Sasol and FEC update Qatar e-Nature app with reptiles, mammals

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The Qatar e-Nature application, created by Sasol in association with Friends of the Environment Centre (FEC), has been updated to include the rich diversity of mammals and reptiles found across Qatar, in addition to the flora, birds and insects already available in the app.

Launched in December 2013 and available in both Arabic and English, the free application has wide-ranging benefits for students and members of the general public, offering knowledge and insight into the country’s ecological array, according to a statement.

The first of its kind in the region, Qatar e-Nature is available in application stores for smartphones and tablets.

Qatar e-Nature, which has been developed to support the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030, aims to promote sustainable development by contributing towards environmental awareness in communities throughout the country, the statement adds.

The Supreme Education Council (SEC) will lend its support by rolling out the application in all schools across Qatar this year. With the SEC’s support, the application will enhance environmental awareness at the grassroots level.

Fawziya al-Khater, director of the Education Institute at SEC, said: “The council will work through its relations with both private and public schools to introduce this application to students and encourage them to know and protect their environment.”

The content for Qatar e-Nature has been developed with zoology specialists. High-quality photography, vivid descriptions and accurate data provide a simple means of identifying and learning about animals, the statement further notes.

The expanded content provides entertaining education for new and existing users, and users of the app can now discover mammals like the Arabian Oryx. The update also features a comprehensive guide on reptile species in Qatar, including lizards and snakes.

Dr Saif al-Hajari, founder of FEC, said: “It was our intention from the beginning that the application would be dynamic and continue to evolve. The addition of the mammal and reptile data adds a new dimension. We thank Sasol for continuing its commitment to this partnership on Qatar e-Nature.”

Marjo Louw, president of Sasol Qatar, added: “We extend our deepest gratitude to the Friends of the Environment Centre, with whom we worked closely to develop the application, and the Supreme Education Council for supporting our effort in expanding its reach within Qatar’s schools.”

Work is under way to gather information about fish in Qatar to add to this application, making it a comprehensive and essential reference for all flora and fauna in the country.

In April and May of this year, the Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest featured 159,000 students in 162 schools across the country, culminating in the selection of 22 winners from all grades and all ages, including the grand-prize winner of an all-expense-paid safari nature trip to South Africa for two people. Another countrywide schools contest for 2015 is being prepared and will be launched early next year.

To update the app, current users need to visit the App Store, Google Play or the Windows Phone Store and download the update; the app will be updated directly for users who have automatic updates. The information is also available on www.enature.qa

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