Call for private sector's role in sustainable living

 15 May 2017 - 0:52

Call for private sector's role in  sustainable living
FROM LEFT: QGBC Director Eng Meshal Al Shamari; Regional Director, RICS, Robert Jackson; Regional Representative for Gulf States, Director of UN Habitat Office, Kuwait, Prof Dr Tarek Azmy El Sheikh; Tadmur Holding Group CEO Dafer Mustafa Hallawa; Director of Sustainable Development, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, Dr John Kilani; and Qatar Cool CEO Yasser Al Jaidah at the UN-Habitat's 1st Urban Thinkers Campus in Qatar held at QNCC yesterday. Pic: Kammutty VP/ The Peninsula

By Akhil George / The Peninsula

The Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) yesterday opened an event that shed light on potential contributions Qatar's private sector could make to Doha's sustainable urban development and to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar.
The two-day discussion entitled 'Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) in Qatar — The Future of Doha: Implementing the new Urban Agenda,’ is held in collaboration with the World Urban Campaign, an initiative of UN habitat at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).
During the opening session of the event, Prof Dr Tarek Azmy El Sheik, Regional Representative for Gulf States, Director of UN Habitat Office, Kuwait, delivering the keynote speech, hailed the achievements of the QGBC in spreading awareness and emphasised the role of partner’s shareholders and residents in shaping a future.
“This is an opportunity to explore and provide urban solution that is economically feasible using Doha city as an experiment. This is a campaign for change together with stake holders and residents to shape the future together. The government cannot do it alone. We have to work together,” he added.
The event explores different opportunities of sustainable development that an intelligent city planning and design can offer and discusses the potential of a joint effort of both the sectors.
The need for an awareness campaign of sustainability was also emphasised during a panel discussion held on ‘Achieving Sustainable resilient cities, Doha’s current urban development potential and way forward for a sustainable and intelligent city.’
"Sustainability comes with a lot of challenges. In order to push sustainability, I think regulations needs to be put into place. You can discard the concept of sustainability if not demanded by the people. We should constantly work to build a feedback loop from the people that demands for the same. It is absolutely necessary to create an excitement about sustainability in the culture. The cultural aspect is revolutionary. You have to inject the sense of urgency of change into the people," said Yaseer Al Jaidah, the Chief Executive officer of Qatar Cool.
Robert Jackson, the Regional Director of RICS talked about the challenges that needed to be understood to deliver growth and the design that the city must adopt to ensure development.
The importance of cordination between different sectors was also emphasised at the event. "I think there is a lot the government is doing. But very often these actions are not well coordinated. I think we should ensure coordination between the private and the public sector." said Dr John Kilani, Director of Sustainable Development, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attia International foundation for energy and sustainable Development.
The event was attended by a wide range of stakeholders.