08 September 2014 (Reference: 06-14)
The marine environment in Kuwait and the wider Middle East region will be the focus of a new office opened today by the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Kuwait, Mrs Jacky Perkins.
The UK Government's Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), aims to share expertise in marine management with regional partners, and will be based in the British Embassy in Kuwait.
Cefas is currently working with the Kuwait Environmental Public Authority (KEPA) assessing pollution in the waters surrounding Kuwait City, and Cefas and KEPA hope to shortly start work on a joint project to develop a national marine environmental monitoring programme for Kuwait.
Cefas is a UK Government Agency and the UK's most diverse applied marine environmental science organisation. Cefas has a long-standing relationship with Kuwait and a significant track record of working in the Middle East extending back to the 1980s.
Jacky Perkins, the British Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission commented: "The British Embassy warmly welcomes the establishment of a Cefas office in Kuwait, and supports Cefas in providing technical assistance and support to our partner governments in the region. The management of healthy and sustainable marine ecosystems is important for the wellbeing and prosperity of current and future generations."
Cefas' Chief Executive Dr Mike Waldock said: "Establishing a permanent branch office in Kuwait allows Cefas to extend the levels of support and advice provided to organisations in Kuwait and the Middle East. This demonstrates Cefas' long-term commitment to existing trusted clients at KEPA, and demonstrates Cefas' ability to provide support to agencies' marine environmental management in the Middle East".
Dr Will Le Quesne, Cefas' resident Senior Marine Scientist in Kuwait said: "The Gulf is a unique and fascinating marine ecosystem that supports a wide range of biodiversity and has important cultural significance. However the Gulf is being exposed to increasing pressures from activities such as fishing, tourism, shipping and pollution. Understanding the impact of these activities and developing appropriate management will be an urgent and challenging task.
"Cefas' expertise in providing scientific knowledge and advice on marine environmental management means that we can bring real value and experience to partner agencies in the Middle East."
For further information contact:
Dr Will Le Quesne
Senior Marine Scientist, Kuwait
Fisheries & Ecosystems Division
British Embassy Kuwait
Office: +965 22453570
Mobile: +965 97130467
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is the UK's leading and most diverse centre for applied marine and freshwater science. We advise UK government and private sector customers on the environmental impact of their policies, programmes and activities through our marine evidence and impartial expert advice. Our environmental monitoring and assessment programmes are fundamental to the sustainable development of marine and freshwater industries.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cefas.defra.gov.uk