The Qur'anic Botanic Garden (QBG), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), celebrated Qatar Environment Day with a series of educational activities at the Qatar Foundation Nursery in Education City. The celebration, which occurs on February 26 each year, included the opening of a nursery modeled on a Qatari natural garden. This site was revived within Education City as an opportunity to learn about the trees and natural plants of Qatar, and to assert the integration of the Islamic principle of preserving the environment: Allah, the Almighty, says "Know ye (all) that Allah giveth life to the earth after its death! Already have we shown the signs plainly to you, that ye may learn wisdom." (17-Alhadid)
To promote learning and development, QBG provided the nursery with educational banners highlighting the names of cultivated plants and additional information panels about natural phenomena in Qatar. QBR also organised a botanical tour for participants which included exploring trees and cultivated plants in the nursery, and identifying natural characteristics that qualify them for living and adapting in the dry and semi-dry environments of Qatar. The tour included a visit to the environmental exhibition inside the nursery which includes herbal specimens of endangered Qatari plants, and highlights the role QBG plays in preserving these species and sharing them with the global botanical garden community. Samples of fungal flora seeds were also displayed, with garden specialists on hand to explain that the garden's seed bank currently contains nearly 3mn seeds from these species.
The Department of Agricultural Research at the Ministry of the Municipality also gave a presentation on the micropropagation of date palms, and scientific progress made by the Department of Fibre and Textile Technology in the proliferation of that tree, which is closely linked to the Qatari people and Muslims in general. Qatari school students also participated in the QBG’s educational activities, especially the Young Botanist Programme and Food Security Programme.
"The QBG is pursuing a scientific and practical methodology in Qatar's Plant Resource Conservation Programme, which includes a plant nursery revival programme pursuant to the noble Islamic principle that calls upon people to conserve environmental resources. From our vegan perspective, we care about our country’s environment, and the nursery in Education City is the most recent achievement of this promising program. It was planted in 2020 with 192 wild trees, such as Acacia Tortilis, Matrimony Vine, Ghaf, Acacia Vachellia Flava, and Ziziphus Spina-christi. With its opening, and as we celebrate Qatar Environment Day, we add many fungal plants associated with Qatari society, including Camel Grass, Mallow Plant, Tetraena Qatarensis, Saltbush, Senna, and Inula Arabica. Our guests at this ceremony participated with us in the cultivation of these fungal plants. The revival of this area has now been completed," said Fatima al-Khulaifi, QBG director.
"The nursery is now available to visit. The channels of the Qur'an Botanic Garden will announce directions to the site and rules for visiting. Inevitably, we would like to send a clear message to society to clarify that the conservation of plant resources is everyone's responsibility. We must treat plant life in Qatar with responsibility, not only because the protection of land is guaranteed by law, but because our true religion has ordered us on many occasions to protect and preserve the environment," al-Khulaifi added.
"We are delighted to participate in this significant national initiative, led by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, to highlight the local ecosystems that have existed in Qatar for centuries. We’d like to express our appreciation to QBG and other institutions with similar concerns working to conserve the country's natural environment," said Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, director of the Environment Directorate.