Qatar has made remarkable progress in human development, but the country needs to consider the extent to which it can sustain the rapidly growing population, said the Secretary General of the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) yesterday.
Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim, speaking at the Sustainable Development seminar that marked the launch of the Second Qatar National Human Report yesterday, said Qatar has moved from 57th to 34th out of 179 countries in the Human Development Index over the past decade.
He said such progress has been made possible by the country’s rich natural resource base and by the wise management of revenues from these resources.
However, Dr. Ibrahim said, “Qatar is developing in an unprecedented speed. Its rapid development, natural resource use and exceptionally high population growth are posing major environmental challenges.”
“Maintaining progress, especially in the midst of the current global and financial crisis, necessitates continued sound management of Qatar’s hydrocarbon resources and addressing the sustainable development challenges that are confronting us.”
He stressed the need to consider the extent to which Qatar can sustain such a rapidly growing population will all the implications this has for the provision of housing, basic social services and water, as well as energy consumption.
“Qatar’s chosen development path entails a transition from uncontrolled development, relying on low productivity, low-skilled and low-paid expatriate workers, to a diversified post-carbon economy relying on a highly-productive, highly-skilled and highly-educated labour force,” said Dr. Ibrahim.
Referring to the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, he said it asserts that economic development and protection of the environment are two demands, neither of which should be sacrificed for the sake of the other.
Qatar has committed to making its future path of development compatible with the requirements of protecting and conserving the environment, he said.
He added that Qatar’s long-term sustainable development objectives which are stated in the QNV 2030 will be carried out through the National Development Strategy.
“Under the broad umbrella of the QNV 2030, the nation will be better able to improve coherence between existing policies and strategies, avoid duplication and confusion, and reduce the burden on capacities and resources,” he said.
In the shorter term, he added, Qatar needs to review the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to its environment, and identify key policy issues to be strengthened or introduced.
Besides, there need to be further institutional and human resource capacity building to address knowledge and data gaps, while policies and programmes should be evidence-based and supported by indicators of sustainable development that can be monitored.
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