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Fatima Al Khulaifi
For over half a century, people around the globe have come together every 22nd of April to celebrate World Earth Day. Yet, 52 years later, the world still aspires to advance environmental conservation efforts and initiatives to combat climate change, as well as to raise awareness of the threats facing our planet.
At the Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG) we are proud of our years-long contribution to reducing carbon emissions by producing seedlings that consume little water, yet grow sustainably in infertile soil, while also protecting rare plant species in their natural habitat as part of our comprehensive efforts to limit desertification and to restore Qatar’s ecological balance.
QBG, a member of Qatar Foundation, has so far contributed to planting 2080 trees across Qatar as part of its ‘Ghars’ campaign, in addition to 4000 trees that have been cultivated on the Qatari mainland in cooperation with the Protection and Wildlife Department of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
QBG is also home to nearly 55,000 plants and shrubs stored at Education City, as well as two million seeds located in specialized storage with a lifetime of over 15 years.
Through its initiatives, QBG has so far engaged over 233,000 people from all areas of society.
On the occasion of Earth Day, we ought to remember that our relationship with the Earth is built on reciprocity. In other words, preserving the environment is essential to the survival of human life. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to protect and care for the Earth as well as to invest in our planet.
As such, the preservation and development of the environment is a national priority for Qatar, and one of the four main pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030).
The great importance that Qatar attaches to the environment has been manifested in the Garden’s myriad awareness campaigns, air quality monitoring initiatives, and agricultural and farming projects, as well as programs to rehabilitate natural habitats and desert areas.
QBG has also been in close collaboration over the years with prominent environmental stakeholders in Qatar and around the world to step up efforts to protect our planet.
In line with our long-held commitment to preserving the environment, we have spared no effort to protect plants in the Qatari environment by participating in the rehabilitation of natural habitats in desert environments, among other initiatives that contribute to preserving Qatar’s ecosystem, and promoting sustainable development.
In this context, we have partnered with The Qatar Red Crescent Organization, and pledged to donate over two and a half million trees to be planted by their volunteers throughout the country.
The pledge is also part of our commitment to the environmental initiative launched by the Arab Red Crescent and the Red Cross with the aim of planting 50 million trees throughout the Arab world, including 10 million trees in Qatar, by 2030.
The initiative also falls in line with QBG’s main objective of strengthening ties with the local community to further propel its efforts and initiatives. Through our close collaboration with local actors, we contribute to raising environmental awareness, which reflects positively on our nation’s health, economy, and climate, and supports the environmental and development pillar of the QNV 2030 and the United Nations’ global efforts in this regard.
Through various educational programs such as “Have fun and learn”, “Food Security”, the “Young Botanist” and “A Flower Each Spring”, as well as our ‘Ghars’ campaign, QBG leverages its expertise in agriculture and plants, in partnership with educational institutions, to equip future generations with the tools to protect the environment and to contribute to the sustainable development of our planet.
Since its establishment, QBG has sought to expand its efforts beyond the cultivation of plants mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet to ensure the preservation of all species of plants and trees that are essential to life on earth as the Holy Qur’an explains.
On the occasion of Earth Day, we invite community members to contribute to protecting the environment, whether by planting trees or reducing carbon emissions by leveraging public transport, adhering to sound consumption habits, and rethinking their environmental practices.
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