Claim 5000450 - Terrestrial resources restoration (US$643,814,034)

    The State of Kuwait was awarded US$643,814,034 to remediate vast areas damaged by the remnants of war (military fortifications) and effects of damaged oil installations. There are four elements under this award with projects plans in place for each of the elements.

     Element 1: Military fortifications (US$9,019,717): an area of 6.25 km² with adversely affected plant growth and soil functioning, and increased wind erosion and sand mobilization. The project plan for the remediation/restoration of the areas damaged by military fortifications includes three main activities - site preparation (desk survey and mapping, UXO detection and concrete blocks removal, development of an implementation plan), remediation and revegetation of damaged areas, and long-term environmental monitoring.

     Element 2: Wellhead pits (US$8,252,657): pits that contain oil sludge and oil contaminated soil (19 of 163 wellhead pits could potentially contaminate potable groundwater at Raudhatain and Umm Al Aish, while the remaining 144 do not pose a significant groundwater threat). The project plan provides for two strategies – clean closure of wellhead pits in potable aquifer areas (19) and a 'close-in-place' option for all other areas (144). Clean closure requires removal and landfilling of all oil contaminated material followed by backfilling with clean soil and application of gravel to stabilize the surface.

     Element 3: Tarcrete (US$166,513,110): 271.5 km² of areas with impaired ecological processes due to the presence of tarcrete (however some natural recovery has begun). Approximately 200 km² are within areas fenced by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC).  Areas outside the fence were fragmented by livestock and very degraded. The project plan provides for areas inside KOC to be fragmented mechanically with supplementary seeding using selective native plant species at the time of mechanical fragmentation to encourage recovery of the soil; the tarcrete layer in the northern oil fields will be manually collected and disposed of in landfill facilities. The 70 km² outside the KOC area is already fragmented by animal grazing needs and only requires soil amendments and protection from grazing. It will be fenced to protect the vegetation until it returns to natural conditions.

     Element 4: Revegetation due to broad-scale damage from military activities (US$460,028,550): large area of desert surface – in the order of at least 1,000 km² – categorized by damage to desert soils and vegetation, leading to increased wind erosion and sand mobilization. Five sites with a total area of approximately 1,700 km² have been designated for protection which represents approximately 10 per cent of Kuwait's surface area. The activities under the project plan include protection measures (fencing and patrolling), selection of suitable sites for active re-vegetation and development of revegetation design, UXO survey, active re-vegetation activities (e.g. species selection, seed and seedling production, development of seed quality and certification protocols, establishment of sand drift fence, irrigation systems, initial and replacement planting of shrubs and trees), and implementation of an ecological monitoring program.