Date of Graduation

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Geography (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Thomas Paradise

Committee Member

Fiona Davidson

Second Committee Member

Mohamed Aly

Abstract

The Arabian Gulf countries have passed strict laws to preserve their environment. Kuwait has a strong history with preserving natural areas. The ecological value and richness of Kuwait's ecosystems have increased since the nature reserves were built. This research has evaluated the perceptions that Kuwaitis have of the design, creation, and development of nature reserves in Kuwait. It involved the use of survey instruments (questionnaires) and interviews with respondents of both urban and rural communities. Data from these surveys and interviews analyzed regarding perceptions of nature reserves' needs, sizes, functions, and future plans.

The results of examinations (surveys) demonstrate that the public believes that nature reserves in Kuwait are necessary for the protection and health of the environment (82%). Moreover, these results indicate that the public understands the importance of preserving nature reserves in Kuwait and that the government should pay more attention to this issue (82.8%). The Kuwaiti government has shown reluctance towards establishing new nature reserves, despite the public's understanding that protecting Kuwaiti environment requires establishing new nature reserves. There is a relationship between the public's perception of nature reserves and the government's protection of green spaces. The public perceived that the natural areas' protection laws as insufficient for truly protecting the environment and there should be policies and regulations enacted to protect nature reserves and the wildlife in Kuwait (82.4%).

This research can be a stepping stone in understanding the opinions of the people of Kuwait of the planning, management, and future plans for the nature reserves. Also, it can be used as a basis for developing best practices in nature reserve and national park management in Kuwait.

Keywords: Perceptions, Kuwait, Nature reserves, National parks.

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