Provision of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan for the State of Qatar
Wataniya Environmental Services (WES) accomplished the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) project in March 2015. Commissioned by Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning with cooperation of Ministry of Environment, WES has proudly drafted the first ICZM national policy in the Gulf Cooperation Council area.
Coastal zones compromise a very complex system and interacted subsystems. Despite their importance, they are often under different perceptions by policy and decision makers, regulators, scientists, planners and designers, economists, locals and beneficiaries, project managers and engineers, international and regional agencies.
Coastal and marine resources economy is huge and growing, where many of these resources such as coral reef, mangrove and seagrass provide priceless services and goods for the nature and the human beings.
In spite of the importance of coastal zones, they are often managed under sectorial scheme of different governmental sectors, which creates “conflict of interests”. Coastal beneficiaries and authorities of competency and regulation often have different interests, objectives, and instruments. This pattern of management always results in conflicts over the land uses.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) plans are intended to harmonize different perceptions and interests, and unify objectives and instruments to achieve planned objectives.
Qatar’s coastline stretches for approximately 700 kilometers and is home to a variety of ecosystems and habitats, all of which are vulnerable and irreplaceable natural resources, hosting approximately 2000 known species, nearly half of them is marine species.
Environmental Impact Assessment and Site Assessment projects
WES has carried out in Qatar different EIA and site assessment projects for gas stations.
Gas stations are a source of two major types of pollution, air and soil pollution. On one hand, air pollution could be created by volatile chemicals vaporizing during the process of gas filling. On the other hand, soil pollution can be caused by underground pipes or storage tanks rusting or leaking, by which contaminants slowly leak into the surrounding soils and groundwater.
Old gas stations are among the many toxic sites to urban and rural landscapes. Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs) contain hazardous liquids, primarily hydrocarbon products such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene or oil. Many of these old tanks are leaking and forming hydrocarbon plumes that may contaminate groundwater, and the surrounding environment.
In Qatar, gas stations recently have become an issue of a national concern after a few life and property risk incidents. Therefore, the Government of Qatar has established a national committee to monitor gas stations compliance with HSE rules and regulations. The committee is chaired by QP and Civil Defence, and includes members of concerned institutions namely Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy and Trade, Ministry of Transportation, Kahramaa, Qatar Rail, and Qatar Fuel (Woqood).
Ministry of Environment (MOE) is currently requiring further environmental investigations as part of the overall EIA process, to issue environmental permits for any gas stations including new stations and extension/maintenance of existing stations.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process by which project’s environmental impacts are identified and assessed, proper mitigation and monitoring measures are proposed. EIA is a decision support tool, which enables decision makers to evaluate project’s sustainability and environmental impacts, and therefore take the right decision for further proceeding.
WES has been commissioned by Gulf Consulting Group to carry out EIA and Site Assessment for number of gas stations in Qatar, which are under maintenance.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments have focused on gathering specific information as required about the property including the following tasks:
- Drilling of a number of boreholes for sampling;
- Subsurface soil and groundwater sampling, through drilled boreholes in the vicinity of each gas station facilities;
- Vapour sampling (along with laboratory analysis);
- Directly measurement of air quality and air pollution levels on different locations on-site; and
- Assessment of labor exposure to environmental and working conditions.
Results of Phase II ESA have been used to identify needs for further remedial action plans, and determine whether conditions or events at the site are causing or likely to cause adverse effects and will require notification to the appropriate regulatory authority.