Shura Council Discusses Environment Issues, Reviews Conservation Strategies

05 June 2023

The Shura Council held on Monday its ordinary weekly meeting at Tamim bin Hamad Hall under the chairmanship of HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim.

In the presence of HE Minister of Environment and Climate Change Sheikh Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani, the council discussed a number of issues related to environment, plans and strategies of conserving the environment, along with the most prominent challenges and projects in this field.

At the onset of the session, HE Speaker of the Shura Council praised the efforts being exerted by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) to implement the National Environment and Climate Change Strategy (QNE), pointing, in this context, to the close connection between Qatari people and their environment since ancient times, and their keenness to never damage it something which is rooted in their behaviors and habits they inherited from their ancestors.

His Excellency asserted that ancestors had consolidated the sustainability concepts and environment conservation through their coexistence with terrestrial and marine environments.

He said that ancestors instinctively realized that they are an extension of that environment, and their survival is linked to its sustainability.

Therefore, respect for the environment stems from Qatar's culture, heritage, and reality, and is rooted in the countrys behavior.

For his part, HE Minister of Environment and Climate Change delivered a presentation that addressed a myriad of environmental issues, including the most prominent challenges facing this sector and the exerted efforts made to counter them, reviewing the QNE's strategy as a core pillar for public policies to preserve environment for the current and future generations.

In this context, HE Minister of Environment and Climate Change affirmed that the State of Qatar-thanks to the vision of its wise leadership and with the efforts of the people of Qatar and its scientists and institutions-became a model in achieving the integrated development, preserving the environment and reducing influential carbon emissions in climate change, pointing out that the ministry has made great strides in achieving its national strategy goals.

He stated that the ministry is currently working on developing the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability within its third National Development Strategy 2023-2030, which includes 5 areas of work, 29 strategic goals and 89 initiatives that include 99 strategic projects, in addition to laying out and implementing the National Climate Change Action Plan which identified 300 actions to reduce the actual or anticipated effects of climate change.

HE Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani pointed out that the ministry has achieved a number of projects and initiatives in its three sectors represented in environment affairs sector, protection and natural reserves affairs sector and climate change affairs sector, underscoring MoECC's keenness to have the overall infrastructure projects and architectural and engineering constructions fulfill the country's vision in conserving the environment and reducing the pollution with its all forms.

In addition, His Excellency noted the country's keenness to achieve the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whether in constructing the infrastructure, or building and establishing numerous eco-friendly smart cities and green buildings other than dependence on technology to overcome all challenges that faced that process.

During the presentation, His Excellency addressed the efforts in safeguarding biodiversity in the State of Qatar, emphasizing MoECC's keenness to propagate the culture of environment conservation through engaging the community.

He talked about MoECC's efforts in modernizing the legislations, as well as response plans to environmental incidences and develop action mechanisms in all MoECC's structures and departments through bolstering the quality of environmental data and striving to disseminate and modernize them.

With regard to surveillance, HE Minister of Environment and Climate Change Sheikh Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani stressed MoECC's keenness to enforce the law and legislations, in pursuit of conserving the environment to monitor any potential infractions that could damage local environment or polluting it, in collaboration with relevant entities, pointing out that MoECC has completed the digitization process for most services it offers to the public, in addition to leveraging technology in all its departments' works in light of its priority to the national talents.

Responding to comments and questions raised by Their Excellencies members of the Shura Council, HE the minister underlined the country's capability to handle various emergencies, such as radioactive contamination via an early warning network to be rigorously modernized followed by preemption through carrying out special courses to handle these cases.

His Excellency outlined the steps MoECC is taking to overcome all problems raised by the Shura Council, stressing that the ministry is interested in all comments, proposals and envisions laid out in the council.

For their part, Their Excellencies members of the Shura Council lauded MoECC's role, along with its efforts to conserve the environment, emphasizing the council's keenness to support these efforts that aim to conserve the environment and promote Qatar's global stature in countering climate change in commensurate with Qatar National Vision 2030.

The interventions made by Their Excellencies members of the Shura council were primarily focused on protecting the environment against encroachment, conserving, and strengthening vegetation, importance of achieving ecological balance to protect wildlife with the essential utilization of the countrys natural reserves for the service of eco-tourism and highlighting Qatari heritage, traditions, and customs through it.

In the same context, Their Excellencies the members raised many questions focused on air quality in the State of Qatar and the percentage of pollutants in the air, whether they are industrial, or natural, along with MoECC's efforts to improve air quality.

They also tackled the importance of improving the productivity of agricultural land and interest in groundwater.

In their interventions, members of the Shura Council also focused on the country's readiness to handle any potential radioactive contamination, stressing the importance of taking all essential precautionary measures and operationalizing early warning systems to curb any potential risks.

In another context, members of the Shura Council noted the adverse impacts of expansion in mangroves plantation and called for studying these impacts and laying out solutions that address the adverse impacts arising from mangroves plantation in some areas.

At the conclusion of the presentation, HE Speaker of the Shura Council, and on behalf of his brothers members of the council, hailed all efforts undertaken by the country based on the directives of the wise leadership, in pursuit of conserving the environment, enhancing vegetation and biodiversity and supporting the international efforts devoted to reducing carbon emissions and countering climate change.