Doha, Qatar: The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) has launched a project to rehabilitate 100 meadows during next five years, in a bid to preserve local ecosystem and address climate change.

Qatar’s mainland is dotted with meadows as an ongoing survey by the Ministry marked 1,273 open habitats or fields, vegetated with grass, herbs, and other non-woody plants.

Initially, the project aims to rehabilitate 36 meadows this year.

The rehabilitation process includes cleaning these areas of waste and planting local trees there.

The project also aims at developing the plants that grow in the meadows, and to restore vegetation cover to its natural state. The project will also see fencing the meadows in order to prevent vehicles from entering these areas, while allowing individuals to enter and enjoy the natural diversity these areas offer.

Each phase of the project will include restoration of a specific group of these meadows, after collecting data on these meadows.

The priority will be given to meadows threatened by the destruction of their plant cover, which includes rare plants, taking into account a number of environmental and social standards in choosing the meadows for rehabilitation.

MoECC officials including Assistant Undersecretary for Protection and Natural Reserves, Dr. Ibrahim Al Muslimani; and Director of the Wildlife Development Department, Muhammad Ahmed Al Khanji recently visited Rawdat Al Qaiya, a meadow in the north of Qatar.

Al Khanji said the department took measures for rehabilitating and protecting the Qatari mainland as one of its priorities. He said the department is working to develop the vegetation cover in all regions of the country, and launch many awareness programmes, indicating that the Ministry has developed plans to implement these steps over the coming years.

Al Khanji said the department plans to complete the project for listing meadows in the country and launch its database next year.

The Ministry is making great efforts to protect meadows throughout the country, as a number of meadows have been completely closed, with the aim of protecting some rare and endangered plant species.

He said a number of others were also partially closed, for the purpose of planting and rehabilitating them so that the vegetation can regain its normal condition and growth, adding that there are a number of meadows that have been preserved and protected as an important source of plant genetic resources in the country.

MoECC efforts over past years have resulted in the rehabilitation of 31 meadows in various parts of the country, and planting of 17,463 wild trees in various rehabilitated sites.

This is in addition to transferring 4,980 wild trees from the sites of state infrastructure projects to meadows that are being rehabilitated under expert supervision.

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