Geography of Bahrain
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Bahrain continued to claim al-Zubara and the nearby islands, based on its historical control of these areas. In 1991 Qatar took the matter to the International Court of Justice, which resolved the dispute in 2001, by giving Bahrain the most significant islands but granting Qatar rights to the entire Qatari Peninsula.
Geography and Climate
According to FAO statistics, the total cultivated area in 2005 was 6,000 hectares, of which roughly 95 percent was permanently irrigated.
According to government figures from 2006, the area under vegetable crops (mostly tomatoes, okra, and pumpkins) totalled 660 hectares. Apart from vegetables and fruit (bananas, lemons, and limes) for human consumption, alfalfa is grown for animal fodder. The country’s date plantations produce about 15,000 metric tonnes of dates per year.
Livestock products include the meat of goats, sheep, and poultry, and cow’s milk. The total fishing catch in 2006 was 15,594 metric tonnes.
Bahrain’s only national park, the al-Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve, was established in 1976. It is a conservation area for species indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, including about 240 species of birds and mammals, some of them in enclosures (in the Park), others free-roaming (in the landscaped Reserve). Among them is a herd of the endangered Arabian oryx, reem gazelles, Houbara bustards, pelicans, and flamingos. Even al-Areen is now facing overdevelopment, with plans for a water-park, a resort, and residential complexes.
Air and Water Pollution
A Formula I racetrack was built in 2004. These racing cars will add modestly to the country’s CO2 emissions.
To add to the country’s already severe environmental problems, Bahrain’s ancient underground aquifers are in danger of depletion and are degraded by salt-water intrusion resulting from excessive pumping of groundwater.
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