Ministry of Municipality and Environment, in co-operation with United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), recently organised a three-day workshop to develop a national strategy for combating desertification in Qatar. The workshop was one of the various efforts taken by Qatar to address the global warming challenges faced by the country.
Residents of Qatar acknowledge the fact that there has been considerable increase in temperature, with low annual rainfall making the summers extremely hot and humid. The workshop was organised in sync with Qatar’s National Vision 2030, of which Environmental Development is one of the four main pillars. It is among the various steps taken to improve the climatic conditions in the country.
The objective of the workshop was to develop modern standards as part of national strategy to combat desertification. It focused on identifying and addressing potential risks leading to land degradation and further desertification. The sessions were dedicated on ground solution based approach towards sustainable land management options and practices.
Although various efforts are being taken by the Government of Qatar to address the global warming concerns, such as reduction of Green House Gases (GHGs) emissions, the UNCCD associate programme officer acknowledged that this was the first workshop dedicated to identifying the causes of desertification and means for combating it.
Going by the statement and looking at the degrading climatic conditions in the Arab world, with rising temperatures, it won’t be wrong to say that there has been a delay in addressing the concern. Desertification and degradation of agricultural land can further intensify heat in the region and lead to further problems, such as dust storms, drought and other adverse climatic conditions.
The workshop highlighted the importance of protecting land that is not degraded wholly or partially. One of the major moves to prevent desertification was to focus on setting irrigation plans to combat drought at the local, regional and international levels.
If impactful national plans and strategy are derived from such workshops for addressing the environment degradation and the same are being effectively executed, it will not just benefit climatic condition of the country, but will also be an impetus towards sustainable economic development that suffers largely due to it.