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National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of 2004.

Type of law

This National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) is a nationwide sectoral document aiming to promote the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources and equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity in the State of Qatar. It contains 11 Strategic Goals that identify the most pressing biodiversity issues in the country. Each of these goals is supported by an action plan that is composed of a series of proposed short term and long term activities that can be developed into practical projects. Each goal is also followed by monitoring indicators and responsible institutions. These goals are (i) expand the national system of terrestrial and marine protected areas to protect representative examples of all of the major ecosystems, key biological sites and species of special management concern; (ii) develop sustainable nature based tourism in the natural and scenic areas of the country; (iii) protect and conserve living marine and coastal resources for the development of a sustainable marine fishing and recreation industry; (iv) combat desertification by improving the management of desert range lands; (v) combat desertification by conserving agro-biodiversity and promoting sustainable development in rural areas; (vi) enforce environmental legislation that conserves and uses in a sustainable manner biodiversity; (vii) support scientific research and establish data base centers that provide decision makers with accurate facts on the status and trends of biodiversity; (viii) upgrade biodiversity education and public awareness campaigns which reflect the role of biodiversity conservation in the welfare of the citizens; (ix) protect natural ecosystems and human health from the planned introduction and/or accidental release of invasive alien species and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs); (x) activate environmental monitoring and impact assessments (EIA) to make sure that the conditions for the conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use are being taken into consideration in all development projects; and (xi) study, compare, and promote synergy among the various multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and regional environmental agreements ratified by Qatar.
To make agriculture and fisheries more productive and sustainable, the Action Plan envisages a number of actions, among others (i) strengthen traditional and local conservation initiatives, in particular the traditional hima; (ii) improve irrigation practices that reduce the amount of water used, prevent wastage of this resource, and promote the use of treated sewage water as well as rainwater harvesting techniques; (iii) save the ground water reserves in the desert range lands for emergency situations only; (iv) plant local forage plants in the desert range lands; (v) restrict conversion of agricultural and grazing land to residential areas; (vi) reintroduce key species inside and outside protected areas particularly in private farms; (vii) minimize the use of agricultural pesticides and chemical fertilizers, introduce integrated pest management (IPM) for all irrigated crops; (viii) regulate grazing and ensuring a balanced utilization of ranges; (ix) implement controlled grazing schedules that promote range land rehabilitation, also introducing livestock feeding stations that keep livestock away from the range lands for most of the year; (x) establish and upgrade seed collections and seed banks of local wild varieties, cultivated land races of plants, sperm and ova of local domestic animals and important micro-organisms; (xi) protect local varieties of cultivated crops and trees and limit the importation of exotic species that compete with local varieties; (xii) protect and reintroduce key marine species such as sea turtles and corals not only to improve the productivity of the marine ecosystem but also, following a twin-track approach, to attract tourists and divers from around the world; (xiii) develop legislation to protect aquatic species and promote sustainable use, such as regulations on the number of licensed fishing boats, the mesh size of nets, closed seasons. etc.; and (xiv) reduce by-catch and the accidental deaths of species of special management concerns such as sea turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and sea birds.
In order to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the Plan suggests (i) provide credit facilities to local enterprises working in ecotourism and encourage purchase of more goods and services from local shops in an effort to help the local communities; (ii) a change in the type and quantity of subsidies offered to pastoralists to encourage them to keep smaller numbers of livestock, given the need for less and not more livestock on the desert range lands; (iii) reduction of livestock numbers by offering livestock owners with a ready and reliable outlet to sell their animals; (iv) support to farmers raising local breeds of domestic animals, also establishing artificial insemination and embryo transfer centers; and (v) develop a system of agricultural incentives that promote the conservation of local agricultural biodiversity and support the cultivation of local varieties by farmers in their fields.
As for the Governance, for each goal the Action Plan indicates the responsible institutions and the monitoring indicators. It is also requested a wide review of existing legislation.
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