The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) in cooperation with the Saudi Geographical Society, King Saud University, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals and Saudi Aramco from Saudi Arabia, and the University of Bahrain (UoB) and the Supreme Council for Environment (SCO) organized a seminar to assess mangroves around the western coasts in the Arabian Gulf, which took place on Thursday 2nd May 2019 on AGU’s campus.

*Mangrove forests are a unique marine ecosystem that cover a large area along the western coastline in the Arabian Gulf and form an important part of the biodiversity found in this region. Mangroves protect the land from soil erosion, control pollution and maintain the water cycle and absorb excess water flow during times of flooding (By Shrudi Saagari Raveendran).

The seminar explained the importance of mangroves, their condition in the GCC countries and Specifically Bahrain, the effect of urbanization on them, ways of their protection, management and sustainability utilizing modern technologies in geoinformatics systems to detect the changes.

Dr. Sabah Al Jenaid, Head of the Geoinformatics Department in the College of Graduate Studies at AGU, highlighted that studies have shown that mangroves forests have shrunk from in Tubli Bay area (Kingdom of Bahrain) since the year 1967 because of the effects of urbanization. Dr Al Jenaid further highlighted their importance in protecting the marine environment from climate change and absorbing Carbon Monoxide and commented on the importance of having a national strategy to protect these plants.

NSSA participated in the seminar, alongside Faculty members and specialists from a number of universities and environmental institutions in the GCC States.

Eng. Reem Senan from NSSA commented that participation in this seminar helped strengthen the partnerships and aimed to encourage the exchange of expertise and knowledge between relevant authorities and universities in the GCC States to serve the most important environmental issues in the region.