The UAE Emirate state of Qatar is planning to launch an environmental program to turn desert areas into usable pasture lands and other green areas by findings ways such as desalination. Theyalso plan on replenishing the country’s rapidly depleting ground waterresources, and using scientific innovations for growing of grass andother plant life that will support animal herds such as sheep and goats.
In an agreement reached with the Damascus-based Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zone and Dry Lands (ACSAD), Qatarhopes to integrate the growing of special plant life suitable for dryregions, along with the breeding of animals more suited for life inhot, arid regions.
Qatar is no stranger to being involved projects dealing with both the local and world environments. Its Stars of Science TVprogram is already beginning to feature new and innovative ideas toimprove the environment such as a device to lower the internaltemperature in a parked car during the summer, as well as ways toproduce electricity from ocean waves.
But the greening of the region’s vast desert areas may hold the mostpromise, as it will do much to improve the overall environment of apart of the world where daytime summer temperatures often soar to asmuch as 45 degrees centigrade.
Teaming up with the ACSAD organization will definitely help the Qatar government to achieve its goals of reversing the desert and evencooling down their part of the world; since it is a well known factthat the introduction of plants and even trees can reduce the day timetemperature by as much as several degrees.
ACSAD is more than just an organization set up to monitor and combatthe problems of desertification. It is also a teaching aid to peoplesliving in arid regions of the Middle East, since it organizes trainingprograms for both agriculture field workers and technicians who willwork with the indigenous populations of the areas they are assigned toin not only the Arab World, but beyond.
It also provides technical advice and assistance to countries likeQatar, and even helps to mobilize the role rural women play in theagricultural development of their communities.
Will Qatar succeed in its dream of making its countryside green with vegetation? Why not? As noted in a previous Green Prophet article,if a ski slope can be dreamed of on Qatar’s sand dunes, why not treesand green pasture land too? Well, that we think was just a joke.