Measures in place to preserve the marine environment, maintain water quality

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The Water Quality Section of the Environmental Monitoring and Laboratory Department of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is implementing a number of projects to preserve the marine environment and maintain water quality at Qatar.

The projects aim to achieve the sustainability and environmental protection goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.

Projects focus on marine environmental programs and real-time monitoring network, contributing to database creation and time series analysis of key data indicators such as temperature, salinity, oxygen dissolved and chlorophyll as well as their positive and negative tendencies.

The ministry develops and prepares strategies to be implemented at the national level in cooperation with other sectors of the ministry to support environmental projects such as the conservation of endangered sharks, whales, dugongs and hawksbill turtles.

In an interview with The Peninsula, Yousuf Mohammed Alawadhi, a biology researcher in the water quality section of the ministry’s environmental and laboratory monitoring department, said pressures affecting the marine environment pose a continuing threat to the environment. ecological processes and marine biodiversity due to the geographic nature of Qatar as a limited landmass.

“In fact, due to the geographic conditions characterized by extreme temperatures and salinity, climate change (in the future) will produce more adverse consequences for the marine environment in Qatar,” Alawadhi said.

He said the biodiversity of marine life could be under stress that could have adverse consequences for the sustainability of fisheries and that the proliferation of harmful algae and jellyfish can pose a threat.

“Data obtained from environmental programs are used to establish a database on the properties of the marine environment in order to provide policy recommendations and necessary information to decision makers on the protection and management of the marine environment. As well as statistical analyzes and environmental indicators that reflect the state of the environment, ”said Alawadhi.

When asked about the industrial waste disposal mechanism, Alawadhi said, “Regulatory measures are being implemented by the department to control the production of industrial waste with the support of an environmental operation and assessment on the site. ground.

Speaking on the marine environment monitoring programs, he said that in addition to the regular monthly, semi-annual and annual field marine and coastal monitoring programs, there are projects underway by the department, including “Project for the establishment of a real-time network environmental monitoring system and early warning system for the quality of water in the marine environment” and “Project of research and cognitive studies for the quality of the marine environment “.

“Other programs are regional cruises undertaken in the waters off the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on the research vessel Janan in cooperation with the University of Qatar, annually a study at Khor Al Adaid and the response to cases related to water quality in Qatar, ”Alawadhi said.

Emphasizing the role of the environmental lab, he said the lab is working on environmental marine samples and biodiversity analysis, which greatly contributes to the preparation of marine environment monitoring reports.

Alawadhi said that the Department of Environmental Monitoring and Laboratory and the University of Qatar reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen mutual cooperation on the development of regional water quality improvement in the State of Qatar alongside other suggestions and programs taken to achieve the ultimate goal of marine sustainability and environmental monitoring. .

To achieve environmental preservation and sustainability, he said, the ministry has strengthened cooperation with other research institutes in Qatar, such as QU, research centers and other parties. stakeholders (public and private sector), such as oil companies that initiate study projects concerning the conservation and management of sharks, whales and dugongs, and other projects.

“The Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle Protection Project, in cooperation with the University of Qatar, is being implemented to address the problem of jellyfish proliferation,” Alawadhi said.

He said that a number of projects are also being implemented regarding the protection of marine biodiversity in accordance with the Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy.

“The ministry has launched a biodiversity database project with the participation of UNEP and relevant government agencies, including QU, which will assist in the identification of wildlife and their locations and endangered species that will demonstrate the importance of environmental protection and sustainability programs, ”Alawadhi said.

He added that community members are engaged in environmental awareness programs keeping in mind that biodiversity is part of Qatari national heritage and environmental legacy for future generations.

“Therefore, we have contributed to the conservation of biodiversity through which we believe the goal of sustainable development is achieved,” said Alawadhi.

Responding to another question on the efforts of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the environment, Alawadhi said: “The ministry is implementing the National Biodiversity Strategy 2015 – 2025, to achieve the Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy 2030; of which biodiversity is one of the important objectives.

Speaking about cooperation with the GCC and the international community to protect the environment, Alawadhi said: “Qatar represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has signed several international agreements and conventions that maintain sustainability and biodiversity , as a form of international cooperation, such as United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, CITES Treaty, which protects endangered species of flora and fauna from sale, and related protocols, in addition to the GCC, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

He said other cooperation and participation included a regional meeting on the medium-term strategy 2022-2025 and the program of action 2022-2023, organized by the UNEP regional office for West Asia – ESCWA.

“Another is the strategic cooperation on environmental conservation, contribution to the achievement of strategic development goals and the development of training and education courses organized by UNEP – United Nations Environment Program” , said Alawadhi.

He said the scope of reclamation and its impact on the coastal and marine environment, organized by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the training course on manifestations of land sensitivity to erosion wind turbine and soil, organized by the Regional Center for Remote Sensing of North Africa States (CRTEAN) in cooperation with the Arid Regions Institute – Arid Regions Institute are part of the efforts.

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