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University of Bahrain Hosts Future Earth Visit

The Kingdom of Bahrain, a small but lively country on the Arabian Peninsula, is part of the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa Region). It is thus also part of Future Earth MENA network, which is represented by the Future Earth MENA Regional Center at the Cyprus Institute (FEMRC). Moreover, the President of the University of Bahrain, Prof. Riyad Y. Hamzah, is the chair of the Regional Advisory Committee of the FEMRC. The University of Bahrain is a leading academic institution in Bahrain, paving the way to a modern, innovative and sustainable future for the Kingdom.

During a recent visit to the University of Bahrain, Prof. Lange, the Director of the FEMRC, introduced some of the major environmental challenges that are prevalent in the MENA region. Climate change and water scarcity take center stage, while the impacts of climate change on major cities and urban structures follow suit. Cities and their inhabitants are particularly vulnerable to enhanced warming and deteriorating air quality, which jointly pose serious threats to the health of people’s health.

The University of Bahrain has also pioneered tertiary education on environmental and sustainability issues of local to regional importance through a graduate Master’s and a doctoral program on “Environment and Sustainable Development”. Prof. Lange took the opportunity of his visit to Bahrain to carry out an invited one-day Workshop on “Climate Change Impacts and Mitigation/Adaptation Options for the Middle East and Bahrain” with PhD students of the University of Bahrain.

At the end of the day, there was the feeling among the participants that this had been a most constructive and fruitful seminar that enabled not only the exchange of knowledge and expertise, but also enhanced the motivation of the PhD students to continue in their work to better prepare Bahrain for climate changes and their impacts. The seminar also underlined one of the main goals of the FEMRC, to nurture and advance understanding and capacity building on the most pressing challenges the MENA Region faces today and in the foreseeable future.

Prof. Manfred Lange (left) receives a commemorative plaque of the University of Bahrain from its President, Prof. Riyad Hamzah (center) and the Dean of the College of Science, Prof. Mohammad El-Hilo (right) prior to Prof: Lange’s plenary lecture.
Seminar participants attend lecture by Prof Lange