Peninsula Online – Ssatish Kanady
doha • A total of 20 species of birds, fish and sea mammals are facing the extinction threat in Qatar, says the Sustainable Development report released by the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP). “Qatar has a recorded 262 bird species and 1.9 per cent of them are facing extinction threat. Of the total 139 species of fish and sea mammals, 2.2 per cent are also facing the threat,” the report says. The environment indication section of the document also says that Qatar’s coastal water has a high rate of ammonia and nitrate concentration. The high concentration of these elements can cause excessive growth of plant planktons leading to a tilt in the balance of Qatar’s marine eco system.
Regarding the endangered species, the report says that the birds form 5 species while the fish and mammals are amounting to dozens. The document stressed the need for preserving and multiplying the numbers of the species. The document is optimistic that Qatar’s renewed efforts to protect the living ecosystem and the decision to expand the area of land, marine natural and coastal reserve will help combat the menace. The Islamic Shariah’s promotion on raising awareness of the importance of conserving living creatures and the enactment of environmental law regulating hunting will come to the rescue of endangered species.
Strict measures have also been introduced to prohibit trading in living species threatened with extinction listed in the appendices of the Convention of International Trading in Endangered Species (Cites). On the concentration of natural nutrient elements such as nitrogen and phosphorous in coastal waters, the data indicator shows a high concentration of ammonia , in general, in Qatari coastal waters, with concentration ranging between 63.33 and 185.1 in the area facing Mesaieed. “Causes of this high rate are flows rich in ammonia by some industrial enterprises”, the document said.
Nitrate concentration is also high in coastal waters facing Doha, reaching 144 microgrammes/litre in 2004. This high concentration is due to the biodegradation of some nitrogenous substances and their oxidation by bacteria into nitrates. “A high increase of the concentration of these elements can cause excessive growth of plant planktons and the ecological equilibrium in the area will be negatively affected. Some poisonous plant substances cause the death of large quantities of fish and huge numbers of marine animals will perish. Concentration of ammonia and nitrates in Qatari coastal waters is high when compared with the values recorded in some Arabian Gulf areas.” the environment indicator report said.
The environmental indicator also shows a decline in the quantity of underground water. Field measurements indicated a high salinity rate in the underground water. According to the report, underground water consumption rates are expected to fall in the next few years. “Qatar aims at reducing annual withdrawal of underground water, discovering feeding sources to upgrade its quality as well as search for substitute water resources, both conventional and non-conventional”, the document said.