Malls to get green centres to promote eco-friendly habits

 03 Jan 2017 - 22:58

Malls to get green centres to  promote eco-friendly habits

By Irfan Bukhari / The Peninsula

Shopping malls in Qatar will have "green centers" to promote eco-friendly lifestyles among all segments of the society under a new initiative, Friends of Nature, which is set to be launched soon.

The initiative is jointly being launched by ‘A Flower Each Spring’ (an initiative of Qatar Foundation), Ezdan Mall and Sports and Environment Committee of Olympics.

“Under the new initiative set to be launched this month, we will open green centres at private establishments like malls. Time has come that the green message should not only be spread through schools and universities. More than shopping places, malls are the venues of knowledge and learning as well. They must take part in social responsibility of protecting the nature and advance eco-friendly agendas,” Dr Saif Al Hajari, Chairman of A Flower Each Spring initiative told The Peninsula.

Green centres in the malls would teach visitors particularly children how to grow plants and why. "There will be beautifully designed activities and contests to motivate children towards nature," added Al Hajari.

He said that saving the nature was not only the responsibility of government and the time has come for the private entities and non-governmental organizations to play their due role.

Al Hajari who is also a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) International Ambassador thinks that urgent steps are needed to save the earth for next generations. He drew attention to the 17 sustainability goals set by UN to highlight the importance of environmental protection.

“We have to meet the challenges and knock down threats to the environment by 2030. And this is not a challenge for Qatar alone but for the whole world,” he said.

“Each and every segment of society will have to share the burden of massive challenge by accepting their part of responsibility. As family is the basic unit of society, the process of teaching green values starts from here. Educational institutions also have to play their role as well as the corporate sector, among others,” he said, adding ‘Friends of Nature’ project would engage all to make the campaign result-oriented.

Dr Saif Al Hajari thinks that the best way to create a greater green future for our kids is to preserve the present-day natural assets. “Sustainability is not a challenge for scientists or politicians to counter. It is a challenge for every single human being.”

“Science, technology, experience cannot help without changing values. The values will make a difference, the difference we are looking for. These values will be developed primarily at the level of the family. And we are educating people to adopt new environment-friendly values,” Al Hajari said, adding that the results cannot be achieved overnight and two things are required to make green-campaigns fruitful: long term planning and sincere implementation without procrastination.

On ‘A Flower Each Spring’ initiative, he said that it was going very well as per his expectations. "I am satisfied with the level of cooperation we are getting from the Minister of Education and schools. The programme has entered its 19th year with tremendous successes in its record. Using this platform, we are bringing children back to nature and inculcating love for nature in their hearts," he added.

He urged the corporate sector to be more dynamic in undetaking social responsibility activities and also focus on sustainability and environment.

“Companies will have to adopt green values and should also promote them among consumers."