The Ministry of Sports and Youth's Friends of the Environment Center (FEC) held Tuesday a seminar on the marine environmental challenges in Qatar and the GCC countries, mainly marine pollution and its impacts on the marine food chain. Held as part of the second environmental forum 2023, the 'marine environment... sustainable life' seminar brought together officials, experts, academics and those interested in environment.
The speakers discussed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's efforts to develop marine life, rehabilitate coral reefs and allocate large areas of Qatar's coasts as natural reserves, contributing to the proliferation and a large increase of aquatic organisms. They also called for the necessity of preserving and rehabilitating the marine environment again, by raising societal awareness, expanding the establishment of natural reserves, and tightening penalties for violators of the Marine Environment Protection Law as a deterrent to those who tamper with aquatic life.
CEO of FEC Farhoud al-Hajri stressed the importance of preserving the marine environment by raising community awareness, and working to protect the seas from pollution, especially the widely spread plastic materials that cause serious diseases to humans who feed on fish in a phenomenon known as microplastics. He highlighted the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's efforts in preserving marine life, by expanding the establishment of natural reserves, and rounding off projects aiming to redevelop and preserve aquatic life that included the release of baby turtles, and the expansion of the cultivation of mangrove trees, and laws deterrent to environmental violations.
Environmental expert and engineering consultant at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Dr Mohamed Saif al-Kuwari stressed the importance of the role played by the ministry in preserving aquatic life, marine resources and natural reserves to create clean and sustainable environment. He highlighted the ministry's continuous efforts to preserve the environment and develop and sustain its resources, including the marine environment, out of its responsibility and to achieve its vision, mission and goals, and in support of the path of development and preservation of the environment within the strategic plan and international treaties and agreements.
Assistant Undersecretary for Protection and Natural Reserves Affairs at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ibrahim Abdul Latif al-Muslimani discussed the country's efforts in preserving the marine environment at the national level through the issuance and implementation of laws, legislation and regulations for the protection of the marine environment, monitoring and inspection of infringement, periodic monitoring of the quality of regional waters and coastal, and environmental assessment of projects and environmental compensation.
To preserve biodiversity as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the State of Qatar established a biodiversity database in cooperation with the UN Environment Program Regional Office for West Asia, al-Muslimani said, highlighting the programs, projects and initiatives to preserve endangered species such as the sea turtle conservation project in co-operation with Qatar University, the whale shark conservation project in co-operation with North Oil, as well as the dugong preservation project in co-operation with Qatar University and ExxonMobil Research Qatar.