The environment remains a central concern at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). And to praise those who have catalysed the nation’s transformation towards a green future, five awards were presented last night to select QF staff and students.
Held in the Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Centre, those honoured addressed ways to drive Qatar to a knowledge economy and reduce carbon dependency.
“This is such a wonderful celebration of a grassroots effort, and that’s where sustainability has to come from, it’s about people who care and really want to make sure that there’s a sustainable future for Qatar, “said Dr. Dennis Roberts (pictured), Assistant Vice President for Faculty and Student Services at QF. “It’s fun to see kids take pride in making a difference, and if they can learn this at an elementary level they will be the change agents that create a future sustainable world,” he continued.
Enforcing Qatar’s National Vision 2030 for a healthy and maintainable future, the ceremony’s attendees have been, and will continue to be committed to, promoting sustainability nationwide.
“The projects nominated for awards not only had to be related to the Qatar National Vision 2030, but also connected with environmental sustainability. Tonight’s event serves as an avenue to highlight these types of best practice for others to follow,” said Chris Silva, QF’s Sustainability Education Coordinator.
One award recipient was Grade Four from Qatar Academy Primary School, winner of the ‘2012 Sustainability Education Award for Excellence in the Classroom.’ Praised for its ‘Save the Last Bucket of Water in Doha,’ project, students were tasked with debating whether water conservation or desalination were the most efficient route to preserving water in Qatar.
“Our class was split into two groups for debate, and I personally think it’s more important for Qatar to save its water and avoid the desalination process, ” said Thomas Paterson, one Grade Four student who was present at the event. To receive such an award is a clear indicator that he and his peers have not only increased awareness of water consumption in Qatar, but understand how to reduce their daily amounts of water usage in the future.
Other recipients of awards included the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Qatar Energy and Environmental Research Institute, Qatar National Research Fund, Tout Le Monde from Reach Out To Asia, and the Facilities Department from Georgetown University-School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
“As part of our efforts to promote green initiatives, the awards recognised what students and staff have achieved in the past year to raise environmental awareness,” said Jamil Karam, QF’s Director of Student Life. “And these baby steps are really crucial for promoting sustainability amongst our youth, because when they grow up they will be able to make a big difference,” he continued.
Attendees also watched a variety of short films related to environmentally-friendly practices, in celebration of the nation’s progress towards a sustainable future. Winners were awarded with a certificate and trophy.
While the country’s abundant wealth has created previously undreamt of opportunities, there are still formidable challenges for the future. And recognising that Qatar cannot rely on pearls, gas or oil indefinitely, QF continues to uphold its responsibility for encouraging sustainable efforts across the country.