The Qur’anic Botanic Garden used its involvement in World Day to Combat Desertification to educate the public about the challenges surrounding this issue.
Mohamed Hassona, Horticulturist, said: “The environmental issues of desertification, biodiversity and climate change are interrelated global issues. Qatar is one of the signatories to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, which observes this day on 17 June every year to promote public awareness.”
Staff from Qur’anic Botanic Garden took part in this event for the second year running, handing out literature and encouraging people to undertake a survey that will investigate their knowledge and perceptions of environmental issues.
“The challenge of desertification is of significant national importance to Qatar as a semi-dry country addressing the impacts of climate change,” Hassona added. “His Highness the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, has committed to tackling this issue through Qatar’s Vision 2030, as recently outlined at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and so the Qur’anic Garden has taken this issue to heart in an attempt to educate people on this key challenge.”
Booklets handed out on the day encouraged the conservation of water in combatting drought. The main theme for 2012's event was the issue of land-degradation and the importance of soil quality in securing water sources and preventing desertification.
Qur’anic Botanic Garden staff therefore encouraged people to show an interest in cultivating plants and trees that improves soil, and reminded them of the importance of public gardens in offering a breathing space and source of fresh air. Parks are vital in combating desertification and loss of biodiversity due to desertification in Qatar.