Posted on November 19, 2011

Aimed at promoting environmentally sustainable practices nationwide, representatives from one of Qatar Green Building Council’s (QGBC) interest groups– the Solid Waste Interest Group (SWIG) spearheaded the research and analysis element of the first integrated dog walk and beach cleanup in Qatar.

The activities were held at the mangroves in Al Wakra on November 18th 2011 in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.

Participants and Organisers

Ascribing to long term benefits for the country in line with Qatar's National Development Strategy (NDS) 2011-16, QGBC-SWIG plays a key role in ensuring that for the first time at a beach cleanup in Qatar, waste collected will be segregated and analyzed with a view to recycle, reuse or dispose in an environmentally-sensitive manner.

The information collected will be used to develop a set of guidelines for future coastal clean-up events as well as to encourage waste minimization by companies and individuals through such awareness drives. The event set to grow into a bi-annual event is supported by key local partners.

Participants delivering collected garbage in the segregation area

A spokesperson at QGBC commented: “This initiative aims to produce an eye-opening and innovative documentation on the origins of solid waste, for instance from the built environment that is washed up on the local beaches, endangering the fragile ecosystems available in Qatar. Companies are thereby responsible to maintain social consciousness in cutting back on such environmental impact.”

“Through our membership program and with our relationship with Gulf Organization for Research & Development (GORD), we aim to advise companies in Qatar in adopting environmental and green building best practice guidelines minimizing waste, thereby helping them meet global green building standards,” he added.

On a similar note, Dr. Sarah Clarke, Coordinator of QGBC- SWIG stated, “Our involvement in this event, organized by Aso sa Qatar (ASQAT) in partnership with IloveQatar.net, was to help ensure that the benefits to Qatar were greater than the short term clean-up of a stretch of mangroves. This clean-up also draws attention to the growing lack of open, unspoilt natural spaces like beaches where families can relaxand enjoy nature.”

The results of the analysis compiled by Dr. Clarke and Ronnie Anderson, Business Development and Qatar Branch Manager AMEC BlackCat, will be presented at the QGBC-SWIG launch event on 27 November 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doha. The report will be used to advise organizations and individuals about the need for effective solid waste management.

Dog Walkers cleaning up the beach

In addition to data collection and report compilation, many member organizations of QGBC-SWIG were involved in the beach cleanup. AMEC Black Cat provided the health and safety briefing prior to the event, along with administrative & HSE support, safety gloves, hygiene products etc. Qatar Plastic Products Company provided the participants with 1000 trash bags made from recycled plastic, while Seashore Waste Management Division provided eco-friendly portable toilets.

Several popular brands also participated and supported the initiative, with Parkview Pet Center providing veterinary support, Qatar Divers instrumental in the underwater clean-up. Other sponsors included Burger King, Purina, Dog Walkers in Doha and QDVC-LRT QC Department.

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