What are the areas of focus for the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment and its notable initiatives during the past year?
The past year has seen a concerted effort to advance agricultural production to achieve the desired food security which contributed to the success of the Qatari agricultural sector. Over the past year, the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment has launched several initiatives for private investors, including 10 projects for the production of vegetables in greenhouses with a total production capacity of 21,000 tons annually; four projects for the production of green fodder with treated wastewater with a total production capacity of about 17,000 tons annually; two projects to produce organic fertilizers with a total production capacity of about 12,000 tons annually; two projects to produce concentrated fodder with a total production capacity of about 50,000 tons annually; one project for fish farming in floating cages with a total production capacity of about 2,000 tons annually; and one shrimp farming project with a production capacity of about 1,000 tons annually. In the field of urban planning, the ministry adopted three main areas in 2019 in the framework of activating a comprehensive urban plan for Qatar and achieving its most important principles, by preparing a number of studies, the most important of which are: preparing the preliminary draft of the Urban Planning Law with the goal of completing the creation of an integrated urban system for Qatar; a national guidelines for urban design to improve the level of the urban environment, which aims to activate sustainable building practices by formulating national guidelines for urban design; and preparing and adopting the National Housing Strategy in Qatar project, with the aim of promoting access to adequate housing at the right time and place for all layers of society and defining the real needs of the present and future, while protecting and enhancing the natural and historical environment. In the field of environmental affairs, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment has made many efforts, most notably: implementing the requirements of the international agreements signed by Qatar, the most important of which is the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; the participation of the ministry and many government and private agencies in implementing an initiative to plant 1 million trees; the implementation of the ministry's sustainable initiatives to increase the level of monitoring networks for the quality of air and sea water, as well as warning networks for radioactive pollution and oil pollution and the development of various emergency plans; protecting and conserving biological diversity in the national environment through projects to conserve endangered wild plants; and the continuation of projects to conserve globally endangered marine animals in the territorial waters of the country, including hawksbill turtles, whales, sharks, and manatees. The State of Qatar has also implemented the Karaana Lake project to rehabilitate and restore the area to its natural condition. Among the most important components of the project are three artificial lakes with a storage capacity of about 2.4 million cbm. Their function is to store treated wastewater coming from the Karaana treatment plant. With its clean water and greenery, these lakes constitute a new healthy habitat for wild and water life.
Through the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, how do you assess the impact of the green vision on the economy and lifestyle in Qatar?
As is well known, the green economy aims to convert to a low carbon economy and enhance the efficient use of resources by all economic groups and society. Ensuring sustainable economic and social growth is not possible without a comprehensive environmental vision that will lead to sustainable economic growth for future generations. The State of Qatar is also a founding member of the International Institute for Green Growth, and the ministry is currently working on a work program that includes preparing a national strategy for green growth in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.