SEMINAR on ‘Recycling in the Arabian Gulf’ yesterday urged governments of the region to draw up strategies and laws to guide the public and private entities on waste management.
It also urged ministries of education to create awareness about waste management and recycling among schoolchildren.
The seminar, organised by the Friends of the Environment Center (FEC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Community Organisation (Unesco), was attended by representatives of NGOs from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as a representative of the United Nations on Environment Programme.
“Without laws nobody will do anything about the improper waste management in the region and it is not just laws, we also need to put a mechanism in place that will ensure that the laws are actually applicable, especially for Qatar,” FEC chairman Dr Saif al-Hajari said.
He stressed the need for co-operation between governments, NGOs and the private sectors on waste management in the region.
He said there was no proper waste management system in place in Qatar now, noting that though there were laws banning smoking in public, he said the country needed more than that.
“We must also create awareness on how to reduce our waste, learn to re-use and finally recycle materials that are recycleable and we need the government to encourage the private sector to get into recycling because if the sector does not get the push from the government, they most likely will not do anything on their own,” he said.
Unesco programme assistant (Natural Science Section) Mark Sutcliffe said the organisation’s Doha office was actively involved in assisting Qatar and other Gulf states in their recycling initiatives.
“It is our hope that young people will become environmental engineers and entrepreneurs who will identify and utilise existing government support to set up their own businesses, which are required for the success of the recycling initiative,” he said.
Sutcliffe said that a web portal on recycling in the Arab region will be launched soon.
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