The Earthna Centre for a Sustainable Future has partnered with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Qatar University to spearhead a mangrove restoration project.

Speaking to reporters at a recent event, Earthna executive director Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata highlighted the significance of a concerted effort to fortify Qatar’s coastline against the threats of sea-level rise and climate change.

“Mangroves are very important for a country like Qatar because they help stabilise shorelines, and with sea level rise, these mangroves will protect the country from sea level rise,” he stressed, noting that this project has research and restoration components aimed at bolstering Qatar’s natural defenses against the adverse impacts of global warming.

Drawing on the legacy of prior environmental initiatives such as the floating mangrove project, Dr de la Mata said Earthna forged partnerships with esteemed institutions like Unesco to advance their conservation efforts.

The floating mangrove initiative, pioneered by Unesco in collaboration with private partners in Qatar, sought to mitigate carbon emissions and explore innovative solutions for carbon sequestration.

During the unveiling in April 2013, Dr Benno Böer, the then ecological sciences adviser at Unesco, outlined the importance of scientific investigation in understanding the effectiveness of floating mangroves in carbon sequestration.

Through thorough scientific examination, he said they aim to quantify the potential for carbon sequestration, evaluate environmental repercussions, and determine the viability of widespread adoption.

Dr De la Mata also unveiled plans to launch major programmes this year, underscoring Earthna’s commitment to fostering sustainability and combating climate change. These programmes, he added, cover a diverse array of initiatives, ranging from sustainability frameworks and circular economy to biodiversity conservation and educational outreach.

“Earthna is now two years old and we have a really exciting work programme... We’re looking at water, we’re looking at circular economy, we’re looking at defining what sustainability means for hot and arid environment.

“The second pillar of our work is climate change and energy transition, of course, there is a lot going on there. We organise every year the Qatar National Dialogue and Climate Change”.

Dr de la Mata cited another initiative, known as the Cities and the Built Environment programme, which explores sustainability challenges confronting urban areas, in addition to the Biodiversity and Ecosystems programme. The latter, he noted, is dedicated to exploring the interconnected dynamics among biodiversity, ecosystems, and human activities through interdisciplinary research.

He said Earthna is also dedicated to advancing values, ethics, and education, through a programme seeking to nurture shared values regarding sustainability and the environment within communities, strengthening the bond between humanity and nature.

By fostering community awareness and facilitating environmental education, Earthna’s programme aimes to promote individual development, social accountability, and global citizenship, anchored in principles of faith-based sustainability.

Dr de la Mata stressed that Earthna also oversees the implementation of the eco-schools programme in Qatar.
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