OSME has received news regarding the State of Kuwait becoming the 169th Contracting Party of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (on 5 September, 2015). On the occasion of accession to the Ramsar Convention, and in fulfilment of a key obligation of all Parties, Kuwait announced the designation of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Reserve onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (‘Ramsar Sites’). This site becomes the latest addition to over 2,200 Ramsar Sites around the world, considered to be of international importance because of the valuable ecosystem services and benefits they provide to people and the environment.
Dr. Christopher Briggs, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention said, “We are happy to welcome the State of Kuwait to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The adoption of the Convention by Kuwait demonstrates the country’s strong commitment towards the long-term conservation and wise use of their wetlands. The newly designated Mubarak Al-Kabeer Reserve Ramsar Site is situated on two major migration routes for birds from Eurasia to Africa, and from Turkey to India. The Secretariat and Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention look forward to working closely with Kuwait to help to prevent, stop and reverse wetland loss and degradation.”
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The Mubarak Al-Kabeer Reserve, (50,948 hectares), is located on Boubyan Island, the largest island in Kuwait. The site is flat and low, and supports shallow salt marshes and small lagoons. It is important as a staging post for migrating birds, as well as for hosting populations of breeding waterbirds including the world’s largest breeding colony of Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola). In addition, the waters around it are a major nursery area for many commercial fish species while a range of species of dolphins and porpoises frequent the murky waters around the site.