18 December 2014 (Reference: 10-14)
Kuwait's marine environment is central to a multi-million pound agreement signed today by the Kuwait Environment Public Authority (KEPA) and the UK's Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas).
The four year partnership between UK and Kuwait Government agencies will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental status of Kuwait's waters and living marine resources. The scientific information collected on Kuwait's marine environment will support sustainable marine management in Kuwait.
Welcoming the agreement, Defra Minister George Eustice said:
"The UK Government is committed to sharing our environmental knowledge and expertise across the world. I look forward to seeing Cefas build on this important new partnership in Kuwait, bringing its world class marine science and technology to help safeguard our shared global environment."
Cefas' Chief Executive, Dr Mike Waldock added:
"This new contract is a strong and clear vote of confidence in Cefas' world-leading marine and aquatic science. It builds on our long-term commitment to KEPA and the marine environment in Kuwait and the Middle East.
We are delighted to continue working with our esteemed colleagues at KEPA, sharing our collective expertise and knowledge for the benefit of communities and the environment in Kuwait and the wider region."
The eMISK contract follows the signing of a 15 year Memorandum of Understanding between Cefas and KEPA that was signed in September, as well as the opening of Cefas' new permanent base in Kuwait, staffed by Cefas scientists.
The eMiskMarine project benefits from Cefas' broad capability in applying marine science in support of Government, bringing together expert scientists and technologists in biodiversity, pollution, oceanography, coastal dynamics and environmental informatics who will work in Kuwait and the UK over the next four years.
The first stage of the project is to establish the marine environmental data needs of a wide range of Kuwaiti government departments and public bodies to ensure that the marine environmental database developed during the project provides benefit to all of Kuwait beyond the requirements of KEPA.