This morning, His Excellency Dr. Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, honored a group of Qatari environmental pioneers at Al Shahaniya Reserve. These individuals, who have been involved in voluntary environmental initiatives, were recognized for their contributions through projects that have raised awareness about Qatar’s environmental issues. They have advocated for its rich biodiversity and significantly enriched it.
The recognition ceremony included the environmental photographer and activist Hamad Khalifa Al Khalifi, as well as Qatari environmental activist Ali Talib Al Hanzeb. His Excellency Dr. Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani emphasized that the initiative aims to honor individuals who contribute to the preservation of Qatar’s environment in all its forms, whether plant, animal, or marine life. He also mentioned the possibility of its evolution in the upcoming period to encompass the recognition of companies and institutions that contribute to the local environmental sector.
He further added that today, two pioneering figures in environmental work were honored. The first is Hamad Al Khalifi, who contributes to the conservation of birds and wildlife. The second is Ali Al Hanzeb, who significantly contributes to the preservation of plant life through planting local trees across various regions of the country. He noted that this initiative is a tribute and support to individuals who have made previous contributions in supporting numerous initiatives.
In response, environmental activist Ali Talib Al Hanzeb expressed his appreciation for the honor bestowed by His Excellency the Minister of Environment. He highlighted that this recognition signifies the ministry’s acknowledgment of his efforts towards the preservation of Qatar’s environment, which provides a significant morale boost from the state to environmental pioneers. He also noted that launching this initiative will play a major role in expanding the circle of those interested in environmental matters. Moreover, it will increase awareness among all members of the local community about Qatari environmental issues.
Al Hanzeb also pointed out that preserving vegetation and trees aligns with the teachings of the Islamic religion. He emphasized the importance of societal collaboration in conserving the environment and promoting the natural life of plants and living organisms. He highlighted that the development of the local environment is not solely the responsibility of the state, but a collective responsibility shared by all members of the community.
Al Hanzeb has been actively involved in the initiative ‘Greening Qatar’s Mainland’ by planting over 5000 seedlings in the past three years. He initiated this project in 2019 with the goal of greening the Qatari mainland. The initiative has distributed seedlings to farmers, winter camps, schools, and mosques. The initiative’s aim is to distribute and plant 10,000 seedlings over the next three years.
Additionally, Ali Talib Al Hanzeb has been dedicated to preserving the local environment by nurturing a garden with rare trees in the Qatari landscape. He has spread awareness within the community through hosting school visits, sports clubs, and conducting agricultural and educational workshops. He has also engaged with Arab communities and visitors from European and Asian countries, involving them in tree planting and irrigation activities.
The environmental activist has also played a role in spreading environmental awareness within the community. He achieved this through hosting visits for schools, sports clubs, and conducting educational workshops for citizens and Arab communities. Additionally, he engaged European and Asian visitors in tree planting activities in the country. His initiative ‘Greening Qatar’s Mainland’ secured first place in the 2021 National Day celebrations. Furthermore, the activist earned first place in the fifth edition of the Qatari Success Forum.
On his part, the photographer and environmental activist Hamad Khalifa Al Khalifi welcomed the launch of the Ministry’s ‘Environmental Pioneers’ initiative. He emphasized that this initiative will significantly contribute to raising environmental awareness in the coming period. It also encourages all those interested in environmental matters to expand their activities beyond their personal efforts. This will involve launching numerous initiatives focused on Qatar’s aquatic and terrestrial life, thereby contributing to increasing the country’s biodiversity.
Hamad Al Khalifi, the photographer, embarked on his environmental journey after noticing a significant decline in the numbers of migratory and endangered birds in the country. Subsequently, he delved into researching and learning about them. He created a dedicated archive of biodiversity in the Qatari environment through the information he gathered. He decided to make a meaningful contribution to environmental protection by effectively documenting it through professional photography and numerous other initiatives.
Hamad Al Khalifi also launched several initiatives, including the ‘Birds Release in the Qatari Environment’ initiative, a campaign for distributing water tanks in some wilderness areas, the ‘Lens of the Qatari Environment’ initiative, and the initiative for distributing artificial nests. These efforts aim to assist in the reproduction of Qatari environmental birds.
In addition to that, he established specialized social media accounts dedicated to biodiversity, and disseminated environmental awareness in the community. These efforts have had a significant impact in promoting change and contributing to the preservation of the environment.
Earlier, Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah bin Thani Al Thani, owner of the ‘Um Hish’ Reserve for breeding larks and falcons, was honored. Mr. Khalifa Saleh Al Hammadi, an activist in the field of environmental conservation, was also recognized as one of the distinguished environmental pioneers. Furthermore, marine environmental activist Shaima Al Matou was also acknowledged for her contributions.