Qatar has won the honour of being listed in the second top slot of the UN’s Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. This was announced at a recent meeting of the Convention held at Bonn, Germany.
Qatar is the first Gulf country to get an entry to the top slot of the Convention, in which 172 countries are parties.
Qatar, which was listed in Category-C until recently, was elevated to the Category -B, in recognition of the progress it has made in the implementation of strategic plans recommended by the Convention. Fourteen nations, including Australia, China, India, Ireland, New Zealand and Spain belong to this category.
“Qatar is expected to get an entry into the A-Grade in the next one or two years, a slot in which eighteen countries, including the UK, Austria, European Community, Finland, Japan, Sweden and Singapore, have found a place,” said Ghanem Al Abdullah, Director, Department of Wildlife, Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Reserves (SCENR).
Al Abdullah said that Qatar's elevation was in recognition of the measures it has taken to achieve the Parties commitment to meet the 2010 Target. “Qatar is firmly committed to achieving the 2010 Target, by implementing the provision of the Convention on Biodiversity and other biodiversity treaties to which Qatar is a party.”
As per the 2010 Target, the countries party to the Convention are supposed to designate only 10 percent of their area as Protected Area. Qatar has already brought 22 percent of the country's total land under the protected area.
“Qatar has established 5 terrestrial protected areas and 3 marine protected areas. Nearly all habitat types are being represented in the protected area network. Fresh new sites are being proposed for designation as protected areas,” Al Abdullah said.
Several protected areas serve as sites for the restoration of endangered wildlife species through reintroductions. Qatar has also achieved its target in public awareness campaign, initiatives in sustainable development projects, marine coastal development, agriculture and biodiversity research and water research, he said.
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