Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, marked the International Day for Biological Diversity which falls on May 22 each year and is celebrated under the slogan "Protecting Life on Earth".

This year's celebration coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity Adopted on May 22, 1992, with the aim of highlighting the achievements of States in the area of biodiversity protection.

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment emphasised that Qatar attaches great importance to the protection and preservation of biological diversity as a natural living capital supporting economic growth and its contribution to the preservation of the natural vital system in terms of availability of water, food and energy to live and stay on earth for all living things as well as ability to adapt to environmental disturbances such as climate change and others.

The Ministry noted the important role that Qatar plays along with the countries of the world by working together to preserve biodiversity through the ratification of international and regional conventions in this regard.

The most important of these are the International Biodiversity Convention since 1996, The Convention on Combating Desertification in 1999, the International Convention on the Regulation of Traffic in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (CITES) in 2001, the Regional Convention on the Protection of Wildlife of the Gulf Co-operation Council States in 2004 and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2007.

The Ministry said that Qatar has worked to implement the terms of these agreements, accurately, through the implementation of the requirements, and procedures applied on a daily basis, noting that Qatar developed in 2004, the first national strategy for biodiversity, and the second national strategy that contributes to the balance between the major components of sustainable development in the country and alleviates the major pressures on the components of biodiversity, including ecosystems, animals, plants and fungi.

Within the framework of the intensive efforts in the field of biodiversity protection, the Ministry said that, in co-ordination with the competent authorities, it has implemented a number of measures for the prosperity of the marine environment and the protection of marine biodiversity, including the inclusion of new reef sites within environmental protection, or the transfer of new coral reefs or the landing of artificial reefs, noting in this regard that the Ministry has over the past year the removed artificial reefs, the transfer and cultivation of 14,000 square meters of seaweed, and 11,595 units of natural coral hard, and 500 units of soft coral reefs, as well as the transfer and re-cultivation of more than 31,600 trees of mangroves in the coastal areas.

The statement noted that the impact of environmental protection efforts, supervised by the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment, have been observed on the biodiversity of the environment on Halul Island. The island has a distinctive presence of fish and coral reefs, as well as a nature reserve and beaches for turtles nesting.

The Ministry also carries out several pilot projects aimed at protecting the marine environment and enriching biodiversity, such as the whale shark protection project, turtle nesting, the crocodile protection, and coral reef culture projects in several locations.

Qatar is one of the five Arab states parties to the Convention on the Suppression of International Traffic in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and among the best countries that were committed to the convention.

In order to protect biodiversity, the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment has adopted laws to protect wildlife and natural habitats.

Qatar's interest in enriching its marine biodiversity is in line with QNV 2030, which calls for the protection and preservation of the country's natural environment.

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