The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and the United Nations Environment Program - West Asia Office on Sunday signed an agreement on a project to establish a biodiversity database in the State of Qatar.
The signing ceremony was attended by HE Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Minister of Municipality and Environment and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, at the Ministry's headquarters in Doha Corniche.
The agreement was signed by Eng. Hassan Jumaa Bu Jamhour Al Mohannadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs, and Sami Dimassi, Director and Regional Representative of the West Asia Office of the United Nations Environment Program, in the presence of Sabine Saqr, Regional Development Coordinator in the West Asia Office and a number of Ministry officials.
In his speech, HE the Minister Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie stressed that the signing of the memorandum of understanding comes within a series of fruitful cooperation activities between the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in the State of Qatar and the United Nations Environment Program represented by its Regional Office for West Asia. We will seek to lay solid foundations for joint cooperation between the two sides in the field of biodiversity, by developing the national biodiversity information management system and establishing a biodiversity database in the State of Qatar, by benefiting from the contributions agreement between the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in the State of Qatar and the United Nations Environment Program.
HE Dr. Abdullah said that the importance of this agreement highlights its consistency with many of our development plans and strategies related to environmental affairs, as the biodiversity database in the State of Qatar will ensure substantial progress in our environmental development paths, especially since the implementation of this project is one of our strategic goals in each of : The National Development Strategy of the State of Qatar, the National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity in the State of Qatar, in addition to the Sustainable Strategy of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
The Minister thanked everyone who contributed to the signing of this agreement, which will effectively contribute to making the biodiversity system in the State of Qatar within the level of aspirations and ambitions. He also thanked the Regional Office for West Asia of the United Nations Environment Program for their efforts to conclude this agreement, which includes It will embody the spirit of integration and common interest between the State of Qatar and the United Nations Environment Program to open new horizons for cooperation in areas related to environmental sustainability in the State of Qatar.
For his part, Engineer Hassan Jumaa Bu Jamhour Al Mohannadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs of the Ministry, said that the signing of the agreement is an event represented in the signing of the agreement for the biodiversity database project for the State of Qatar, as a culmination of the efforts made by the Environmental Affairs Sector at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Regional Office for West Asia of the United Nations Program The United Nations Environment Agency during the previous period, to formulate the project in the form of a national framework based on knowledge and periodic documentation of biodiversity data in the State of Qatar.
He stressed that this agreement, which came out of our close relationship with the United Nations Environment Program, would make us a great leap in advancing the biodiversity system in the State of Qatar, as it would support the achievement of the objectives of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment represented in: Establishing a comprehensive and integrated national database for biodiversity in Qatar. The State of Qatar, in addition to building national capacities to promote and sustain biodiversity conservation, and establishing an electronic knowledge management platform.
Engineer Hassan Al-Mohannadi pointed out that, through achieving these goals, we aspire to create an interactive tool that contributes to helping decision makers develop solutions and take sound and sustainable measures to preserve biodiversity, in addition to facilitating access for all, whether researchers or environmentalists, to data and information related to diversity. vitality in Qatar.
The draft agreement aims to protect the sources of biodiversity by organizing knowledge and periodic documentation within a national framework concerned with collecting data on available biodiversity sources, which include lists of species of living organisms and maps of spatial and temporal distribution, within an integrated platform in which decision makers and experts in the field of biology and ecotourism Natural enthusiasts interact easily, with an agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of the elements of biodiversity in the Qatari environment.
The project aims to build a sustainable database that contributes to the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity data and information at the national level for biodiversity reporting, monitoring and decision-making. The Internet to give decision makers in the State of Qatar access to information, use and benefit from it in decision-making processes related to national development and biodiversity. The Biodiversity Database is a platform for researchers, environmentalists and activists.
The draft agreement also aims to:
? Documenting and updating information and data related to the sustainable management of biodiversity in the country.
? Making environmental maps showing the ecosystem and the species in it, in addition to identifying important sites for biodiversity in the country.
? Establishing an electronic platform that contains data related to biodiversity, which in turn will contribute to raising awareness and obtaining information by partners and decision-makers, in addition to disseminating controls and regulations related to international agreements related to the sustainable management of biodiversity.
To ensure the sustainability of this project, a capacity building assessment will be conducted to identify needs within the Ministry of Environment in order to develop a capacity building program for implementation. Trainings on managing and using the database will be conducted for employees of the Ministry of Environment and other relevant ministries and agencies throughout the database development process.
The draft agreement includes the establishment of a comprehensive electronic database on the biodiversity of the State of Qatar (in both Arabic and English), containing the largest amount of information and data that is easy to handle and update and is compatible with global database systems covering all threatened and non-threatened organisms, terrestrial and marine ecosystems and important sites of biodiversity and its environmental sensitivity with an accurate and detailed description, supported by maps, photos and videos. It also includes the establishment of a website that includes all data and contributes to making it easier for decision makers and those interested in the environment to obtain the information necessary to preserve biological diversity and spread environmental awareness of its importance.
A steering committee will be established consisting of UNEP, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and key stakeholders. And the establishment of two technical working groups with the participation of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the relevant government offices and ministries. As well as organizing technical workshops with the participation of relevant experts to define the specifications of the biodiversity database in Qatar. The term of the draft agreement is two years, ending in 2023
The State of Qatar has signed international conventions on biodiversity and is committed to preserving biodiversity and reporting it within the periods specified by the conventions. To achieve Qatar Vision 2030 and the Biodiversity Strategy, it is necessary to implement basic biodiversity monitoring surveys, build a biodiversity database and promote its use and report on biodiversity conditions. Where biodiversity information is currently distributed among various government agencies in a way that makes it difficult for researchers and those interested in the terrestrial and marine environment in the State of Qatar to assess biodiversity at the national level.
It is worth noting that biodiversity is the variability between living organisms, including ecosystems, terrestrial, marine, aquatic organisms, and the ecological structures of which they are a part, including the diversity within species and ecosystems. The Qatari environment is considered a biodiverse environment due to the presence of several factors, the most important of which is the diversity of habitats and ecosystems in it. The State of Qatar is home to about 1955 known species, about half of which are marine organisms, all of which have adapted to high temperatures, salinity and drought. The importance of biodiversity is not limited to preserving resources and preventing degradation, but extends to playing a key role in eco-tourism and the development of agriculture, and therefore its preservation is the preservation of economic and social values.
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