Mourjan Marinas’ ‘Floating Mangroves’ project, launched together with UNESCO and Lusail City, has achieved another milestone, with all plants from phase one and two now receiving sea water based irrigation. The experiment is the first of its kind in the region – the findings of which will help shape scientists’ understanding on mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration.
The experiment monitors the use of mangroves for capturing carbon emissions, or sequestration, helping to reduce atmospheric carbon levels. Since its launch in 2012 the project has achieved a number of key milestones and continues to capture international attention from the science and environmental communities.
Phase two of the project was launched in September 2013, with a further eight containers of mangrove species being added following the successful completion of phase one. The project is being co-managed by Mark Sutcliffe, Natural Sciences Project Officer at UNESCO and Qatar University’s Professor Dr. Ajmal Khan, with the support of Benno Böer from the UNESCO Addis Abeba Office. Students from Qatar University’s Environmental Club are also assisting with the project at Lusail Marina.
“Phase one offered some valuable learning experiences, as well as providing us with a lot of confidence moving forwards, now that we have been able to demonstrate success and proof in the concept,” said Mark Sutcliffe. “This year we are continuing to build partnerships which offer mutual benefit. We are looking to expand much needed research capacity in the project,” he continued. “Study at PhD level needs to be conducted regarding the ability of mangroves for carbon sequestration, and their capacity to take up land-based marine pollutants, materials and design, sustainability and feasibility, and profitability. We are waiting for sponsors to come forward and provide funding for these studies,” added Benno Böer (from UNESCO’s Liaison Office in Addis Abeba with the African Union and UNECA).
45 academics from Europe, the US and the GCC visited Mourjan Marinas –Lusail at the end of last year on a field trip, following a presentation on the project by UNESCO at the Qatar University Life Sciences Symposium last December. Wayne Shepherd, General Manager of Mourjan Marinas, said, “Our partnership with UNESCO and Lusail City is making waves in the local and international science community for its pioneering spirit and ambition. We are looking forward to watching the developments unfold over the next phase of the programme and are proud to support the work of UNESCO and the local youth community in this important project.”
Mourjan Marinas – Lusail recently was awarded Clean Marina accreditation, by the International Clean Marina programme - a voluntary accreditation system for various marine industry operators including marinas, yacht clubs and shipyards.