Archives for: 2016

2016-05-09

Bahrain Is this the death of the Adhari Green Belt

Permalink 21:21:06, Categories: Bahrain  

It’s a very rural scene tucked away on the outskirts of Manama, a remnant of the past which, were it historical buildings or an archeological site, its future would most probably be assured. However it is neither so it has been left to the purveyors of coloured pencils, the physical planners to decide it’s future, their answer total obliteration. I am talking about the Manama Greenbelt around Adhari Park.

This is not just any old piece of the greenbelt but the home of the once mighty Adhari pool, once part of the green oasis that gave Bahrain its name. It still survives, still has that fundamental essence that makes it core to the nations identity and is partially responsible for the story behind the name Bahrain “The land of Two Seas”. It is as much part of the history of Ancient Dilmun and of Awal as any line of preserved archaic stones in the dirt.

The area in question is an historic area of old, very old farmland and date plantations some pockets still intensively farmed but largely the area is a shadow of that former natural glory. It was an area that was once all fertile gardens with open free flowing sweet water springs (one of the historic seas) that fed huge irrigation ditches many of which still exist but sadly, now these ditches and the fertile land they nourished, are largely ignored, left to slowly decay through a policy of purposeful abandonment. It is now an area unwanted it seems by many owners and the state alike in its present form. For the planners the area appears to be an aberration, caught in a time warp? However I ask can they justify a scenario where there is no longer a need for rural spaces in urban areas, especially one designated years ago before Sustainable Development became fashionable buzzwords. Where has the vision of 2030 gone? I find it hard to believe this part of the Manama greenbelt has outlived its usefulness, simply because it has become a burden on those responsible, because people cannot see the wood from the trees, cannot live with the colour green on their plans, instead need to use all the others. Are they prettier colours because they represent change to a future that is made from concrete, bricks, tarmac and mortar? The planners obviously don’t have colours that represent quality of life, natural resources, preservation and natural heritage. They certainly have no colour that represents lateral thinking or alternatives. And yes there are alternative but then its acceptance would mean a radical change in the direction of peoples thinking, of changing sustainable development to one representative of sustainable preservation.

This section of Greenbelt is unique; it represents nearly all that is left of Bahrain's undeveloped agricultural land, it is part of the countries natural heritage. Nowhere else now retains such a high density of sweet water ditches that maintain such a blend of palm plantations, vegetable and fruit gardens along with animal husbandry. Besides, indirectly by virtue of the abandoned parcels of still fertile agricultural land, a huge wildlife reserve of bog reed open water and scrub. The whole area could, given goodwill be easily restored, reinvented as a natural park, a resource as worthy as the Hawar Islands for preservation, a natural equivalent to Muharraq and the Bahrain fort. It is a wonderful natural resource, other than desert species all other species of bird mammal and reptile have representative breeding in the area. For migrating bird species it is unbelievable with over two hundred species of bird recorded in its environs. There is nowhere else left in the country that has such a density of wildlife resources. Its loss to future generations would be catastrophic, we have already lost too much, it is simply now irreplaceable.

Permalink

2016-05-08

Planned development of Siniya Island, UAE

Permalink 20:32:26, Categories: UAE  

Coordinator: Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Arabia
Warners Farm House, Warners Drove,
Somersham, Cambridgeshire, PE28 3WD, UK.
Tel: 01487 841733 (Intl 0044 1487 841733)
Email: MikeJennings@ArabianBirds.com

From: Sonya Benjamin
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2016 7:06 PM
To: Mike Jennings ; Paul Vercammen ; Jacky Judas
Subject: Socotra Cormorant Colony on Siniya Island, Umm al-Quwain

Dear all,

Please see the below news articles concerning planned development of Siniya Island, UAE. As one of the last strong-holds of the Socotra Cormorant (currently listed as Vulnerable) in the UAE, this is devastating news. Current research has indicated that this colony is of global importance, with large numbers returning to breed every year.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/sobha-group-umm-al-quwain-build-6-8bn-island-resort-629903.html

http://www.thenational.ae/business/property/umm-al-quwain-signs-on-sobha-group-to-build-dh25bn-tourist-resort-on-al-sinniyah-island

I am not sure what or it anything can be done at this point, but I felt it my duty to at least spread the news to anyone who may have a vested interest in maintaining the ecological and environmental integrity of the UAE. I have been made aware that persons within the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (formerly the Ministry of Environment and Water) may raise concerns against this development, however, this is yet to be confirmed.

If anyone has any ideas or information regarding the matter and can share them, it would be duly appreciated. Here is hoping that is it not too late and that something can still be done to protect the colony-

Thank you all for your time-

Kind regards,
Sonya Benjamin

Posted by: Mike Jennings

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