When you think of Qatar, what is the first image that comes to mind? Do you picture vast deserts and plenty of warmth, or do you envision a growing city that is bustling with life and a giant economy day in and day out? If you imagined either one of these scenarios, you are not incorrect.
Qatar, although it has rapidly evolved in the past few decades, was known for quite some time for its lack of trees and other forms of greenery.
Why are there no trees in Qatar?
Qatar has gone through a lot of changes in the past few decades alone. Once a vast desert with plenty of old buildings and crumbling infrastructure, Qatar has since been transformed into a wealthy, bustling city for those who can afford it. While the rebuild was occurring in Qatar, trees were not considered a top priority, and many that were left were removed entirely.
It is also important to keep in mind that Qatar is located in a desert climate, making it much more difficult for trees to survive on their own. There are specific trees that are suitable for desert climates and regions such as Qatar.
Causes of a Lack of Trees in Qatar
A lack of trees in Qatar can be explained by simply remembering that Qatar is in a desert climate, which can be extremely hot and dry year-round, making it difficult for vegetation to grow, including simple trees. As Qatar began to expand and rebuild, it created a giant metropolitan city of its own. Those rebuilding Qatar with their high-rise buildings and skyscrapers neglected to consider any of the trees or vegetation that stood in its way, thus leaving the city flattened without any trace of trees that once lived.
As the importance of trees and nature becomes more well-known throughout the world, initiatives such as manmade forests are becoming even more commonplace, even outside of desert areas such as Qatar.
Is it healthy to live somewhere without trees?
Not always. In fact, trees provide plenty of benefits in nature and for the health of humans and surrounding wildlife. Without a properly balanced ecosystem involving trees, those living in Qatar may face bigger issues when it comes to pollution and oxygen quality, which ultimately impact the overall quality of life.
Concerns Due to a Lack of Trees
Trees provide more than a beautiful and calming atmosphere to enjoy. Trees are typically a source of oxygen, and help to create healthy, sustainable environments naturally in the world without man’s interference. Locations without trees have a much greater risk of:
- A lack of clean oxygen and breathing air for those living in the area and region
- Increased greenhouse gases such as CO2
- Increased air pollution and toxins without a natural way to absorb and/or eliminate the toxins in the air
Adding Trees Back to Qatar
In 2016, the Public Works Authority in Qatar launched the idea of a brand new project where Qatar would be responsible for planting its very own manmade forest. This forest would include up to 95,000 manmade trees, helping to revive nature that was left behind in the reconstruction of Qatar itself. Currently, there are thousands of trees being planted in and throughout Qatar, spread over 280,000 square meters between lakes and pieces of land scattered throughout Qatar.
The trees have all been chosen based on their ability to thrive in Qatar’s natural climate and atmosphere, ensuring that they will survive and remain as sustainable as possible for years and decades to come.
Location of Qatar’s Manmade Forest
Qatar’s manmade forest is currently located around a sewage treatment center. The sewage treatment center is the Doha North Sewage Treatment Works Plant, which is located north of Doha in Umm Salal Ali.
Is a Manmade Forest the Same as a Natural Forest?
Yes and no. While nothing can quite compare with nature’s ability to adapt and create thriving atmospheres out of seemingly nowhere, a manmade forest in Qatar is better than no trees or growing wildlife whatsoever. With advanced technologies and choosing the proper trees for the Qatar forest, those living in Qatar can still greatly benefit from the thousands of trees and forms of vegetation that have been planted in the area.
Irrigation of the Qatar Forest
Because the manmade Qatar forest is located near the Doha North Sewage Treatment Works Plant, it has a natural source of irrigation. The sewage treatment plant is working with the authorities of Qatar to create treated effluent that can assist in the irrigation process of managing the plants and trees that are being taken care of in the manmade forest itself. This helps to save on the costs of seeking out additional resources to maintain the forest, especially as it continues to grow and expand.
Benefits of Using a Manmade Forest
While nothing will ever compare to a natural forest, a manmade forest in today’s time is extremely advanced and very similar to a standard natural forest. Some of the benefits that come along with building a manmade forest in Qatar include:
- Help reduce air pollution through the use of natural trees and forest vegetation
- Help to maintain and manage the climate in Qatar with a properly balanced natural ecosystem in place
- Reducing the overall greenhouse gases emitted from the local area, including CO2 itself.
- Reduce and/or eliminate surrounding pollution which can diminish air quality and the overall quality of life for surrounding residents and citizens in Qatar.
Visiting the Manmade Forest in Qatar
It is currently possible to visit the manmade forest in Qatar, if you are a resident or even if you are visiting as a tourist. The manmade forest has many seating areas and areas to enjoy a relaxing picnic for those who live in Qatar but miss seeing trees in nature as part of their everyday life. Although Qatar has undergone major changes to its terrain and surrounding environment, it is seemingly also getting back to its roots with its massive manmade forest.
While a manmade forest is not going to ever be just the same as a natural forest, it does provide Qatar with the environmental benefits it needs to continue to grow and thrive as a successful country today.
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