Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Organizes Animal Wildlife Forum

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) organized the animal wildlife forum concurrently with the launch of Katara’s International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition (S’hail 2023).

Under theme of wild hunting, a hobby and sustainable protection for environment, the first edition of the forum highlighted preserving hare species and was attended by a host of officials from MoECC, Al-Gannas Qatari Society, alongside representatives of some institutions relevant to environment and hunting. This edition theme is: Hare, our sustainable heritage that must be conserved.

Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Protection and Natural Reserves Affairs at MoECC, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Latif Al Muslimani, affirmed that MoECC undertakes overwhelming efforts to overcome challenges facing wild animals in Qatar whose number was receded due to a combination of factors, mainly poaching and elimination of their local habitats, as well as lack of awareness on the importance of these species and their role in maintaining natural equilibrium.

Addressing the forum, Al Muslimani said MoECC, represented by the Protection and Natural Reserves Affairs, organized this forum to propagate the culture of environmental sustainability among the Qatari individuals and raise the awareness on the importance of preserving hares local habitat through the forums sessions and engagement of public entities and civil society organizations relevant to environment and wildlife.

He hoped the forum’s sessions would come up with a myriad of active recommendations and visions that contribute to conserving the environment and protecting it from potential threats.

Environmental expert and engineering consultant at the MoECC, manager of the animal wildlife forum, Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari, said the forum is concurrently organized with S’hail 2023 exhibition owing to the interconnected nexus between the forum’s topic and the exhibition, outlining that the forum highlights the importance of protecting animal species existing in the Qatari habitat from poaching practices and conserving them through targeting hunters’ sector in its sessions.

He pointed out that MoECC urges falconers to pursue the ancestors’ approach in preserving the life of birds and animals in the Qatari wildlife in compliance with the ministerial decisions taken to regularize the hunting process of some birds and wild animals.

Al Kuwari outlined that the motives behind choosing the hare as the slogan of this year forum are to protect and preserve it to achieve the Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy 2030, primarily its second pillar: Biodiversity, which stipulates the importance of augmenting efforts to maintain biodiversity, restoration, and protection to create wholesome, natural and resilient ecological systems, including the conservation of endangered species.

Vice-chairman of Al Gannas Qatari Society, and vice-president of the organizing committee of S’hail 2023 Mohammed bin Abdullatif Al Misnad said Al Gannas Society has been striving to revive falconry heritage through competitions and championships, in addition to enacting laws and conditions regularizing falconry. He indicated that Al Gannas Qatari Society is determined to offer participation for hatched falcons through special rounds in the competitions to preserve the wildlife of falcons.

Al Misnad pointed out that Al Gannas is interested in the state-supported veterinary care for falcons, along with the launched scientific projects which aim to preserve rare and pure breeds and protect them from diseases during the breeding process.

Head of the Animal Wildlife Development Department at MoECC Ali Saleh Al Marri recalled the instructions and laws issued by MoECC to preserve wildlife and its enormous biodiversity, such as law No. 5 of 2006 on regulating trade in endangered species of wildlife and their products, as well as law No. 19 of 2004 regarding the protection of wildlife and their natural habitats, in addition to law No. 4 of 2002 regulating the hunting of wild animals, birds, and reptiles, and so forth.

He asserted that MoECC has set several public instructions for hunting season which entail the imperative of abiding by the law through knowing the periods of hunting, its places, and the reserved species. He pointed to the importance of maintaining sustainability during hunting through choosing species that are allowed to be hunted.

He pointed out that the instructions include preservation of natural habitats and avoiding contamination and subversion, as well as refraining from illegal sniping to ensure refraining from methods that lead to simultaneously hunting more than one species, with emphasis on avoiding serious harms to them, including a slow and painful death, taking into account the rules of safety, respect for the rights of others, and ethical hunting, to ensure that hunting is always humane and ethical.

Dr. Sameh Odeh, an expert at MoECC pointed out that autumn is the appropriate season for hunting birds which extends from September until the end of the month, compared to spring which extends from March until May. He added that most endemic birds breed during spring season. Consequently, hunters should refrain from hunting during this season due to the difficulty of differentiating between the migratory and endemic birds.

Source: Qatar News Agency