian administration have as expected resulted in a heighten level of activity in protecting the environment. It has resulted in a more positive and pro-active regime for the Islands with the physical empowerment and implementation of Bahrain’s already extensive Wildlife, Environment and Fisheries Protection Laws.
   
In summary, it has therefore been possible without waiting for the development of a Bahrain Management plan, to legislate in favour of elements recommended within the Draft UNESCO plan and provide and sanction other ongoing projects.

Item
6.2 Commercial and Recreational Fishing
    Recommendations accepted and initiated through existing legislation.

Item
6.3 Petroleum and Mineral Exploration and Production
 Already subject to extensive legislation under Bahrain’s existing Environmental Laws, No organisation either private or public will be allowed to pre-empt the enforcement of the rules and regulations, the basis of the law. It is also worthy to note that the well drilled in 2003 was dry (to a depth of 12000 ft) and that from information available exploration is limited to areas of sea greater than four metres in depth.

Item
6.4 Tourism
The Southern Area Governate has commissioned a feasibility study into the existing tourism infrastructure on Hawar and that required to develop the Islands potential as an eco-tourism destination.
Environmental Affairs staff conducted a study into wildlife sensitivity and the potential dangers of disturbance from touristic development.
Work on providing limited access around the main Island (similar to that as can be experienced at Ras Mohammed National Park Egypt) continues with a view to starting escorted tours for the summer 2004 (peak) season. Recruitment and training of guides is to be initiated shortly.

Item
6.4 Pollution
The Southern Area Governate in conjunction with the BDF, Coastguard, the Public Commission with the assistance of the municipality have initiated an ongoing program of beach and foreshore cleanups so as to remove all flotsam and jetsam from exposed sections of the outer Islands. The cleanups are scheduled around the breeding cycles of the Islands Birds; they are extensively reported in the local media.
The BDF now required that every Thursday afternoon all serving officers and men dedicate that time to environmental protection by participating in cleanups about the main Island of Hawar.
The Southern Area Governor requested from the Central Municipal Authorities a comprehensive assessment of the existing open rubbish dump on Hawar. As a consequence of that report, (in hand at the present time) contactors have been asked to tender (by March 2004) to the BDF for the works required to remove completely from the islands the existing open rubbish dump.
The BDF continue to remove all the visible signs of their defensive occupation, they are currently considering a request to make available all large concrete structures for the construction of an artificial reefs in Bahrains territorial waters.

Item
6.4 Land filling and Dredging
With the cancellation of the SADC building projects on Hawar local land filling and dredging is no longer considered a threat, in the future any such works that involves such activities will not be allowed on environmental grounds. However considerable restoration works will be required about all the existing jetties on Hawar.

Item
6.4 Education
The Southern Area Governor entertained a visit from the BBC Natural History Unit Bristol UK, in November. The BBC who are making a new major eleven part series called Planet Earth hope to featuring Hawar and the Socotra Cormorants in the first episode of that series which apparently will be screened in Autumn 2005.

The Public Commission will be holding a conference on Protected areas during March this will feature presentations on Hawar.

Item
6.4 Research
Studies continue into the breeding Birds on Hawar in particular the Socotra Cormorants, a report on this on going work was published in The Phoenix No. 20 January 2004 (an extension of the project The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Arabia)
A ringing program for breeding Caspian terns was initiated during the 2003/2004 season.
A request for approval from the Natural History Unit at the Bahrain National Museum was received and given to under take a comprehensive Biodiversity survey of Hawar. Funding is currently being actively sought for the project.
The University of Bahrain, Marine Biology Department in conjunction with Bahrain diving clubs are currently working on plans to initiate this April a qualitative assessment of the Macroalgal and Sea Grass beds of the nominate area 
Funding for a comprehensive study program into the biology of the Dugong was made on behalf of the Public Commission to The British Embassy, National and International Oil Companies and other interested parties.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself  should you require any further elaboration on the points discussed, thank you again for your efforts on our behalf to hopefully bring this project to a successful conclusion.
 
Howard King on behalf Dr. Ismael Madany