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26 April 2013 01:38 pm

New Doha Port project wary about environmental impact

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The mangroves located near the New Doha Port, which is under construction south of the city, are under permanent watch to avoid environmental impact, the company in charge of the project has said. The New Port Project (NPP) is located near two mangrove areas: A denser part in Umm Al Houl, south of Al Wakra, and a smaller area which is adjacent to the NPP lagoon. The works, designs and approvals in relation to these areas are compliant with the Emiri Decree number 5 for the year 2006 on the Protection of Mangrove Trees in Qatar, the company has clarified in response to a report published by reference to the concerns of a Unesco expert about the well-being of mangroves. “The project has taken great steps to avoid impacts on mangrove trees (and other notable habitats through a ‘mitigation in design’ approach to reduce to the lowest level possible any impacts to these areas,” NPP stated. No mangrove trees within Umm Al Houl have been affected by the project and, where it has not been possible to entirely avoid impact, in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, the company has established a programme to relocate and replace affected trees. NPP conducts regular environmental monitoring of mangroves within the two areas near the construction site. These include monitoring mangrove fruits and leaves in pre-defined large-scale quadrants four times a year, annual monitoring of mangrove tree trunk girth, breadth, and height, and, also once a year, following of mangrove extent via high-resolution satellite image analysis. “All monitoring is conducted by an independent consultant who is not associated with the project to ensure the validity and robustness of the result,” NPP added. To date, 2,587 mangrove seedlings have been relocated from the area adjacent to the NPP lagoon into the Umm Al Houl area. In addition, the company has grown 2,752 mangrove seedlings in an off-site nursery from collected seeds, to move them later to Umm Al Houl. A fence has been erected around the area to ensure safety from both the public and the ongoing works; while public access along the foreshore south of Al Wakra is maintained. Source : Qatar Chroncile