CASE STUDY: Botanical display development
The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) proposes the establishment of facilities that integrates Kuwait native flora and fauna with conservation, education and research initiatives and that celebrates Kuwait’s rich environmental heritage. For this purpose part of the site at their Agricultural Research Station has been allocated for the development of an Ecological Preserve.
The main objective of the proposed facility is to protect, conserve and sustain the desert plants and animals of Kuwait while providing a natural resource for visitors through a Visitor Centre, Habitat Walk and Habitat Tour. In addition, specialised facilities will facilitate research opportunities in plant propagation and captive animal breeding through the establishment of the Native Plant Nursery and Wildlife Breeding Centre.
As such, the Ecological Preserve would: a) function as a ‘biological park’ for the conservation of and promotion of arid-land plant and animal species; b) be a centre for the restoration of degraded habitats, and; c) be a centre of learning and recreation for the general public, school and university students.
While a wildlife centre in the Ecological Preserve would have a range of activities independent of the botanical component, it is vital that the visitor sees both the plants and animals as equally important components of the one habitat.
One group of animals that are important to plants and should be seriously considered is the insects. Given that a lot of interest is being shown in the restoration of the country’s vegetation it would be very useful if entomology could form a substantial aspect of the EP’s zoological activities. They could prove to be very important in terms of assessing the success of restoration plantings.
Although, it is recommended that the EP be developed as a regional facility catering for education at a local level and tourism at a regional level, it should also be viewed at an international level with regards to landscape restoration, renewable energy and water use.