Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Health Monitors the Environment Situation in the Eastern Desert

23 Oct 2011

In collaboration with the Royal Society for the Conversation of Nature (RSCN), UNDP organized a field visit for the Environment and Water Parliamentary Committee to Azraq and Azraq Wetland Reserve In the month of October.

The Reserve was established by the RSCN in 1978, one year after Azraq Wetland was declared one of the major stations of migratory soaring birds on the African-Eurasian flyway. Unfortunately, a number of environmental issues remain challenging in Azraq because of abuse and overuse of water from the Azraq Basin, and environmental violations of industries there.

Members of the Environment and Water Committee visited the Reserve and were presented with a background on the reserve, migratory birds routes, role of RSCN and alternative energy sources used. MPs also visited socio-economic projects by the RSCN and observed their benefits to local community in terms of generation of income and employment opportunities.

Additionally, part of the visit was dedicated to meeting with local community representatives who explained the environmental challenges the area is facing. They also explained the impact of these challenges on local community including on health, especially of children, air pollution, inefficient waste management and the impact of manufacturing activities on local infrastructure. It is worth noting that this is the first parliamentary committee that visits Azraq since 1989 and a follow up visit is planned in 2012.

As a result of the visit, Local community representatives are now planning to form a local committee that will follow up on these environmental issues in the area