First global meet on ‘Sustainable Development: Achieving Food Security in Arid Environments’ held

 13 Dec 2016 - 12:42

First global meet on ‘Sustainable Development: Achieving Food Security in Arid Environments’ held

The Peninsula

Doha: First international conference on ‘Sustainable Development: Achieving Food Security in Arid Environments’ was held recently in Doha to raise awareness on the importance of investing in the area of food security in Qatar.

The conference organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) brought together experts from all disciplines in the field of food security to showcase their research outcomes, share their experiences, and provide sustainable solutions to overcome the challenges that are facing food and water security in the region. 

The inauguration ceremony was attended by QU Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Mariam Al Maadeed, Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Environment Undersecretary Assistant for Agriculture Affairs, Livestock and Fisheries Resources Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Naser Al Thani, CAS associate deans for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Hala Sultan Al Essa and for Academic Affairs Dr Hassan Abdel Aziz, and CSD Director Dr Hamad Al Saad Al Kuwari, as well as QU faculty and staff.

The event’s programme featured numerous sessions on “Development of integrated system for sustainable food security”, “Economics, Culture and Politics of Food”, “Challenges of existing food production practices”, and “Innovative technologies for food security”.

It also included presentations delivered by speakers from QU colleges of Health Sciences and of Business and Economics, Center for Sustainable Development, and Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and from George Mason University. 

They discussed a wide range of topics such as “Biochars from organic materials in municipal solid waste streams for soil fertility and environmental sustainability”, “Life cycle analysis for an integrated seawater aquaculture/agriculture project for food and bioenergy production in the Arabian Gulf”, “Food Safety Culture in Qatar”, “High dependence on food imports from an unstable world: implications and solutions for food security in Qatar”, and “Do Extremely Volatile Food Prices in Qatar and Other Gulf Nations Contribute to Endemic Health Issues?”.

Prof Mariam Al Maadeed said, “This initiative comes in line with Qatar’s ongoing efforts to overcome the barriers that are facing the achievement of sustainable food security. It also aims to provide efficient solutions to tackle the challenges of desertification, and land degradation and drought, and their negative impact on food security and agricultural development in Qatar.”

Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Naser Al Thani said: “This conference comes to shed light on how to achieve food security in arid environments, and underlines the significant role of the agricultural sector in reducing the negative effects of arid environments and climate change. It also aims to drive forward the process of sustainable development for the welfare of the community. There are several aspects to take into consideration in food and agriculture in order to achieve food security. They include sustainable agriculture, livestock management, maintaining fisheries, reducing food waste, and preserving natural resources.”

Dr Hamad Al Saad Al Kuwari said: “The Centre for Sustainable Development was established to search for and develop new ways to cope with the emerging changes in the Qatari environment in light of the fast-growing development in all sectors of the society.”