ExxonMobil Qatar (EMQ) and Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a ceremony held in the presence of HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
The MME's assistant undersecretary of environment affairs Ahmed Mohamed al-Sada and ExxonMobil Research Qatar (EMRQ) research director Dr Mohamed al-Sulaiti were the signatories.
Agricultural Affairs and Fisheries Resources assistant undersecretary Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani, ExxonMobil Qatar president and general manager Alistair Routledge, vice president and government and public affairs director Saleh al-Mana, and EMRQ research vice president Dr Jim Zimmerman were present.
HE al-Rumaihi said MME's relationship with ExxonMobil has furthered the general impact on a number of projects at the ministry and they are pleased to enter another phase of their strong partnership.
"Our teams have been actively working together to protect habitats and species for several years now. With ExxonMobil Research Qatar's support, we are collecting scientific data that can be used to help assess the overall health of various species that are indigenous to Qatar, and allows us to understand what needs to be done to ensure their longevity,'' he added.
"We are pleased to build on our longstanding relations with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment with this MoU signing," said Routledge who added that ExxonMobil is committed to responsibly support sustainable development and the work they do at the EMRQ supported this commitment.
"By sharing knowledge with our partners in Qatar, we aim to contribute to programmes that are important to the country and its people," he added.
After the ceremony, HE al-Rumaihi toured the EMRQ laboratories and training facilities and interacted with geologists, engineers and environmental scientists, many of whom are Qatari nationals.
The EMRQ, which is an affiliate of ExxonMobil Qatar, has worked closely with the MME since its establishment. Over the years, ExxonMobil's technical consultants have collaborated with several of the administrative units at the MME, providing advice and support for various projects and workshops.
EMRQ and MME assumed their first collaborative efforts in 2010. They have conducted a number of joint assessments, including one on sensitive habitats such as corals and sea grasses, a water quality assessment for different regions around Qatar and an aquifer characterisation study, to understand fundamental controls on aquifer quality.
The two have also collaborated on the Khor Al Adaid project, an integrated sedimentological and oceanographic study, and EMRQ has provided consultancy and assistance with Qatar's integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan project.
Since 2014, MME has supported a project between the EMRQ and Texas A&M at Galveston to further environmental research and marine mammal initiatives and address the preservation of dugongs -- marine mammals found in Qatar's coastal waters.
In 2010, the EMRQ concluded a comprehensive ecological baseline study of northeastern Qatar with the Qatar University's Environmental Studies Center. The study focused on an ecologically rich and biologically productive area long a 35-km stretch of the Qatar Marine Zone.
A team of experienced marine ecologists studied the area to provide adequate and accurate ecological baseline information. Thanks to the study, scientists involved in the work now have a better understanding of this coastal and marine zone's existing ecological characteristics and can identify and predict potential ecological impacts.
ExxonMobil Qatar presented the MME with the study as an indication of its commitment to helping the ministry in its endeavours to protect Qatar's rich marine and coastal bio-diversity.
The EMRQ was set up at QSTP in 2009 to conduct research in areas of common interest to Qatar and ExxonMobil, including environmental management, water reuse, LNG safety and coastal geology. As a fully equipped research and development centre that comprises offices, laboratories and training facilities, EMRQ supports ExxonMobil Qatar's commitment and contribution to responsible and sustainable development in Qatar in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.