The Gulf countries of the Middle East may be more famous for their outlandish construction projects, endless deserts and malls than their biodiversity but one art exhibition is hoping to change all that. A large coalition of conservation groups have teamed up with National Geographic Al Arabiya to launch a massive outdoor art exhibition to tackle people’s perceptions and showcase a wide variety of species from the Arabian peninsular.
It is hoped that the exhibition will raise awareness of the region’s biodiversity and also encourage a culture of conservation amongst citizens in the Gulf nations. According to the Wildlife Middle East (WME) newsletter, organisers are currently undertaking extensive research with conservation groups to select the 100 Ambassador Arabian species which will be showcased.
Species unique to the region will be displayed along side endemic, endangered and also more common species. Exhibition designer Franck Minthe told WME, “If people are familiar with their wildlife they will be moved to help conserve it. Awareness is the first step to finding solutions.”
The tireless Green Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali al Nuaimi, who was recently named an ambassador for Ford’s environmental grants, is a project ambassador and spokesperson for the travelling exhibition. The art exhibition will be striving to be as eco-friendly as possible and the pavilion information centre will be made using recycled cardboard and FSC certified wood.
The world première exhibition will take place in the Abu Dhabi Corniche in December 2011 and will then head to Dubai before travelling internationally over the next couple of years. It will be visiting Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Europe and North America- entry will be free and there will be 24/7 access as the exhibition is outdoors.
Founder and curator of the Wild Arabia project Caterina Lo Mascolo told WME, “We want to show everyone that the Gulf has much more to offer than camels, falcons and scorpions…This region has many riches, but wildlife is the hidden treasure we intend to reveal.”
: Image via Wild Arabia with National Geographic/Facebook.
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