Posted on March 27, 2018

The Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and Qur’anic Botanic Garden, Qatar Foundation (QF), to strengthen their collaboration and conduct joint interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research projects in the field of environment, botany, education, culture, and sustainable development.

The MoU was signed by CAS Dean Dr Rashid Al-Kuwari, RBGE Director Dr Simon Milne, and Qur’anic Botanic Garden Manager Ms Fatma Saleh Al-Khulaifi, in the presence of CHSS Director Prof Kaltham Al-Ghanim and officials from CAS, RBGE and Qur’anic Botanic Garden.

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In the terms of the MoU, CHSS, RBGE and Qur’anic Botanic Garden will collaborate on practical training in horticulture in arid lands through study visits and short/long term training programs, and on the development and the delivery of various courses in conservation and biodiversity, botany and/or horticulture. The institutions will also cooperate on hosting internships and/or research assistants or associates and on developing a  new generation of scientifically rigorous and innovative plant guides to include biodiversity and related cultural diversity.

Other areas of collaboration include the planning of multidisciplinary projects, plant identification and survey design, the organization of joint conferences, symposiums and workshops, and the exchange of students, academic materials, publications and other documentation. Dr Rashid Al-Kuwari said: “This MoU is a significant contribution to the many different disciplines at QU, which will be integrated within the various activities of the three institutions. We hope that it will be the beginning of a series of partnerships for the benefit of all parties.”

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Dr Kaltham Al-Ghanim said: “We would like to take this opportunity to announce the establishment of a research team, “Qatar Natural Pharmacy”, which comprises scientists and experts from QU, RBGE and Qur’anic Botanic Garden. This team will conduct a series of multidisciplinary research projects to study the medicinal characteristics of Qatari plants and explore their potential for pharmaceutical production.” Ms Fatma Saleh Al-Khulaifi said: “This partnership is a step forward to maximize the benefits of Qatar’s flora and the environmental resources of the Qur’anic Botanic Garden. The Qur’anic Botanic Garden seeks to enhance QF’s vision towards environmental sustainability through the optimal use of resources.”

Dr Simon Milne said: “RBGE is delighted and honored to enhance its important collaboration with the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at Qatar University and the Qur’anic Botanic Garden. Life depends on plants and the development of conservation institutions is a vital step to maintain and conserve the flora for future generations.”