Posted on September 10, 2017

The State of Qatar participated in the 2017 Oceans conference, which was held in the Portuguese capital on September 7-8. Qatar’s delegation was headed by Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning H E Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi.

The goal of the conference was to shed light on the important role seas and oceans play in the lives of people. The Minister of Municipality said in his speech that the Gulf was facing a number of challenges including pollution and increasing salinity. He noted that the rate of change of the Gulf’s water was twice a year, and it is surrounded by eight countries. He added that there was a desperate need for securing the quality and quantity of food from the sea, and preserving the ecological system which would help bring down the level of salinity in the Gulf.

He noted that the State of Qatar treats 100 percent of its third degree sewage treatment. Qatar has also adopted 20 percent of beaches as natural reserves. The environmental law prevents the discharge of treated water into the sea. Instead, it is used to irrigate parks and in industry. The country only allows low salinity water back into the sea. The Minister said that the State of Qatar supported the final communique of the conference and stressed on the importance of limiting diseases linked to the marine environment. He also stressed on the importance of staying alert to new public health threats, adding that climate change is the biggest challenge of our age.

On the sidelines of the conference, the Minister met with Portugal’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Luis Capoulas Santos. They discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and food security.