Granted, the Persian Gulf has a good load of problems without considering the environmental distruction. But for a person willing to see what careless development results in, there can’t be a better place to look at than that blue spot in the map of Middle East.
For the past 3 decades, environmentalists have been trying to draw attention to the emerging problems of this gulf. The area has seen the most abrupt development witnessed in Asia, development that has not been coupled with the proper care for environment. Around the gulf where 8 countries rich in oil have their coasts, enormous cities have quickly replaced the small fishing villages. As a result, almost 70% of the coral reefs that used to exist there have already disappeared, while another 15% is bordering extinction. What is still healthy and alive is used for touristic purposes.
The worst example of what is being done in this gulf may well be the notorious Palm Jumeirah, in the United Arab Emirates. The artificial palm-tree-shaped archipelago buried underneath it 3 square miles of coral reefs.
Now, it is urgent for the Gulf state governments to start taking notice of scientists’ advice: the way this government works, in a centralised manner, can be helpful for this cause, as it is easy to take unanimous decisions. But if the Gulf wants to arrive the, they should start realising that environmental science is not just for the sake of science: it is something we should start listening to. If the 8 Gulf countries want to save their area, they can set an example for that.