Development in Qatar is taking place at an unprecedented rate and such activities are putting the environment at risk, and threatening the ecosystem and biodiversity of the country. According to the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country seeks to preserve and protect its unique environment. The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) is tracking environmental impacts arising from development using tools such as Environmental Impact Assessments and Construction Environmental Management Plans. Although the MME does have a process for review and approval of the content of these assessments, it does not, however, enforce guidelines for ecological survey methodology. This means that the scope and methodology of these surveys may vary, based on the consultant employed. We feel that it would be highly beneficial to introduce country-specific ecological survey guidelines addressing methods for sample point selection, estimating vegetation cover, fauna presence and addressing the need for nocturnal fauna surveys. This will lead to standardized methods and easier comparisons across different sites. We also discuss the need for MME to have a register for professionally qualified and recognized ecologists in the country. Ecologists must be highly qualified with experience in desert environments, and have intricate knowledge of local laws and regulations on the conservation of natural environments and sustainable development.


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