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Volume :44 Issue : 168 2018      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Native Plants in Kuwait: Environmental and Economic Perspective .

Auther : Dr. Ali M. Al-Dousari - Modi M. Ahmed - Noor M. Al-Dousari - Safaa M. Al-Awadhi

     The development of Kuwait's desert environment has been facing great challenges as a result of the acute shortage of water resources, the deterioration of the vegetation cover, the increase in sand encroachment and the expansion of degraded land. Without vegetation cover, the soil and desert sand shall be constantly exposed to wind erosion that leads to an increase in the rate of sand drift, which has socioeconomic consequences in Kuwait. This long study consists of three main stages:
     The first phase lasted for two years, 2005-2007. Its objective was to identify the morphological, physical, and chemical properties of the wind deposits that accumulated around 15 dominant species of native plants (Nabkhas) in Kuwait andthe Gulf region which are: Nitrariaretusa, Tamarixaucheriana, Halocnemumstrobilaceum, Salicorniaeuropaea, Cyperusconglomeratus, Haloxylonsalicornicum, Rhanteriumepapposum, Astragalusspinosus, Lyciumshawii, Citruluscolocynthis, Panicum turgid, Calligonumpolygonoides, Arnebiadecumbens, Heliotropiumbacciferum and Convolvulus oxyphyllum. Approximately 1640 samples were collected from Nabkhas around perennial plants and four green belts of Tamarixaphyllae and Prosopisjuliflora. The study showed that both Tamarixand Prosopistrees and Nitraria from saline environment; and Lycium, Haloxylon, and Calligonum from desert environment; have the highest quality in naturally capturing quicksand, which makes them most effective for present and future applications in the field of sand control.
     The second phase was an analytical study of the economic value provided to the community by the native plants through the adoption of statistical and analytical methods of data collected to address the costs that the State had incurred as a result of environmental degradation and its association with native plants as a sustainable solution. During this period, statistical data were collected on the costs of sand and dust removal in Kuwait over two periods: the first was in 1993 and the second was in 2013. During these periods, removal costs of moving sand and dust in Kuwait increased from 0.497 KD/m3 (1.78 USD) in 1993 to 1.489 KD/m3 (5.33 USD) in 2013.
     The last phase from June 2011 until May 2015 was the most strenuous period as it involved carrying out an applied test of the role of native plants in facing sand and dust movement by implanting native plants in the area of Liyah that lacked any vegetation cover. With the participation of the community, approximately 110 thousand native plants were implanted in the form of 6 plant islands with a focus on plants threatened by extinction in Kuwait, such as Lycium, Haloxylon and Rhanterium. These plants have been implanted to test their potential as means of controlling sand and dust movement and to monitor wind deposits. The implanted plants captured about 115 tons of moving sand, which saved the State an estimated cost of KWD 1,707,675 (USD 6,112,764), which would have been the cost of the removal of sand accumulated on the civil and military facilities. It also contributed to reducing the sand and dust movement by 94% and 64.5% respectively.

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May 18, 2017

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