Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, participated in the Indian Ocean Blue Economy Summit that was held via visual communication technology at the invitation of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
Representatives from 26 member states and partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association also participated in the summit to discuss a range of important topics, including the assessment of renewable energy resources in the Indian Ocean region, cost analysis and capacity building.
The Blue Economy Summit also focused on the various legal and legislative frameworks for preserving the marine environment and the sustainable development of the associated societies, identifying the main components needed to advance sustainable development to protect the oceans and seas, and formulating the necessary financing and policy frameworks that the international community and local governments need for these countries to achieve this.
The summit aimed to develop access and benefit-sharing rules for marine biological exploration and investment in research and development, infrastructure capabilities, use of marine renewable energy resources and others, in addition to providing facilities and the level of investment in sustainable coastal and marine tourism and related infrastructure to reduce marine pollution.
It aims at sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems, mitigating the effects of ocean acidification and regulating fish harvesting with the aim of controlling overexploitation and returning fish stocks to environmentally safe levels and ensuring full implementation of existing regional and international regulations on oceans and seas.
During the meeting, an expert in fish farming at the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Mohamed Mahmoud al-Abdullah presented a detailed report on the ministry's most important work and achievements in this field, in addition to its future plans to contribute to the blue economy in Qatar.
The report reviewed the efforts made by Qatar in conducting scientific research on the marine environment and sensitive species over many years. It also included many scientific data on local marine resources.
Al-Abdullah explained that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is preparing a national action plan for the management and preservation of marine resources and forming a multi-disciplinary scientific advisory committee to provide support for long-term planning for marine resources management in support of the United Nations Oceans Programme (2021-2030).
He also addressed the plans of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in Qatar to establish marine protected areas covering 30% of Qatar's water in the next 10 years to ensure the protection of ecosystems and sensitive species for current and future generations, including whale sharks and dugongs, as they are important and main species to promote marine environment preservation and ecotourism.
The participation of Qatar in the Blue Economy Summit comes in support of the policy and the global approach adopted by the summit, in order to support efforts to protect the sustainable management of water resources and preserve healthy aquatic ecosystems, especially in the oceans. It is worth noting that Qatar is the only peninsula in the Arabian Gulf that has rich and varied biological, mineral and hydrocarbon marine resources that have attracted migratory species such as dugongs and whale sharks in large numbers annually. The fisheries and petroleum industries are among the main contributors to the local economy.