Qatar has consistently incorporated preservation of biological diversity in its development strategies in a manner that balances the protection of the environment and development requirements, HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie has said.
In a speech on the occasion of the ministry’s participation in celebrating the World Environment Day, which falls June 5 every year, the minister stressed that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is guided by Qatar National Vision 2030, and the development plans and strategies that emerged from it, in line with the policies of the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, which always strive to conserve biological diversity, and also encourages all groups of society and sectors to adopt initiatives and programmes that will protect it in Qatar.
The minister said the ministry’s participation in this year’s events comes within the framework of Qatar’s interest in the necessity of international solidarity in the field of preserving biological diversity, through clear plans and programmes at the international and national levels.
The minister said that this special day reflects the importance of promoting global awareness and working for the protection and sustainability of the environment, since everyone has the responsibility to address environmental challenges facing the biological diversity system, starting from the international level and reaching individuals in every society.
He pointed out that this year’s slogan “Biodiversity” comes within the context of the urgent need to take ambitious measures to develop a global framework for biological diversity beyond 2020 in a manner that contributes to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the next decade.
The minister called on everyone to collaborate to preserve the biological diversity in the Qatari environment as part of Qatar’s natural heritage and legacy for future generations.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Hassan Jumaa al-Muhannadi said that World Environment Day is one of the most prominent environmental events at the global level, indicating the importance of concerted efforts and solidarity of all to protect the environment, whether at the global or national levels.
In his speech on the occasion of World Environment Day, he said that in light of the challenges facing biodiversity at the international level, this year’s slogan “Biodiversity” came to encourage all to take ambitious measures in this field.
He explained that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment celebrates this occasion, as do all actors in the environmental field at the international level, noting that the ministry has adopted many programmes and projects that will maintain biological diversity in Qatar.
He noted that, for example, the ministry attaches great importance to biodiversity issues such as preserving plants and cultivating Qatari mainland in a manner that contributes to the rehabilitation and protection of endangered species in Qatar.
In a related context, he pointed out that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is continuing its efforts with a team of experts and specialists to conserve the highly-endangered hawksbill sea turtle since the start of the turtle nesting season for this year in April.
The Head of Genetic Resources Division at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Aisha Dasmal al-Kuwari said that plant genetic resources are one of the national wealth of strategic and economic value owned by countries, as well as the biological basis for food security and sustainable agricultural development, because it directly or indirectly supports human livelihoods, through what it provides – food, medicine, feed, fibres, clothes, housing, energy and several other products and services for living organisms, in addition to its main role in the national development strategy, and in achieving the self-sufficiency and food security of the state.
Al-Kuwari explained that seeds are the main resource for plant conservation, reuse, and evaluation, noting that for this reason the Genetic Bank of the Genetic Resources Division was established.
She highlighted that nearly 70% of the local plant species were collected and preserved in the form of seeds, noting the most important work carried out by the Genetic Bank after the conservation process, including data recording information related to each type on its international database for Qatar.
Qatar attaches great importance to the implementation of environmental programmes, projects and initiatives, especially in the field of biological diversity, in addition to awareness campaigns and programmes for institutions and individuals to participate in the protection of the environment and the biological diversity of animals and plants, to preserve these natural resources for future generations.
The ministry has implemented several projects and programmes in this regard, including a project to establish a database of biodiversity in the country, the project to rehabilitate the Qatari mainland and endangered Hawksbill turtle protection project, as well as the DNA project for the Arabian Oryx, and the whale shark protection project.
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