A four-day International Training Workshop on Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem concluded on March 27, 2014 at College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, which was jointly organized by the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) and College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University.
The workshop was inaugurated by Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Dr. Eiman Mustafawi. In her inaugural speech she said that “IUCN a prestigious organization has teamed with the College of Arts and Sciences to organize this workshop and through this joint effort, we aim to strengthen the planning, monitoring and conservation evaluation skills of project and program managers across the region”. She also thanked the participants and the experts for coming to Qatar to provide their expertise and help in successfully carrying out such an important event.
She further said that “this workshop is part of our continuing efforts to enhance and promote education, training and research for the conservation and management of ecosystems. This year, the College established the Center for Sustainable Development to address water and food security issues along with issues of environmental management and preservation in Qatar. By working together with the IUCN West Asia Commission on Ecosystem Management, we aspire to better promote the cause of the preservation of environment and biodiversity in Qatar and the wider region”.
She added that College of Arts and Sciences is proud to host such events in support of Qatar’s National Vision 2030 that seeks to make Qatar’s future path of development compatible with the requirements of protecting and conserving the environment. “This vision also acknowledges that Qatar is part of one ecological system, the Gulf Region, and our efforts to conserve the environment must include and engage our regional and international partners”, she said.
In his welcome address, Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Khan, Regional Chair, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management welcomed all the participants and said that “Ecosystem Services are the direct and indirect contributions of Ecosystems to human well-being. They support directly or indirectly to our survival and quality of life”.
Dr. Khan further said that Biodiversity is our everyday source of food, shelter, jobs, and health. It is a genetic resource necessary for food production, as well as medicines for natural adaptation and building resilience.
He also thanked the co-organizers of this workshop Dr. Eiman Mustafawi, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Prof. Dr. Mohammed Ahmedna, Associate Dean, and Prof. Dr. M. Ajmal Khan for extending their generous support and cooperation to make this international gathering possible.
The participants included biological and environmental sciences faculty and students of College of Arts and Sciences Qatar University, experts and researchers from Qatar Foundation, AlWabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar Museums Authority, Friends of the Environment Society, and from various institutions in Oman, Jordan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait.
For enhancing practical knowledge of the participants visits were also organized for the participants to the mangroves forests along the coast of Doha under the supervision of Dr. Saif Al Hajiri, Chairperson, Friends of the Environment Center Qatar and Al-Wabra Wildlife Preservation site where they were briefed about the achievements of Qatar Foundation and Al-Wabra Foundation.
During the inaugural session Dr. Eiman Mustafawi presented shields to the Regional Chair and facilitators of the workshop and at the conclusion of the workshop Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Khan presented the certificates to the participants.