Eco-friendly initiatives from solar power energy to cars that use alternative fuels were revealed last night at the opening of the Qatar Sustainability Expo.
COP18/CMP8 participants and officials were invited to a reception to mark the event, which was officially opened by the cutting of a green ribbon by President of COP18/CMP8 Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The President and Ms. Figueres then took a tour of the Expo, at the Doha Exhibition Centre, during which they had the opportunity to see a range of sustainable initiatives being undertaken by Qatari government departments as well as local and international organisations.
At a press conference, Mr. Al-Attiyah said: “I believe this exhibition will give both local people and visitors the opportunity to see what we in Qatar are doing to reduce energy.
“We are confident that we are on the right track. We are confident that the reduction of emissions is at the top of our agenda.”
Ms. Figueres thanked Mr. Al-Attiyah for giving her the opportunity to see some of the sustainable initiatives.
She said: “It is not very well known outside of the Gulf what you are doing. I am very pleased that you took the opportunity of COP18/CMP8 to show the rest of the world what is happening in the region.”
Speaking about the Expo, Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, a Member of the Higher Organising Committee and the Chairman of the Organising Sub-Committee for COP18/CMP8, said: “The Expo is an opportunity to have a spectrum of players that are committed to sustainability development to share that knowledge across the board. [It helps] to share the successes, the opportunities and showcase their achievements and commitments to a future that is safe for current and future generations.”
Entertainment during the evening was provided by traditional Qatar folklore dancers outside Doha Exhibition Centre, and on the concourse the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, who will perform daily throughout the Expo, played a mixture of Western and Arabic music.
Guests were also treated to refreshments including Arabic sweets.
The Qatar Sustainability Expo, which has been organised by International Fairs and Promotions and overseen by the Ministry of the Environment will be open from the public from November 27 to December 7.
It will be free to the public and features a range of activities for all ages, designed to stimulate sustainable thinking and highlight eco-friendly initiatives in Qatar.
One of the most eye-catching exhibits, and the centrepiece to the Expo, is a high-tech Augmented Reality system that conjures up images of the “unseen animals of Qatar” on the exhibition floor. Children and adults alike will be enthralled by a close encounter with the Arabian oryx, falcon and sand cat.
Younger visitors can enjoy dozens of exciting activities to encourage them to learn about the importance of protecting the planet; from environmental science workshops and solar powered experiments to a fully-fledged planetarium.
For adults, the Expo features a compelling line-up of workshops and lectures by the Qatar Steel, the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative, Yale University and Conservation International, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, and many others.
An outdoor food court will be open in the evening featuring four tents, one of which will serve free traditional Qatari food, to provide an area for visitors to eat and relax.
QSE is open from 11am to 9pm every day. Official shuttle buses are available to participants from their hotels to the DEC and the COP18/COP8 Conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre.（2012-11-27 COP18）