Clean environment a priority

Qatar has taken priority significant measures to address the challenge of environmental pollution, experts from Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), have emphasised.

Clean environment a priority

“Scientific community and decision-makers in Qatar are working closely to overcome the challenges,” they said highlighting Qatar’s investment in providing clean air and water, while sharing thoughts on this year’s World Health Day theme ‘Our Planet Our Health’.

“The government of Qatar has seriously taken the challenge of environmental pollution that causes a significant burden on health and economies worldwide.

Environmental health is one of the priority health areas in Qatar’s Public Health Strategy under the arch of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy. In addition, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) was established to promote environmental sustainability and coordinate Qatar’s environmental initiatives,” Dr. Azhar Siddique, a scientist at Environment and Sustainability Center, QEERI, told The Peninsula.

Air pollution is one of the significant risk factors for the global burden of disease. In Qatar, QEERI and stakeholders work together to monitor air quality and implement strategies to protect public health.

“Meeting the clean air objective is a major challenge for Qatar. The key factors responsible for air quality in Qatar are fast-paced economic and social development, transboundary air mass movement, and several natural sand and dust storm events throughout the year,” said Dr. Siddique.

“A growing network of compliance-grade air quality monitoring stations and research-grade sensor networks established by MoECC, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and QEERI feed the factual data. They provide a scientific basis to develop appropriate policies to help mitigate the impact of air quality and its associated implications for public health and the economy.

“QEERI and stakeholders, i.e. MoECC and MoPH, monitor the sources and their health impacts and drive the key intervention strategies to protect public health. Establishing local air quality standards and preventive priority communication strategies will be the major achievements in the short term,” he added.

The Water Center at QEERI aims to develop and optimise water resources, water treatment materials, processes and technologies adapted to Qatar’s environment.

“Qatar has a number of projects to ensure water sustainability for Qatar. As a research institute, we work in various aspects such as water desalination, groundwater research and wastewater treatment. Our team has developed a Multi-Effect Desalination plant that is showing promising results. We are working on developing membranes and filtration systems that can contribute positively to enhance Qatar’s circular water economy,” said Dr. Zhaoyang Liu, Senior Scientist, Water Center, QEERI.

In the midst of a pandemic, a polluted planet and increasing chronic diseases, the WHO — On April 7, the World Health Day — focused global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.

“Imagining a world where clean air is available to all is a challenging, yet not impossible, task. Air pollution is an inevitable consequence of human activities that are associated with a sharp increase in urbanisation worldwide. Improving air quality requires coordinated local and regional efforts to quantify the burden of air pollution including the attribution of its natural and human made sources.

“We have access to a great wealth of collective global scientific knowledge that can, when coupled to local research and knowledge, enable the process of designing and implementing appropriate intervention strategies to ensure we all breathe cleaner air,” said Dr. M. Rami Al Farrah, Principal Scientist, Environment and Sustainability Center, QEERI.

source:This news is originally published by thepeninsulaqatar

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