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Posted On: 7 April 2013 12:19 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Floating mangroves to go on public view

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The Unesco office in Doha has implemented a pioneering floating mangroves trial in Qatar. Located in Lusail Marina, this system will be unveiled for the public next week and aims to use mangroves as a method of carbon sequestration. The experiment is a joint initiative between the Unesco Doha Office, Mourjan Marinas IGY and Lusail Real Estate Development Company, and is the first-of-its-kind to investigate the use of floating mangroves for ‘carbon sequestration’ — the capturing of carbon emissions. Dr Benno Böer, Ecological Sciences Adviser at Unesco for Arab Region, explained to The Peninsula that “the experimental trial is being carried out with plants that are irrigated with freshwater and seawater can enter and exit. While the sand substrate remains inside the container.” The project designed by Unesco aims to surpass various other milestones. The floating mangroves project, which will be unveiled for the public next week, will highlight to interested stake-holders carbon sequestration, and sequestration of land-based marine pollutants nitrogen, potassium, phosphates, and crash-crop development. In this kind of experiment, timing is an important factor, given that these plants have their flowering period in May/June and need time to germinate, for root anchorage and growth. The increase of biomass is a critical factor for the measurement of carbon sequestration. Therefore the project should initially run at least over a period of three years, with a prospect of renewal, and widening it into additional test-sites in the topics. Floating mangroves can contribute to environmental wellbeing by reducing land based marine pollution through taking up potassium, nitrogen and phosphates. The results of this revolutionary experiment will help shape understanding on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and mitigating climate change. “The model that exists in the Lusail Marina is a very small box,” Dr Böer clarified. In addition, the expert also referred to Qatari poet Senan Al Muslemani who has written frequently about Qatar’s mangroves. The Policy Brief prepared in 2012 by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, stated that mangrove forests are globally rare and cover an area of around 125,000 sq km in 123 tropical and sub-tropical countries, including Qatar. There are around eight mangroves here, said Dr Böer. UN studies reveal that some countries have lost more than 40 percent of their mangrove area in a 25 year period. According to the expert in Qatar they survive well, regardless of big threats in the region like coastal development.