Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project – About The Project

Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project:

Towards Research and Conservation

Kuwait hosts two species of nesting turtles on its offshore islands Qaru and Umm Al-Maradim. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles nest on one and the other respectively in different times of the year and their offspring emerge from the nests to reach the Gulf Waters and ensure the circle of life of a very important animal is ensured. Possible presence of the loggerhead and leatherback turtle is being researched. Environmental laws in Kuwait, as in many other countries, prohibit any sort of disturbance of these animals or their hatchlings.

But why is it important to protect sea turtles? Why are nations worldwide creating strict texts of conventions and legislations in a common effort beyond borders to ensure their survival? The answers are not difficult. Many decades of scientific research and constant monitoring have proven that:

Sea turtles are necessary for the survival of coral reefs worldwide. Without coral reefs, the degradation of all sorts of life in the oceans would be imminent and all forms of life in the ocean would become threatened or extinct. Fisheries worldwide would be gravely affected.
Sea turtles are responsible for the migrations of several hundred species of organisms, which attach themselves on the animal and “hitch a ride”. Without this means of transport, propagation and ecological processes of these organisms would stop, and this would have an impact on the ocean’s health and prosperity.
Sea turtles have existed for over a hundred million years, are an animal species that has survived all dramatic changes on earth and has an important role to fulfill, like all major species on the planet. Sea turtles have seen and lived with the dinosaurs. They have been great survivors of what eliminated the dinosaurs. Why have them vanish now, when preserving them seems to be a doable task? It would be a great blow to biodiversity on earth.
As with every animal species, protecting it during its whole cycle of life is essential. For turtles, feeding, mating and nesting grounds should be protected from degradation and elimination, and migratory routes should be studied in order to achieve some level of protection there as well.
Information and education on the importance of sea turtles and their marine environment have excellent short and long-term results for the conservation of the species.
The Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project, launched in June 2008, is a common 3-year effort of TOTAL Foundation, TOTAL Kuwait, The Voluntary Work Center Kuwait and The Scientific Center Kuwait. Its main goals are enhancing awareness and knowledge regarding endangered sea turtles in the country, studying their populations on the offshore islands Kubbar, Qaru and Umm Al-Maradim, studying the state of the marine and coastal areas they are in, conducting environmental information and education, targeting groups of stakeholders and considering possible contribution to the legislative and institutional framework of sea turtles conservation in the country.

TOTAL FOUNDATION:

‘LEARNING FROM THE OTHERS, TEACHING OTHERS’’

The Total Foundation is committed to philanthropic endeavours in three areas of activity:

– Community support, through two complementary programmes: partnering the Pasteur Institute to prevent pandemics in countries where the Group operates and fighting social exclusion, particularly from school, in France;

– Culture, through a major partnership with the Fondation du Patrimoine and support for institutions that promote French culture and intercultural dialogue;

– Environment, especially the protection of marine biodiversity, through research, programmes to safeguard threatened species and ecosystems.

The Total Foundation emphasizes long-term partnerships in every area of its activity. In addition to providing financial support, the Foundation seeks to combine and strengthen the work of experts to expand human knowledge.

The Total Foundation encourages Group employees to contribute to its activities and influence, notably by supporting their involvement in community support initiatives.

Voluntary Work Center Kuwait

The Voluntary Work Centre was established in 2004 and its objectives are:

Supporting values of the society via individual participation
Developing personal, professional and scientific skills and abilities in youths.
Developing the value of being a volunteer in Kuwait society
Opening new horizons for young people via volunteering
Providing opportunities for young people to participate at decision making and priority setting in the society they live in.
Generalizing volunteering for the local population of Kuwait
Contributing in laws and regulations concerning voluntary work
Developing skills in young people
The Scientific Center Kuwait:

The first facility of its kind in the Middle East

•Opened in 2000.

•The facility has six attractions: a 3-D IMAX theatre, a Discovery Place (a children’s hands-on science museum), an Aquarium (displaying desert and marine animals), a Gift Shop and a number of restaurants.

•The Aquarium is a mature biological unit and normal routines operate.

•Development of a good aquarist exchange program with other aquariums (Lisbon, Cape Town).

•Focus on education and interaction with as many established Aquariums

TSCK is a cultural achievement and educational facility enriched with knowledge, which portrays fascinating architectural design that reflects Islamic art and culture. The walls contain ceramic depictions of stories that tell of Kuwait’s history. It fortifies the message of scientific awareness in the State of Kuwait, while strengthening its cultural heritage. Its activities are dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge related to the environment. TSCK encourages people’s care and commitment in preserving the desert, marine life, and ecosystems of the Arabian Gulf region.

This piece is taken from the website of the Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project.

See on-line at: http://kuwaitturtles.com/enwp/?page_id=2

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