As the country celebrates Qatar Environment Day under the theme 'Together for our health and our environment', the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has highlighted its achievements in 2020 in the field of environment.
The MME was represented by the departments of the Environmental Affairs Sector in carrying out various initiatives and implementing programmes.
Qatar's Environment Day is celebrated on February 26 every year.
The MME conducted 6,123 field inspection visits in various sectors, leading to the detection of 1,654 violations and issuance of 766 warnings. The MME also issued 11,521 environmental permits and licences along with 2,482 reports and environmental studies in various fields while responding to 8,217 enquiries and holding 1,559 workshops, events, awareness activities and internal and external technical meetings with the aim of supporting and advancing the environmental field, the ministry said in a statement.
Environmental sector projects and initiatives during 2020 included upgrading the level of services provided to clients by working to complete the automation of environmental services in all departments and expedite the process through the ministry's website and app, Oun.
Inspectors were provided with the latest equipment, pollution inspection/detection devices and personal safety requirements. The development of departmental staff was done through specialised training in the use of modern devices and courses concerned with judicial control for administrative inspectors, the statement noted.
More than 300,000 trees were planted as part of the campaign to plant 1mn trees in the country, with the participation of the Public Parks Department and Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
The year also witnessed the cultivation of 2,000 wild seedlings and the transfer of 2,100 local wild trees from infrastructure project sites to seven nurseries.
Based on a well-thought-out plan, 22 nurseries were fenced for the purpose of preserving endangered species with environment-friendly moving barriers.
The MME released 9,416 small hawksbill turtles, considered an endangered species, into the sea while continuing to study whale sharks and dugongs in Qatari waters.
The ministry also launched an electronic map system (GIS), which shows places with pollution in the country, and updates them continuously.
Besides, the MME prepared winter camping sites and family beaches, and is approaching the final stages of the genetic footprint project for the Arabian Oryx in Qatar.
Infrastructure for radiation safety was further developed by expanding and developing the early warning system for radioactive contamination in the country. Also, work on equipping radiological and chemical laboratories was started at border crossings to examine goods entering the country.
The ministry initiated steps to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides from power generation units by using the best technologies, according to the statement. Also, the MME achieved the integration of drainage systems for projects in industrial areas and major industrial establishments to protect the marine environment and preserve natural resources. Some 85% of water reuse was achieved instead of disposal.
The MME also completed the connection of more than 22 air quality monitoring stations with the national air quality monitoring network. Work has started on installing air quality monitoring stations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums and training venues.
Further, the ministry enhanced inspections of all kinds to ensure the enforcement of environmental requirements in projects and factories and reduce environmental violations to ensure the preservation of wildlife.