Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Secondary school workshop on the Gulf environment

A message on the protection and sustainable development of the coastal environment was carried to students at the secondary school level in a workshop on "The Gulf Environment", held 29-31 March 1997 in Doha, Qatar. Thirty-five students and eight supervisors from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates attended.

The event was organized, on the CSI platform, by the UNESCO Doha Office in co-operation with the University of Qatar and the Qatari National Commission for UNESCO, within the framework of the Associated Schools Project in the Gulf region.

The participating students presented their perception of the coastal environment in their countries and of the ways and means for its preservation. A special session was devoted to the presentation of national reports followed by general discussion, thus fostering, among the participants, an interaction and exchange of ideas and experience on coastal environmental protection.

Emphasis was also given to practical aspects through visits to the laboratories and computer centre at the University. In addition, the third day of the workshop was devoted to a scientific cruise in the Gulf on board the University of Qatar's research vessel Mokhtabar AlBihar ("Sea Laboratory"). Thus the students were able to see first-hand how environmental information is collected.

Qatar's Minister of Education and Culture, speaking to the workshop participants, commended UNESCO for this creative and original idea and called upon other regional organizations to follow suit. The students expressed their wish to continue the programme on a yearly basis. Another workshop for 1998 is planned, to be organized on a topic of their choice. (Some suggested themes are: the desert environment and/or students' impressions concerning the environmental syllabuses of the schools of the Gulf States). The Saudi representative offered to host the 1998 workshop.

In preparation for the Doha workshop, an art contest was organized among the Associated Schools in the Gulf States soliciting drawings on the theme of the workshop. From the large number of drawings received, one was selected to serve as the workshop emblem and another was enlarged to produce a colourful poster. The University of Qatar prepared a workshop circular that includes information on the Department of Marine Science and on the above-mentioned research vessel.

In addition to UNESCO funding, the Workshop was supported by several local companies. For example, contributions were received for the production of posters and stickers bearing its emblem; also, six air tickets were supplied by some national airlines.

For further information, contact:

Mr. Amin Meshal
Head, UNESCO-Doha Office
P.O. Box 3945

Tel. 974867707/8
Fax: 974867644
e-mail: UHDSR@unesco.org


fax +33 1 4568 5808
e-mail: csi@unesco.org

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