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Expo 2023 Doha/ Qatar University…Research-Based Approach to Facing Environmental Challenges, Promoting Sustainability

Applied research projects in the field of environment and sustainability at Qatar University occupy an important place in the university’s research map, in line with the national priorities for applied research set by Qatar’s research and development and innovation strategy 2030, and in accordance with Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which has made environmental development one of its basic pillars.

The fruits of these applied research projects are evident in the cooperation between Qatar University and ministries, institutions, and centers concerned with the environment, agriculture, and sustainability strategies. The university has spared no effort in expanding the circle of cooperation with these ministries and entities, in line with its commitment to supporting the state’s orientations at all levels, in accordance with the requirements of the plans and strategies that guide the country’s development journey.

In light of Qatar’s hosting of the 2023 Doha Horticultural Expo, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting the technologies and innovations that enable sustainable agriculture in arid lands and address desertification will be at the heart of the agenda of this international event.

In this context, Qatar University will hold its 2023 annual life sciences symposium from Nov. 8-9 under the umbrella of the 2023 Doha Expo, under the title of sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for a green desert environment.

The conference will review sustainable solutions for a green desert environment in the Gulf region and Qatar, the latest developments in environmental conservation and sustainability in the Gulf region, and the development of biotechnologies for sustainable development and integrated management of desert areas.

The conference comes within the framework of Qatar University’s leading role in the field of scientific research specializing in the environment and sustainability, especially as it has a developed research system in this field, through which it has succeeded in enhancing the state’s efforts in the fields of sustainable development.

The university also sought to introduce modern technology and use it in research on the environment and agriculture, and to establish a seed bank for Qatar’s native plants, and to place their genetic fingerprint to promote them globally and benefit from them in the field of sustainability and food security.

Qatar University has also completed many research and projects related to the environment and agriculture to support the state’s efforts to achieve food security and sustainability, including – for example – the Qatar University Herbarium, which is the oldest in Qatar and contains 3,200 plant specimens and is constantly evolving.

Among the related research projects are the project of a gel to support food security, the project of a robot to preserve green spaces, and the project of an artificial coral reef forest in the shape of a mushroom plant, which was designed, developed, and verified its effectiveness within the facilities of Qatar University. This is a new technology for restoring the marine ecosystem of coral reefs under the sea and the associated biodiversity, which recently reached the shores of Brazil as a Qatari product.

These projects also include the project of cultivating algae, the project of extending the shelf life of fruits, and other projects.

In addition to this, the university sought to establish the first factory for fresh vegetables in Qatar within the university campus, based on the latest scientific technologies in this field, including hydroponics without soil. The factory is expected to provide leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, and arugula, among others, which will reduce the import of those products from other countries.

These projects were not just passing ideas, but rather the fruit of institutional efforts by a number of research centers affiliated with the university’s research sector, specializing in the environment and agriculture, and interested in addressing local environmental problems, according to a unified vision; with the aim of enabling a sustainable environment, preserving natural resources, and dealing with them in a rational manner.

The University’s Environmental Sciences Center is one of the most important research centers with a long history. Since its establishment in 1980, it has played an important role through basic and applied research, consulting, and building national capacities related to sustainable development in the country.

The center’s interests include marine sciences, which cover physical and chemical oceanography, as well as environmental issues, including marine and terrestrial biology, atmospheric sciences, and earth sciences. These three sectors include many research tracks.

The center has recently presented a number of applied research studies in the fields that serve the environment and agriculture, and address the problems of desertification and agricultural pests that threaten crops, including the development and identification of resilient germplasm of bread wheat in Qatar, Genetic improvement of tomato for environmental stress tolerance through agrobacterium-mediated transformation, and In vitro fertilization of endangered desert medicinal plant species in Qatar

Source: Qatar News Agency