Posted on March 02, 2016

Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), recently signed a Protocol of Cooperation (PoC) with the Agriculture Research Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).

The agreement, which was signed on Tuesday, 1st March 2016, aims to strengthen scientific, agricultural, and environmental research in Qatar, through the conservation of national plant resources and modern mechanisms in horticultural preservation and agricultural sustainability. QBG’s partnership with the Agriculture Research Department therefore reflects its commitment to enhancing Qatar’s sustainable development and reinforces the Environmental Pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030).

Project Manager of Qur’anic Botanic Garden, Ms Fatima Bint Saleh Al-Khulaifi, said: "I am delighted that we have signed a Protocol of Cooperation with the Agriculture Research Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. The agreement is extremely beneficial to both entities who have united under common efforts to preserve and protect Qatar’s environment. Signing the agreement around Qatar National Environment Day 2016 is particularly poignant, as it demonstrates our commitment to nurturing Qatar’s environment, and is-line with the invaluable words of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, ‘If we nurture our environment, it will nurture us’.”

During the signing ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Agricultural Research Department Director, Mr Masoud Jarallah Al Marri, said “The Agricultural Research Department is the entity that represents Qatar in international conventions and treaties related to the environment and agriculture. The department also manages the genetic resources of Qatar. I hope that the Protocol of Cooperation will pave the way for us to benefit from these international treaties, and I hope that it will enable the two parties involved to support Qatar, as well as implement the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Ms Aisha Dasman Al Kuwari, Head of Genetic Resources, Agricultural Research Department, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, said: "The Genetic Resources department collects, characterises, and conserves wild plants in Qatar. It conducts various activities, like environmental surveys and storing plants in the Gene Bank, and it aims to establish an integrated database of genetic resources in Qatar. This Protocol of Cooperation will contribute to strengthening our relationship with the Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG), and will help to better conserve and preserve Qatar’s environment".

The agreement also paves the way for a number of collaborative activities, mutual research benefits, and overall development and education opportunities. This includes publishing co-produced research, plant conservation, documenting traditional knowledge and heritage, laboratory experiments for tissue culture techniques, and DNA identification, as well as organising technical seminars, workshops, and scientific meetings.