QBG’s Ex Situ and In Situ Conservation Programs
God Almighty has urged us in many verses of the Holy Qur’an to care for and preserve trees and plants, and in the noble Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, where he commanded us to be positive in preserving and protecting the environment by planting trees. In a hadith transmitted on the authority of Bukhari, the Prophet says: “If the Final Hour comes while you have a shoot of a plant in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.”
God Almighty affirms in the Holy Qur’an that He created this universe in a delicate balance, so everything is placed in its precise location. “And the earth – We have spread it and cast therein firmly set mountains and caused to grow therein [something] of every well-balanced thing” [HQ 15: 19]. He then explained that this balance is what brings happiness and survival to man, and that is why God Almighty commanded us to preserve this environmental balance and not to spoil it. “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return” [HQ 30: 41].
Based on the Islamic principles that encourage environmental conservation and preservation, the QBG applies an integrated program for plant conservation in Qatar that includes In-situ conservation (preservation of plants in their natural habitat) and Ex-situ conservation (preservation of plants outside their natural environment). To understand the QBG’s activities in plant conservation and botanical environment preservation, there are some basic botanical and environmental terms and concepts which we should first get to know.