Kuwait National Assembly agrees on environment protection law

KUWAIT: The National Assembly unanimously agreed in its supplementary session yesterday on a proposal regarding amending some provisions of the Law No 42/2014 on environment. The explanatory memorandum of the law said despite the importance of the Law No 42/2014 on environment protection, it needed so some technical terms to be added to deal with all related matters.

The memo added that the law dealt with how managing environmental affairs through setting up a supreme environment council whose board includes a chairman, deputies and members, including ministers. The memo said an item was added to the law to give the supreme council key authorities to implement the provisions of the law. — KUNA

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Environmental violations in Kuwait are decreasing as more institutions undertake initiatives to protect the environment and spread awareness about preserving it. The Environment Public Authority (EPA) held a conference on the Kuwaiti environment, its problems and solutions, titled ‘Our Environment is our Wealth and Responsibility’ yesterday at the Regency Hotel. The purpose of this conference is to connect environment protection with team work of all parties in order to preserve natural resources. “We aim to put a strategy that will transform environment disasters into economic projects and sustainable development. We hope that this conference will reach its goals and find the ideal applicable solutions for the environment crisis that is threatening the community,” said Dr Salah Al-Mudhi, Chairman and Director General of EPA, during the conference. He also announced that a new environmental law is being prepared. “EPA is currently finalizing a new law in cooperation with some MPs that will correct the mistakes and shortcomings in the present legislation. This law will increase sanctions on violators of the environment. We should work on spreading environmental awareness among citizens and expats. It’s time to adopt sustainable development and invest in green economy,” added Mudhi.

Khalid Al-Mutawa, head of the organizing committee, addressed a presentation on economic environment and environment economy. “The instable political situation in Kuwait for the past few years has affected the economy including environmental projects, and we don’t have long-term vision in this matter. Kuwait is the only GCC country that hasn’t launched alternative energy projects. In this conference, we focus on an economic environmental vision much deeper than monitoring a factory, cleaning a beach or collecting garbage,” he noted.

According to him, the public sector should cooperate with the private sector to set an awareness strategy with an execution plan to launch mega environment projects. “This will preserve the wealth and health of the future generations. It will also offer work opportunities. This is real sustainability and a successful solution for environmental problems,” stressed Mutawa. Environmental problems have been transformed into projects in developed countries. “Sweden is importing waste to be used in recycling projects.

The historical interest in environment started with economic failure and poverty, so some countries started collecting metal and waste from wars for recycling So the base of environment ideology was economic, and if it isn’t transformed from social issue into an economic one, we won’t improve,” he added. Mutawa also criticized the present legislation and dealing with waste. “In Kuwait we are still using the old techniques of getting rid of waste, as dumping waste in landfills is a very dangerous process that produces toxic emissions. The landfills here lie in a space of 18 km, and are considered time bombs, while young businessmen are not given land to build a factory for recycling according to safety criteria. Also, oil lakes under the sand may cause a disaster since they haven’t been treated for more than 20 years. In addition, there are remaining wastes of the American army from the Gulf War which are stored in a Jahra landfill till today although it has cost us $150 million,” concluded Mutawa.

Attorney Fayez Al-Kandari, a law teacher at Kuwait University, spoke about the necessary legislation to protect the environment and launch environmental projects, while Jenan Bushehri, former member of the municipal council, spoke about dealing with electronic waste and possible projects. Frank Clary, Director of CSR at Agility, explained the aspects of environment and its impact on logistics. “I will speak about understanding logistics and logistic operations – how our logistics company is going to improve the impact on the environment. We look at the value of each transaction. At Agility, we want to focus on reducing our impact on the environment and make sure that all our employees are aware it’s important for us. We are also offering solutions to our customers,” he told Kuwait Times.

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