By Mudassir Raja
Gradual degradation of the environment is perhaps the only issue that threatens the planet earth and every individual needs to be responsible to mitigate its adverse effects.
To have a cleaner environment is a global issue and it needs global attention. Every bit of effort to take action and raise awareness about the issue is worth noticing.
When it comes to raising awareness and taking initiatives towards improving the environment, Qatar is not behind the rest of the world. There are numerous organisations, groups and individuals who have been involved in all sorts of activities – from raising awareness to cleaning beaches.
Intiqab Rawoof, a young Sri Lankan expatriate, has been living in Qatar for over five years. He has actively been involved in raising awareness about climate change and its possible adverse effects in Qatar and around the world. The climate campaigner has been collaborating with other individuals, groups, organisations and embassies and organising different awareness campaigns and exhibitions in Qatar to make people aware of their responsibilities towards a better environment.
Community recently spoke with Intiqab and discussed his efforts and viewpoints about climate change.
A graduate in IT and business, Intiqab started volunteering for different activities related to climate change at a young age. “When I was in my high school in Sri Lanka, I was always attracted towards the news about causes and effects of global warming. I got involved with the United Nations’ volunteers programme in Sri Lanka.
I became the group leader of a group called V Force [volunteer force]. We as a group of young volunteers used to take part in different environment related activities in Sri Lanka. We became a very big group on climate change volunteers.”
He added: “As my interest grew in volunteering for the climate change, I got involved with Earth Lanka, an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organisation. The group provides news related to environment. They have journalists in different countries working as volunteers – not paid. I got involved with the group and started writing for Earth Lanka. This led me to the UN. I started attending different climate change conferences and workshops in different countries.”
It was in 2013 that Intiqab moved to Qatar.
He runs his own company providing IT solutions. “After moving to Qatar, I started looking for ways to play my role as a volunteer for climate. I got involved in different groups and met the concerned authorities as well. I got Earth Lanka registered in Qatar as media group highlighting different issues related to environment.
“I have also been taking part in Conference of the Parties (COP) – UN climate change conferences. My interaction with the UN has enabled me to travel around the world. I have been to as many as 44 countries so far. I also have a passion to travel as travelling teaches you a lot. It has helped me understand the climate change better and campaign for the cause more effectively.”
Nowadays, Intiqab has been focusing on contributing towards improving the climate issue more than participating in different conferences.
“Two years ago in Qatar, we started a campaign called My Climate Action in Qatar. We as the group partner with the country that hosts international conferences on climate change. We have so far partnered with German and Polish embassies in Qatar. We organised a photography competition highlighting different climate related issues in Qatar. We also collaborated with different schools and engaged young children in the campaigns to raise awareness. It was a kind of community event.
“Last year, we again arranged a photography competition and an exhibition at Katara themed as ‘Green City’. The contributors highlighted beautiful green places in Qatar. This year we also plan to have the second round of the same exhibition.”
The enthusiastic climate campaigner believes that every individual has the responsibility to improve the environment.
“The whole world has to act. To make the world sustainable we need to think and act for the future we want. It is not about a certain country, it is about everyone. Simple, we need to reduce use of plastic items in our daily activities. Every human being on the face of the earth has a duty to improve the climate.”
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