Green Mangroves — New Environmentally Minded Organization Launches in Qatar by Lina Nayel

As you hold a paddle in your hand, gliding through the crystal clear water in a kayak, birds soar over your head, making these mangroves forests a miracle found in a country covered by deserts: Qatar. The lush, yet vulnerable mangrove forests are situated on a breathtaking place called Purple Island. The island is home to flaming-pink flamingos, hermit crabs, invertebrates, and numerous species that dot the ecosystem.

BUT this miracle is on the brink of disappearing because of city expansion, and littered waste that chokes sea turtles, affecting food webs. Sooner or later the effect will reach your backyard, so a group of tree huggers congregated to make you an island ranger, and a world changer !

These seven project leaders come from 5 different continents. And also work in a wide variety of vocations, some are pastry chefs, graphic designers, geography teachers, business developers, architects, IT managers, and even high school students!

Hoping to establish a natural reserve in Purple Island, they formed a volunteer group called Green Mangroves in 2015 to protect mangroves by empowering people of all ages, encouraging them to become self-powered island rangers.

Green Mangroves organizes weekly trips for the public to Purple Island in which a pair of the project members lead 6 public participants. These expeditions are to be launched on September 2015, extending for five months annually.The trips include three sectors:

1. Kayaking is the way of transportation around the island, which allows us to navigate and observe the species in a deeper perspective.

2. The second part of the trip includes cleanup and recycling. Green Mangroves is currently partnered with a metals recycling company, Global Metals, and is hoping to expand into plastics’ recycling once a partnership with a local plastics’ recycling company is made available.

3. The last sector of the trip integrates hands-on learning and conservation. What could be better than kids waddling in the water to catch fish and observe it, making suggestions on why does this specific species lives in this tidal zone. With smiles spreaidng over their excited faces, they return the fish back to its habitat, making sure nothing gets affected by the trace of humans. By using compasses, transacts, and sampling techniques; awareness spreads while the hands of participants touch and feel the world around them, creating a bond between man and nature.

Our primary policy is that learning comes through involving people, rather than giving speeches, or presentations that as soon as the presenter leaves the place, notions disappear into thin air.

By collaborating with Mapworks Learning, new hope is emerging for mangroves in Purple Island. Frequent updates will be sent to Mapworks Learning to expand awareness about mangroves in Qatar. The next step would be borrowing Garmin devices to map the area, providing precise, yet unknown data about his miracle. This could be put at use with a future project between Mapworks Learning and Qatar University, especially in the research sector. Green Mangroves is truly looking forwards to this stupendous opportunity!

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