Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) and three embassies in Doha have joined the Green Embassies of Qatar in a bid to promote environmental sustainability and protection through paper recycling.
GECF secretary-general Dr Yury Sentyurin and ambassadors Ivonne A-Baki (Ecuador), Fatma Mohamed Rajab (Tanzania) and Anders Bengtcen (Sweden) signed a partnership agreement yesterday with Qatari company Elite Paper Recycling (EPR) chairman Abdallah al-Suwaidi at the GECF office in Tornado Tower, Doha.
Dr Sentyurin, who hosted the event, lauded the efforts of EPR and its chairman to protect the environment by implementing a diverse array of ‘green’ programmes such as the ‘Green Embassies of Qatar’, ‘Green Partners’, ‘Eco Dome’, ‘The Green Fleet’ and ‘Eco School’.
“Your entity is shaping Qatari public diplomacy on environmental sustainability and, meanwhile, contributing to Qatar National Vision 2030 and the second national development strategy (2018-2022),” he said.
“For me personally, today’s ceremony has gained an extra value and a deeper sense.
This is due to the presence of highly esteemed ambassadors, people with a strong commitment to the environment, who have supported our suggestion and undertake this ‘climate action’ jointly with us,” Dr Sentyurin added.
The agreement will see these embassies regularly recycling wastepaper aimed at enhancing and promoting responsible behaviour in the workplace and implement environment-friendly procedures in daily activities.
As part of this co-operation, EPR, the only paper manufacturing company in Qatar that can recycle all types of waste paper, will also ensure that waste papers containing confidential information to be disposed and recycled properly.
At the signing ceremony, al-Suwaidi also announced that EPR will be launching the Eco Dome campaign next month as part of Qatar Sustainability Week 2019, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.
“The idea of Eco Dome is to show the young generation and students what will happen if you don’t recycle,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Swedish ambassador cited various opportunities and benefits of paper recycling to countries, especially Sweden, which recycles about 95% of the paper used in newspapers and magazines in the country; 80% of the paper used in packaging, such as cardboards; and 65% of the paper used in offices for printing, among others.
“There is economy in that and there are environmental benefits, which are considerable.
So we look forward to good co-operation with Elite and the recycling project,” he added.“We look forward to receive the recycled papers so that we will have a true circular use of that paper eventually at our embassies and hopefully throughout Qatar.”
Bengtcen noted that their partnership with EPR will contribute to sustainability in the country and such an initiative is an important priority for Sweden in its relations with Qatar.
The Ecuadorian envoy underscored the importance of raising awareness about caring for the environment, stressing that it is an endeavour close to her heart.
She lauded EPR for its impressive work and achievements and al-Suwaidi’s passion on protecting Mother Earth.
“Now for the Amazon also, not only for Qatar but you are doing it for the world. I am honoured to be signing (an agreement) with Tanzania and Sweden,” said A-Baki, noting that the Amazon in Ecuador has the highest biodiversity among the entire Amazon in Latin America.
The Tanzanian envoy echoed this view as she underlined the importance of protecting the environment not only in Qatar but also in different countries around the world. “In Tanzania, we have abolished the use of plastic bags, which is also a way to promote awareness in our country and joining this Elite recycling project also creates awareness not only in Qatar but also on the African continent,” Rajab said. “I’m very proud to be part of this initiative.”
Sweden, Tanzania,and Ecuador now join Uruguay, Italy, Argentina and Switzerland as part of the ‘Green Embassies of Qatar’ while the French embassy in Doha signed a collection agreement with EPR in 2017.
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