KUWAIT, Sept 8 – Acting Director General of Environment Public Authority Rajaa Al-Busairi said Sunday Kuwait’s overall rank leapt to the 42nd position on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) in 2014 thanks to the efforts of the Authority and its technical staff.

The EPI is joint project between the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and support from the Samuel Family Foundation and the McCall MacBain Foundation.

“With an overall score of 63.94 points, Kuwait advanced 84 ranks on the EPI from 123rd position in 2012 to the 42nd this year, thus ranking third on the Arab level just after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia,” Al-Busairi said.

“The strong support of the government and the personal interest of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah made it possible for EPA to make this outstanding achievement.

“EPA worked closely with other competent government bodies and civil society institutions to convey the real environment situation in the country to the international watchdogs and rating agencies,” she pointed out.

The new rating coincided with the passing of the environment law which reflects the unanimity between the government and the National Assembly on care for environment, Al-Busairi added.

Meanwhile, EPA Deputy Director General Dr. Mohammad Al-Ahmad affirmed the EPA determination to continue raising public awareness about environment protection in collaboration with the competent agencies.

“EPA doubled its efforts in the last two years to improve Kuwait ranking on the index which fell from 113 in 2010 to 126 in 2012,” he said, noting that the EPI gauges the environment performance in 132 countries.

He attributed the decline of the rating in 2012 to inaccurate information received by the international environment watchdogs including the ratio of suspended dust which continues for up to 200 days a year following dust storms.

“Kuwait is now one of the world’s ten best countries in terms of sustainable environment policies,” Al-Ahmad added.

The EPI assesses the success of long-term sustainable environment policies in 132 countries on a bi-annual basis.