Kuwait hails UAE approach in confronting desertification

ROME: Kuwait’s delegate to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, Yusuf Jehail, has commended the efforts made in the region, especially by the U.A.E., in confronting desertification through planting of 130 million trees and 22 million palm trees over the past few decades.

He also pointed out that the U.A.E. has transformed vast tracts of desert into green land with having more green land, gardens and nature reserves.

Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, quoted Mr. Jehail as underlining the importance of the human factor and environmental awareness in the fight against desertification. The Kuwaiti envoy cited efforts of regional countries like Kuwait through planting around 5,000 hectares.

Mr. Jehail, who is also head of the FAO Near East Group, said desertification and drought were key factors in most of the Near East countries.

Addressing an international seminar over desertification in some Near Eastern countries, on the occasion of World’s Desertification Day, he said that desertification and drought were threatening 68 percent of total space of the Arab countries.

He said the tough environmental conditions were affecting natural resources. He added that the UN estimated that some 60 million people from urban African countries and the southern Sahara would migrate to North Africa and Europe by the year 2020.

Jehail called for the collaboration of national, regional and international efforts to confront desertification, depletion of natural resources, cutting of trees and abuse of water resources.