Doha, Qatar, 15 March 2016: As part of Qatar National Environment Day 2016, the Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG) concluded its Environment Fair with an exciting finale, awarding the winners of the Environmental Research Contest for secondary school students.
QBG, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), held the competition in the Student Center of Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Education City.
Organised in collaboration with local authorities and departments working in the field of environmental conservation, the event reflects QF’s endeavour to build an educated and responsible society, which supports and contributes to the fulfilment of the Environmental Pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030).
The contest required students to find innovative solutions to two environmental issues, ‘Water Management’ and the ‘Conservation of Wild Flora’, using a productive and systematic research method.
The QBG judging panel consisted of members of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education; Qatari National Committee for Education, Heritage, and Science; the Ministry of Municipality and Environment; Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA), and Flower Each Spring.
Ms Fatima Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Project Manager of the Qur’anic Botanic Garden, said: “The ideas and projects presented by the students will break new ground in the areas of science and knowledge, and provide decision makers concerned with the protection of Qatar’s natural resources with ideas and solutions to help them solve today’s environmental problems.”
Al-Khulaifi added: “Finding innovative solutions and alternative processes to help solve diverse environmental problems is one of the most important concerns of the Qur’anic Botanic Garden. The environment is raised in several verses of the Qur’an, and Shari’a Law urges the responsible use of invaluable natural resources. This is why QBG focuses on the concept of ecological balance and the proper use of Qatar’s bountiful natural resources.”
The competition process consisted of a series of educational workshops to inspire and inform competitors about the challenges regarding water management and conservation of wild flora. Following this initial stage, schools then presented their research abstracts, full research proposals, and documentary entries.
Dr Saif Ali Al-Hajari, an International Ambassador for Social Responsibility, said: “My sincere thanks and appreciation to the Qur’anic Botanic Garden and to the Jury Panel that arbitrated our students’ research. We are the real winners in this competition, as we have encouraged our young people to think, to innovate. Our children are the future of this country.”
Qatar Leadership Academy, a member of Qatar Foundation, won first-place in the ‘Water Management’ category under the title, ‘Effective Management of Waste Car Wash Water in Qatar’. The project was presented by Mohammed Abdelrahman Al-Khulaifi and Yousuf Khalifa Al-Bader.
His Excellency Brigadier General Ali Ahmad Omran Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Leadership Academy, commented: "We are confident in the abilities of our students, and we commend the Qur’anic Botanic Garden for organising this competition, which will have a positive impact on raising the research capacity of Qatar’s students. We will encourage our pupils to maintain the high standard of research submitted this year, in order to compete for first-place again in 2017."
The ‘Conservation of Wild Flora’ category was won by the M.E.S. Indian School in Qatar under the research title ‘The Significance of Coastal Mangroves in Qatar’.
Dr Haroon Khan, Principal of M.E.S. Indian School in Qatar, expressed his delight following the win, stating: "I thank the Qur’anic Botanic Garden for this honour, and I will strive to ensure our students continue to help preserve our natural resources for future generations."
Mr Massoud Jarallah Al Marri, Director of the Agriculture Research Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, praised the Environmental Research Contest organised, saying: “We, in the Agricultural Research Department, are working hard to protect the genetic resources of wild plants and other genetic origins. This is our duty and our responsibility to future generations.”
Dr Hamda Hassan al-Sulaiti, Secretary-General of the Qatari National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science, said: “Such contests and activities help to increase young people’s access to the academic curriculum through direct interaction with their environment. The committee was delighted to participate by serving on the judging panel, and helping in the development of the students’ research. We hope this contest will help increase our children’s scientific and cultural knowledge.”
The Environmental Research Contest is part of QBG’s multifaceted education and conservation programme, which seeks to engage the local community about the importance of protecting Qatar’s flora and environment.