2023 SAG Award Winners

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

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Project Goal

The AL REEM PROTECTED AREA, in northwest of Qatar, was designated a Biosphere Reserve in the year 2007 under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program. It comprised of three distinct zones of specific function - the Core Zone, Buffer Zone and the Transition Zone. Since a Biosphere reserve is subject to periodic review every 10 years, an Expert Team tasked with the review exercise noticed a need to redefine the zones to reflect the pressures, their impacts and the changes in last 10 years.
A new Zonation was derived based on spatial planning and analysis of spatial data representing different components and aspects of the Reserve. GIS was used extensively in preparing base maps, surface models, delineation of sensitive areas and finally arriving at a Zone Plan for the present state of reserve. The entire task, the results therein, including the unique features that define the Reserve was put together and presented as an educative and informative ESRI Story Map named AL REEM BIOSPHERE RESERV
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Business Problem Solved

Al REEM BIOSPHERE RESERVE covers an area of 1154 km2,. Field studies across the entire area were carried out in summers and winters. GIS was exclusively used in the redefining the zones. Spatial datasets of Geology, Soil, Land Degradation, Heritage, Topography and Policy Plan formed the basis of the spatial planning in defining new zones. Areas of significant biodiversity were identified. Areas representing aesthetics, landforms supporting animal and plant habitat were identified. Spatial themes representing Floral Sensitivity area, Faunal Sensitivity area, Landform & aesthetics Sensitivity area and cultural heritage area were mapped. Similarly land use sensitivity maps were prepared combining settlements, infrastructure, areas of human impact. The synoptic maps and other derived datasets were combined and used to derive a NEW ZONING SCHEME showing redefined Core Zone, Buffer Zone and Transition Zone. The new zoning scheme has been subsequently accepted and implemented.

Technology Implemented

Enterprise GIS is at the core of the AL REEM BIOSPHERE RESERVE application. Spatial Data preparation, Mapping, data analysis, publishing REST services was carried out in ArcMAP and ArcGIS Pro. Field data was captured using ArcGIS Collector. Relevant REST Services and WEB Map were published and hosted on ArcGIS Server and Portal for ArcGIS respectively. All the resulting GIS resources combined with appropriate pictures and text narrative were presented as a ESRI STORY MAP – A web Based application that combines the efficiency of GIS with illustrated description of key components of the biosphere reserve.

Development Team Biography

Mr. Nawaf J Al Nuaimi, Asst. Director, Natural Reserves Department, MECC.
Over 25 years of experience in administrative supervision and heading work teams to identify, manage and develop Nature Reserves in State of Qatar.
Expertise: Biodiversity, Biosphere Reserve, Policy Planning and Management for PAs
Head of Working Group - Al Reem Biosphere Reserve, Khor AL Adaid and AL Thakhira Reserves
Dr. Sayed Jamal Bukhari, Environmental Expert, Environmental GIS, MECC
Over 27 years in Academics, Environmental Research, GIS Implementation & Management.
Expertise: Coastal Morphodynamics and Nearshore geo-environment, Spatial Planning and Analysis of Natural Reserves and MPAs.
Mr. Tarek Abulhawa, Independent Consultant, Nature conservation and Sustainable development.
Over 20 years in Biodiversity conservation, Natural Resource Management, and Sustainable development in Arab Region.
Expertise: Nature conservation, Planning, Integrated socio-economic development, Community engagemen