Posted on November 21, 2019

Qatar University’s (QU) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) concluded yesterday the 13th Qatar University Life Science Symposium (QULSS 2019) under the theme ‘Plant Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture.’

The two-day symposium, which was organized by the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, brought together experts and researchers from prestigious universities, industry and local partners from various fields and disciplines who have diverse expertise on plant and agriculture biotechnology.

Dean of CAS, Prof. Ibrahim Al-Kaabi (pictured right) noted that plant biotechnology is an increasingly important area for Qatar and falls under both the social and economic development pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030. He remarked that since the June 2017 blockade against Qatar, the country has seen significant progress in local food supplies, which consequently strengthened the country’s sustainable agriculture and food security through local sustainable food production. Therefore, this area of research is necessary to serve the Qatari community. Recommendations that arise from this forum can provide innovative solutions to many challenges related to agriculture and production.

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Associate Dean for Sciences and Applied Sciences in CAS Dr. Leena Al-Sulaiti commented saying, “I hope that this forum will achieve two main objectives: first, to come up with useful recommendations in a multidisciplinary framework with the participation of actors from universities and research centers as well as local partners. Second, such forums provide students with opportunities for applied problem-solving learning, including the use of plant biotechnology.”

She added that the forum is a successful example of how the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences has pooled together expertise for the benefit of the community, with the purpose of supporting decision-making. The objectives of this forum are also in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 to reach environmental sustainability, explore Qatar's natural resources and address its imbalances through the development of more environmentally friendly and more efficient agriculture programs, underscoring the need for sustainable social and economic growth while maintaining the environment for future generations in Qatar.

Head of the Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences Dr. Mohammed Abu-Dieyeh (pictured left) said, “This symposium was launched for the first time 12 years ago, and has continued successfully to reach where it is today. With each symposium a different theme is explored, each with its own purpose, to shine a spotlight on a specific topic in its own particular time, but all with the purpose of serving the Qatari environment and society.”

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