QF’s Earthna Center Hosts Experts on Diverse Ecological Systems During Living Desert Event

22 June 2022

Doha, Qatar, June 5, 2022: Experts and environmentalists discussed options to protect Qatar’s diverse ecological systems during the recent ‘Living Desert’ event held by Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future.  

Celebrating World Environment Day 2022, the event was held in collaboration with Qatar National Library (QNL), and panel discussions included experts from QF’s Quranic Botanic Garden (QBG) and Qatar Natural History Group. Titled ‘Conservation and Restorative Policies for the Terrestrial Ecology of Qatar and Other Hot Arid Lands’, the panel was attended by His Excellency Dr Hamad Al Kawari, President of QNL, Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, Executive Director of Earthna, and Tan Huism, Executive Director of QNL, along with over 150 participants, who discussed how to fend off the threat of overgrazing, inappropriate recreational land uses, pollution, and habitat loss from agriculture and urban expansion.

Following the panel discussion, the event also hosted the launch of ‘Hidden Beauty’, a book by Dr René Richer, a comprehensive and scientifically up-to-date documentation of Qatar’s flora.

“The need to conserve Qatar’s unique desert biodiversity and ecosystems and raise public awareness on its importance is an essential part of Earthna’s sustainability agenda,” said Dr. de la Mata.

“This is a critical issue, not only for Qatar, but also for other countries in the region and in arid environments. We look forward to working with our partners on outlining Qatar’s ecology and outlining the necessary next steps to ensure ecological conservation.” 

Speaking about QNL’s collaboration with Earthna, Huism said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future on this important discussion around the terrestrial ecology of Qatar. The Library is committed to Qatar’s environment and sustainability strategy and will continue to play an active role in providing a platform for the community and experts to exchange knowledge, learn and access information around the sustainability agenda in Qatar and the world.”

As a key player in promoting the value of and preserving the environmental ecosystem in Qatar, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change highlighted: "The Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Reserves, and Wildlife plays an effective role in implementing many of the said policies at the local level. In its scope of work, it focuses on strengthening the institutional framework and overlooking sustainable management of biodiversity. It achieves this feat by: focusing on biodiversity protection and conservation activities; ensuring sustainable use of non-renewable natural resources through enacting relevant legislation; developing the natural vegetation; rehabilitating degraded pastures and enhancing their revegetation; and combating land degradation due to desertification. To this end, it capitalizes on studies, as is the case in preventing the consequences of overgrazing and other human activities, taking into account the national development requirements. Additionally, the Department makes sure to take part in promoting these policies, making use of awareness programs and community participation, in aims at applying the preservation of the wild environment components, to rise to the sought target and outcome. This pours into achieving the requirements of the fourth pillar of the State’s vision: achieving environmental sustainability.”

The event is the latest initiative by Earthna, a QF-affiliated non-profit policy center, and is part of its wider Living Deserts campaign to put in motion policies that pave the way for Qatar to become a global exemplar of restorative sustainability and a center for bio-safe tourism.

Since its launch, Earthna has built on QF’s efforts in terms of sustainable development to generate solutions that enhance Qatar’s global sustainability policy role. Earthna will continue to expand its network of experts, government, policy and decision makers, businesses, multilateral institutions, and civil society to promote a circular economy, sustainable energy, resource security and management practices, environmental protection and restoration, and societal wellbeing.

To find out more about Earthna, visit www.earthna.qa.

Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future

Earthna is a non-profit policy center established under Qatar Foundation (QF) to inform and influence national and global sustainability policy.

Bridging technical and research expertise with policy advice and advocacy, Earthna will convene a wide community of technical and research experts, government, policy and decision makers, businesses, multilateral institutions, and civil society to generate a more sustainable future.

The Earthna center runs multidisciplinary programming with a focus on the fields of hot and arid climates, sustainable cities, and sustainable energy, as well as the potential of QF’s Education City as a test-bed for sustainable technologies and practices.

Earthna is focused on developing tools, solutions, and policies to improve people’s lives within a thriving natural environment. Working together with our community to co-create and design solutions that utilize our resources limits and understand our local culture and needs, we deliver a message of hope and impactful action that will strengthen our legacy.

About Qatar National Library

Qatar National Library acts as a steward of Qatar’s national heritage by collecting, preserving, and making available the country’s recorded history. The Library provides equal access to all types of information and services and aims to enable the people of Qatar to positively influence society by creating an exceptional learning and discovery environment.

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, officially inaugurated Qatar National Library on 16 April 2018. The Library was granted the status of national library under the Amiri Decree No.11 of 20 March 2018.

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Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, research and development, and community development.

QF was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who shared the vision to provide Qatar with quality education. Today, QF’s world-class education system offers lifelong learning opportunities to community members as young as six months through to doctoral level, enabling graduates to thrive in a global environment and contribute to the nation’s development.

QF is also creating a multidisciplinary innovation hub in Qatar, where homegrown researchers are working to address local and global challenges. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and fostering social engagement through programs that embody Qatari culture, QF is committed to empowering the local community and contributing to a better world for all.

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