HE the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie affirmed Qatar's interest in the local environment and its commitment to protecting and preserving it through all state means, adding that Qatar's terrestrial and marine environments are a national heritage that must be protected, and is the responsibility of every member of Qatari society.

This came in a statement on the occasion of the World Environment Day, in which he said that protecting the environment is a priority for Qatar, evident in the country's plans, strategies, programmes, and initiatives that are underway to realise its vision of developing and enriching the local environment, in accordance with the Third National Development Strategy and the Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

HE the Minister said that this year's theme 'Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.'' sheds light on the planet's urgent need for careful attention, especially against the backdrop of current climate change repercussions of increasing desertification, excessive deforestation, and rainfall scarcity.

He highlighted Qatar's efforts to expand its green areas in recent years through inaugurating new parks, planting trees, and preserving natural terrestrial and coastal vegetation. HE Al Subaie noted the completion of the 'Plant a Million Trees' initiative in 2022 and the launch of the Plant 10mn Trees initiative to be realised by 2030, pointing to the state's focus on enhancing water efficiency in afforestation through the use of technology and water reuse, for the sake of sustainability.

He added that the ministry has numerous environmental projects and strategies in place to be implemented in the coming period, focusing on biodiversity, natural and terrestrial environments, along with continuing with the afforestation initiatives.

He pointed out that the state has designated 27% of its terrestrial area as natural reserves, along with 2% marine reserves.

HE Al Subaie said that within the framework of preserving biodiversity, the ministry has launched a project to protect endangered sea turtles, which increased their number to about 50,000 turtles, as well as launching projects to protect dugongs and whale sharks, along with creating a local biodiversity database to keep record and monitor, in addition to maintain a balance between environmental, social, and human development in order to ensure a sustainable future.

He said that the Qatar National Vision 2030 underscores the importance of balancing developmental needs with environmental protection through establishing effective and advanced environmental institutions to raise public awareness about environmental protection issues and to promote the use of environmentally friendly technologies, highlighting the ministry's keenness to spread environmental awareness, including the World Environment Day, and support institutions and individuals alike in service of this cause.
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