|QU and RLIC Agreement|
Last Sunday, 10 June 2007, Qatar University (QU) and Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) signed a QR1.1mn agreement for the development and implementation of a conservation and monitoring project for ma
Last Sunday, 10 June 2007, Qatar University (QU) and Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) signed a QR1.1mn agreement for the development and implementation of a conservation and monitoring project for marine turtles in RLIC and elsewhere in Qatar. The agreement was signed by QU president Dr. Sheikha al-Misnad and RLIC director Misnad al-Misnad in the presence of senior officials from both sides.Speaking on the occasion, the QU president said, "We consider this as one of our most important projects and hope that our relations and cooperation will continue." RLIC director al-Misnad stated that the turtle protection program, initiated seven years ago by RLIC, is entering a new phase with the co-operation of QU and the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves (SCENR). "When we started, we were determined to protect marine turtles by identifying and mapping nesting sites, assessing trends in the nesting activities, increasing environmental awareness and ensuring long term protection of the nesting beaches," he recalled.The official emphasized the importance RLIC gives to the conservation of marine turtles not only at Ras Laffan but also at four other significant locations in Qatar. "The program is to include tagging of turtles, using satellite tracking systems, and testing for DNA," al-Misnad added.QU Associate Vice President for Research Dr. Hassan Al Derham pointed out the significance of this project in preserving sea turtles in particular and protecting the environment in general.QU's Environmental Studies Center director Mohsin al-Ansi told the gathering that the QU team has already compiled scientific data on the turtles nesting at Ras Laffan, the islands of Halul, Ras Rakkan, Umm Teis, and Sheraoh and beaches from Ruwais to Al Khor. "The nesting season was in April-May, and hatching is taking place this month and the next," he said, adding that a QU team and a 13-member team from the SCENR are engaged in constant monitoring of the turtle nesting areas.