Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Although no specific national goals or targets have been developed in Bahrain to address the 2010 target, many measures have been taken that contribute to its achievement. For instance, Al-Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve maintains breeding populations of rare and likely threatened species including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Successful captive breeding and re-introduction programs undertaken by Al-Areen have promoted the recovery of rare antelopes, such as the Arabian sand gazelle. Public awareness programs are implemented on regular basis, and the provisions of promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity have been incorporated into the national educational curricula. Bahrain has recently prepared the National Environment Strategy (NES), which is currently under consideration for adoption by the competent national authorities. The agricultural sector is currently implementing programs to re-use treated wastewater for irrigation purposes in an attempt to overcome the increasing shortage of freshwater. Also, loans are provided to farmers intending to launch programs dedicated to the protection of date palms. There is a lot of pressure to adopt effective measures to minimize adverse stresses imposed by over-fishing. All destructive fishing methods, such as explosions, poisons and polythene nets, are prohibited. Alternatively, the sustainable traditional fishing methods, such as the wire and barrier traps are encouraged and maintained. For instance, only traditional fishing is permitted in the marine environment bordering Hawar Islands Protected Area. To ensure the sustainability of shrimp stock, shrimp harvesting is banned annually during the recruitment period.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
The Al-Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve is the centerpiece of the Bahrain terrestrial protected area system and managed on daily-basis. The key objectives of Al-Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve are to promote scientific research, ecotourism, public awareness and the conservation of biodiversity in Bahrain. Tubli Bay was declared as a protected area in 1995 and designated as a RAMSAR site in 1997 in an attempt to promote the protection of the coastline from coastal development. However, strict regulations associated with effective management are currently of pressing need to prevent further ecosystem collapse in Tubli Bay. Declared as a protected area in 1996 and designated as a RAMSAR site in 1997, Hawar Islands have been considered the most Important Bird Area anywhere in the region. It has to be noted that due to financial obstacles, an integrated protected areas system has not been developed in Bahrain.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Concerns have increased to protect and maintain the traditional knowledge and practices pertaining to the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity in Bahrain such as those associated with fishing, pearl diving and date palms. For instance, fishing by the traditional wire (gargoor) and barrier (hadra) traps are exceptionally permitted in Hawar Islands for this purpose.