The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has won the top prize at the Arab Scientific Society Organisation Award for the best project in the Arab world in the field of environment in 2020.
The organisation announced the winners in several categories at a ceremony held in Doha on Tuesday.
The ministry won the award for its project to develop artificial coral reefs. A total of 90 projects submitted by individuals and institutions from 13 Arab countries vied for the awards.
The aim of the awards is to encourage innovation in sustainable and successful projects, and to demonstrate the existence of practical solutions to many environmental problems in the Arab region.
The awards focused on creative projects and ingenious technologies in environmental sciences, water and soil quality, and pollution treatment.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has implemented large-scale artificial coral reef projects in 14 wilayats of the sultanate. A total of 13,906 artificial reefs were grown in these sites from 2003 to 2019.
The development of these projects aims to increase fish stocks, provide an environment conducive to fishing and, consequently, increase income of fishermen. The ministry also seeks to develop the tourism sector by creating an attractive environment for diving and related tourist activities, and create a suitable environment to carry out scientific studies.
In 2019, the ministry inaugurated its largest artificial coral reef off the coast of Suwaiq spread over an area of 20 x 7km. The project, called Suwaiq Marine Farm Artificial Reef Complex, has 4,280 coral reef units. Besides benefitting Suwaiq’s fishermen, it will boost tourism.