Posted on March 17, 2018

The College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University (QU-CAS) announced its first “Sustainable Development Conference” at a press conference on March 15.

Details of the 2-day conference (March 26-27) were outlined by Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Development at CAS Department of International Affairs and the conference’s organizing committee Chairperson Dr Esmat Zeidan, Assistant Professor of International Relations at CAS Department of International Affairs and member of the conference’s organizing committee Dr Mazhar Zoubi, Assistant Professor of Research at CAS Center for Sustainable Development and member of the conference’s organizing committee Dr Mohamed Saidi, CAS Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences and member of the conference’s organizing committee Dr Lina Al Majed, and Associate Professor of Sociology at CAS Department of Social Sciences Dr Maher Khalifa in the presence of CAS faculty and staff and representatives of the local media.

Dr Esmat Zeidan noted that the conference will focus on the steps undertaken by Qatar in 2008 for the transition to sustainability in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. She said: “If sustainable development is to be achieved in Qatar, it will require significant changes in key sectors like energy, water and agriculture. This aligns with the global sustainability agenda which focuses on green economic growth, decarbonization and decoupling growth from the use of vital natural resources like water, energy and land. Qatar has shown a strong commitment towards the implementation of global sustainability agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Paris Agreement.”

Dr Mazhar Zoubi said: “The comprehensive and multi-layered concept of sustainable development has been recognized globally and is incorporated in the national development visions across the Gulf region. Ambitious national visions in the Gulf regions address economic transformation challenges towards knowledge-based economies, infrastructure modernization, investments in education and health, the use of renewable energies, and decreasing the large ecological footprints of consumption and production.”

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Dr Mohamed Saidi said: “Qatar’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems represent a vital resource for development and national identity. For example, throughout history, coastal ecosystems have had vital importance for food security, recreation, tourism, and as habitats for wildlife. At the same time, the human or built infrastructure relies on resources exploited offshore such as desalinated water and fossil energy. In order to protect and preserve the environment, Qatar has put forward one of most advanced visions in the region with regard to the environment. Qatar National Vision 2030 includes a pillar of environmental development, which covers a wide range of priorities such as improving environmental policies and institutions, increasing awareness, improving sustainable urban development, decreasing pollution, and combating climate change. The Qatar National Vision 2030 has been driving the debate on sustainability for a decade now, leading to tangible success in protecting air, land, water, and biological diversity.”

Dr Lina Al Majed said: “Sustainability has been imbedded lately as one of the values of good governance in sport that international sport organizations are advocating to measure responsibility and accountability of countries hosting mega sport events, and for the governance of sport governing bodies in general. There is an increasing awareness about the environmental and economic impacts of hosting sport events and thus the host cities have to be responsive to a number of stakeholders which are more conscious about protecting and maintaining their positive image. In addition to direct investment in sport industry, countries are also increasingly aware, particularly in times of economic austerity, regarding the importance of sport for development agenda or development through sport to address a number of societal issues.”

Dr Maher Khalifa said: “The conference will address the psychological and social aspects that establish the behaviors and trends of sustainability, which is one of the most important trends in psychology.”