Clean Air drive launch in October
THE first-of-its-kind Qatar Clean Air Research (QCAR) workshop was held on April 23 and 24 with the goal of bringing together stakeholders from different fields to address the complexity of air pollution management in Qatar and the GCC. Qatar Tribune’s Ramy Salama spoke with Peter N Vangsbo, an environmental consultant who chaired the workshop. Excerpts: Q. What was the QCAR workshop all about? A. The reason for the QCAR workshop was to find ways to improve health standards, the environment, and the quality of life, in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030. One big first that the workshop accomplished, was to bring researchers, decision- makers, industries, consultants, NGOs and students to the same table. The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, the Supreme Health Council, and a lot of important industries, all participated.
Elaborate on some outcomes of the workshop.
There were actually a lot of expected outcomes, and I think we met them all. One of them was to measure what to do in Qatar, and mapping initiatives – like research programmes, and mapping concerns – for industries, consultants, and decisionmakers.
We had a special table for the students – it was really important for our workshop that we include the students, the decision- makers of tomorrow.
One other outcome was that we created a national network.
This network will be driven by Qatar University, and called Clean Air Qatar. It will be the base for sharing information, data views and events. It will be a communication platform. It is to be launched in October 2012, and we will have a launch event here in Doha. To make it sustainable we will request support from industries, and we will try to engage other stakeholders, with a focus on students, and the young.
What are the future plans, follow-up events? Already, we are planning to have a side event on air quality and climate change for the upcoming 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is to be held in Doha in November.
The QCAR workshop is not just a one-off event, but is to be sustainable. We are going to process the information, and the outcomes from the workshop.
We will evaluate that and bring it to the decision-makers, so we will make a catalogue of good ideas for research and best practice procedures and recommendations which will be distributed to future participants in our events, and presented to the Ministry of Environment so that they’re engaged in this dialogue.