A joint European-American research project that will bring together about 60 scientists from Qatar, Europe and the US to find innovative solutions for a sustainable strategy for food, water and energy security was launched on Thursday.
The project was launched after the Belmont International Scientific Research Forum and the European Union for Urban Cities awarded the Scientific and Technical Certificate to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), the Qatar Institute for Environmental and Energy Research at Hamad Bin Khalifa University and scientific research institutes in Austria, Britain, Germany and the US.
Starting this year, the three-year project will conclude end in December 2020. The research aims to find a formulation of a sustainable strategy for food, water and energy resources in urban areas by improving synergies among these three elements.
Speaking at the launch of the project on the sidelines of Qatar International Agricultural Exhibition, Director of Environmental and Municipal Studies Institute at the MME Dr Mohammed Saif al Kuwari said Qatar National Research Fund will participate in the research with European scientific research centres ” the Institute of Technology in Austria and the Lebens Research Center for Agriculture, The Landscape in Germany and the University of West England in Bristol, the UK and Rock Connect of the US.
He said this 1.5 million euros research project, which will be funded by participating parties, will serve Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2018-2022 and help achieve the sustainable strategy of food, water and energy resources in the country.
For his part, Dr Richard O'Kennedi, Vice President of Research at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), said,"Hamad Bin Khalifa University is developing such capabilities with their partners, and carry out the best research and relate them to the challenges facing Qatar in the fields of environment, health, energy and water for sustainable development and green culture."
"This global research project will give a positive impetus to the development of water, food and energy resources in Qatar within its national vision and development strategy," said Dr Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at HBKU.
He said the project tackles vital problems related to understanding the relationship between food, water and energy, especially in the desert and urban areas, in order to deal with any deficiencies. A symposium was held where stakeholders addressed use of renewable energy, water sustainability and the provision of food with high quality and lower cost.
The various types of solutions to address the challenges in these sectors were discussed.
Doha will be a model for the rest of the Arab capitals that suffer from similar problems as Qatar is the only Arab country participating in this global research. The Belmont International Forum was established in 2009 and is a partnership between funding organisations, international science councils and regional associations committed to promoting international science and interdisciplinary research that provides knowledge that contributes to mitigation and adaptation to global environmental change.
The European Union for Urban Cities was established in 2010 to address global urban challenges, develop research and innovation centres on urban issues and provide solutions through research.
The forum has established a scientific partnership to invite international partners, global scientific research centres, universities, decision-makers and actors to find new and innovative solutions that combine food, water and sustainable energy.