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“Qatar sets climate, environment goals”

“Qatar sets climate, environment goals”

(MENAFN- Gulf Times).

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change HE Dr Faleh bin Ahmed al-Thani spoke with Abdullah Ghanem al-Binali al-Mohannadi (Editor-in-Chief, Arrayah) in the first interview.

HE the Minister answered questions on a wide variety of topics, including:
When will the overlap of interests between the Ministries of Environment & the Municipality be resolved
How will the ministry deal in ‘dust ‘…? And what will happen to the crushers. (operating in stone quarries)
You could extend camping all year, or reduce fees.
What has Qatar’s progress been in tackling climate change?
When will the series on trespassing land come to an end?
What is the future of waste and wastewater recycling?
Is the current environmental law sufficient for deterring violators?
What have the air quality monitoring stations for sea water and seawater done?
When will nature reserve doors be opened to the public again?
Is the ministry able to raise awareness about environmental risks?

Extracts from the interview

Minister of Environment and Climate Change HE Sheikh Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed al-Thani has said that the creation of a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change was a strategic move. This affirms the ongoing interest and support that His Holiness the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani shows in the cause of the environment and climate and gives an impetus for the State’s efforts to combat climate change.

The ministry is currently focusing on developing the organisational structure for the ministry and creating specialised departments that will play an important role in the success or sustainable development projects. They will help the ministry achieve its goals of preserving the environment, encouraging green growth, and limiting climate change. The ministry will be adding new departments such as the sector of nature reserve and protection of wildlife. Another proposal is to create a sector to combat climate change.

It is noted that the ministry works in coordination with the authorities in the country in order to develop the organisational structure and create specialised departments that will play an essential role in the success in sustainable development projects. They will help achieve the ministry’s goals of preserving the environment, encouraging green growth, and limiting climate change. It will be implemented by the Qatar National Action Plan for Climate Change 2030. This plan will reflect the State’s direction in the environment field and help it achieve its aspirations.
This is in addition to the completion of other sectoral strategies the Ministry is currently working to implement such as the National Biodiversity Strategy (2015)-2025 and the Programmes in the National Action Plan to Combat Desertification (2015)-2024.
To preserve the ozone layer and restore biodiversity, to protect wildlife and marine lives, combat deterioration due to various activities, and to enhance Qatar’s involvement in international climate and environment agreements.
He stated that the ministry’s current situation requires the creation of new sectors, such as the nature reserves and protection sector for wildlife.
Despite the existence within the current structure of a department for wildlife protection, its efforts were confined to protecting existing wildlife.
There are no special projects that can multiply, develop, or diversify them.
He stated that one of his proposals was to separate marine control from land control, and to establish an independent administration.
There is another proposal to establish a sector on climate change, with the goal to achieve sustainable development that doesn’t negatively impact the environment. For example, maintaining the sustainability in energy and water.
We are currently preparing legislation to provide incentives for community members to use electric cars to help sustain natural resources.
He stated that the ministry has completed the update draft of the environmental law as well as its implementing regulations.
It is currently being reviewed by the competent authorities.
Concerning the project to monitor nature reserves with cameras to monitor violation, he stated that there is a plan for security surveillance cameras to be installed in some fenced nature reserve to protect them from encroachments.
To test them and ensure their tolerance to external conditions, and their efficiency in monitoring, the implementation of other phases of this project will begin. The cameras in the targeted reserves will be installed.
The ministry will continue to use the best practices and the latest technologies to increase the efficiency of inspections and control and to reduce abuses on the environment.
In this regard, the environmental monitoring teams, which are located in different parts of the country, work round the clock to protect the country’s meadows reserves, coasts, and meadows from any environmental encroachments, abuses, or violations.
I urge all citizens and residents of the area to support it by reporting any environmental violations by calling the number 184.
The Ministry’s competent departments set the environmental requirements for every project, including industrial projects and infrastructure projects.
These inspectors are responsible for monitoring the implementation of these requirements during construction and after project operation.
The Ministry is working on a project to install an information management system for laboratories.

What is the purpose?
The Laboratory Information Management System is one tool that can improve the performance of environmental laboratories in accordance with international standards.
It is a program that improves productivity and efficiency in laboratories.
Documenting laboratory results and data in a database.
This helps to track and analyze data related to samples, experiments, and the progression of laboratory operations and tools.
It is important to control the quality of the materials used in it.
What is the explanation for this phenomenon? How large is it and how can it possibly be prevented?
Fish deaths may be caused by one of the recurring natural phenomenon in the Arabian Gulf such as red tides, which are caused due to an increase in nutrients and phytoplankton.
The spatial-temporal scale of the phenomenon determines the number of fish that dies.
Noting that the Gulf countries work together in continuous coordination to track and monitor the evolution of this phenomenon.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change periodically takes samples of marine water to analyze and monitor concentrations of nutrients and phytoplankton.
Monitoring the ratios of organic to inorganic chemical variables is also important.
He said that the ministry works every year to facilitate camping in terms of registration and procedures.
We are looking forward to the next season, when we will add services to meet the needs of the camps. This will be announced in due time.
He stated that camping is not possible all year round. A committee oversees this and decides if it should be extended.
He stated that the camping fees are fairly reasonable and not excessively expensive when compared to the state’s charges to provide many services for the camp.
Concerning complaints regarding dust and the disturbance caused by crushers in some areas he confirmed that there is an ongoing plan to create four logistic areas that will host activities related the the recycling of construction wastes, gravel, excavation products, and sand.
He answered a question about the high price of ordinary sand and washed, despite it being available in large quantities in Sealine or Al-Naqian. He said that sand was the cheapest commodity in Qatar. Its price per cubic meter is QR4, and a full load of sand may not cost more than 100 Rials.
Because of its low cost, some companies use it in areas other than landfill. Therefore, we will, in cooperation with Ministry of Municipality, review the issue of sand and either raise its price or establish specific procedures for its usage.
He said that the Ministries of Municipality and Environment have overlapping competences. Work is ongoing in coordination with the Ministry of Municipality in order to complete the separation process in a manner that serves both the interests of both the parties and ensures the flow of work.
Both ministries have formed special committees to oversee the process of separation.
The committees have made a significant contribution to the separation process and it is expected that it will be completed in the near future.
He spoke out about the air quality monitoring stations at the World Cup stadiums and said that they are part the expansion of the country’s air monitoring network.
The ministry has contracted a specialized company for the installation, maintenance, and operation of these stations prior to the 2022 World Cup matches.
They will include 8 major stadiums and training fields. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy collaborated with them in selecting and preparing station sites that meet the highest international standards.
The first air quality monitoring station has been installed near Qatar University’s training grounds.
It has the latest international technologies and is connected to the national network for air quality monitoring.
A station was also installed at Al Janoub Stadium.
It is currently being activated to prepare for its operation and link it with the national air quality monitoring system.
Al Thumama Stadium is currently undergoing construction of a second station.
His Excellency the minister closed by answering a question regarding greenhouse gases. He stated: “The State of Qatar is fully aware of the urgent need and to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses, also known as the greenhouse gases.”
Last year was a foundation for Qatar to move forward in its handling of this issue.
The launch of the National Strategy for Environment and Climate Change, which was centered around reducing greenhouse gas emissions in five priority areas, and our submission of Qatar’s nationally determined contribution plan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This reflects the ambition Qatar has in addressing climate change.

Last updated: February 5, 2022 at 11:30 PM

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