Students and activists from across Qatar have taken a stand against climate change – with a sit-down protest at Qatar Foundation (QF) calling for world leaders to take urgent action to combat the greatest modern threat to the planet.
Young protestors added their voice to the growing global clamour for efforts to tackle global warming to be intensified as they gathered at Education City to demonstrate the strength of feeling among the nation’s youth about the climate crisis the world faces and the rapidly closing window of opportunity to tackle it.
It comes in a week when His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, announced Qatar is contributing USD100 million to support small developing island states and least-developed nations in addressing climate change and environmental challenges while speaking at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.
And the climate protest at Multaqa (Education City Student Centre) – organised by the Arab Youth Climate Movement, Global Shapers, and the Eco-Schools Programme – mirrored the recent ‘global climate strike’, which saw millions of people around the world hold demonstrations at what they claim is inaction in cutting carbon emissions and stabilising the Earth’s climate.
The event reflected QF’s commitment to advancing sustainability in Qatar, and beyond, through cutting-edge research and innovation in areas including air quality and energy, water, and food security, as well as its belief in being a platform for youth from Qatar and around the world to express their views and tackle global issues head-on.
Joud Al Issa, a student at Qatar Academy Doha, part of QF’s Pre-University Education (PUE), was among the students who participated and said:
I am protesting here today because I believe the damage we are doing to our planet will affect future generations and I hope that our grandchildren can see the world as it used to be. Humans are the cause of this damage, so they should always be the solution. It is the responsibility of all of us.’
The Education City protest followed the Qatar Eco-Schools Congress 2019, also held at Multaqa and organized by QF member Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). It saw more than 200 students and teachers from Qatar schools learn how to maintain an ‘eco-school’ and adopt a zero food waste approach through composting.
The Eco-Schools Programme is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world and involves a two-year commitment that gives young people the chance to be active protectors of the environment, by giving them a say in the environmental management policies and behaviours of their school. QGBC operates Eco-Schools Qatar and provides schools who register in the programme with a range of support including training and other resources.