Pioneering project aims to turn the desert green
Delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference COP18 – which will be held in Doha at the end of November – are being offered a tour of a groundbreaking pilot project in Qatar’s desert.
The Sahara Forest Project aims to be 100 percent green, using saltwater to grow vegetables in the desert and helping to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, all powered entirely by solar energy.
The 10,000-square-metre site is being funded by the Yara International ASA and the Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO). It’s estimated to have cost $5.3 million to build, and should begin operations in December.
The project has generated a great deal of press coverage around the world, and we’ve reported on it from its beginnings, and also featured a video explaining its design, which is inspired, rather aptly, by camels’ nostrils.
In the run-up to COP18, Qatar has been eager to show that it’s committed to improving its green credentials.
We’ve reported on efforts to increase recycling (ahead of the construction of a recycling plant), water efficient tree planting systems, and the development of organic gardens in Msheireb Downtown. Qatar has also sought the advice of environment consultant Matthias Gelber, dubbed “The Greenest Person on the Planet” by 3rdWhale, an environmentally focused Canadian company.
A survey carried out by the newspaper Al Sharq last month found, however, that 97% of Qatar’s residents believe not enough is being done to punish those who violate the country’s environmental laws.
Credit: Image courtesy of the Sahara Forest Project