The Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG) and the US embassy celebrated the Year of Culture Qatar – USA 2021, with a tree-planting ceremony at QBG’s premises on Sunday, also the World Soil Day, marked annually on December 5.
US embassy charge d'affaires Natalie Baker and QBG director Fatima al-Khulaifi, planted the 2000th tree of QBG’s Ghars campaign, which aims to plant 2,022 trees in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Some of the dignitaries at the event
Also present on the occasion were Hassan Jumaa Bu Jamhour al-Mohannadi, assistant undersecretary for Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change; Ali bin Hassan al-Hammadi, secretary-general, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS); Machaille Hassan al-Naimi, president of Community Development, Qatar Foundation (QF) among others.
Baker said: “Sustainability is not simply an offshoot of our work; it is our work. We consistently look for new and innovative ways to prioritise sustainability efforts – everything from clean energy deployment, to supporting carbon neutrality and water conservation - we are committed to doing right by the environment. Our local eco-diplomacy initiatives here in Qatar align with the United States’ global mission to protect our planet for current and future generations and is our motivation for gathering here today with our Qatari partners and friends.”
“While we have made great strides in sustainability efforts, there is still much work to be done, and everyone has a part to play. Climate change is real, and it is a global issue requiring a global response. We look forward to working together with enthusiastic partners to confront ongoing climate emergencies. We are honoured to be a part of the tree-planting ceremony today, and excited to see the long-term impacts of this initiative.”
Al-Khulaifi noted that since its inception over a decade ago, QBG has enjoyed excellent ties with Doha’s diplomatic community and the country’s humanitarian and environmental stakeholders.
She explained: “Today’s event is a further testament to that. Over the years, we have hosted numerous tree-planting ceremonies and initiatives with embassies, including those of the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, India, and South Africa, as well as educational institutions and community organisations.
“Over the past 11 months, and as part of the Year of Culture Qatar – USA 2021, QF’s QBG has also hosted multiple engagements and events with prominent US environmental stakeholders, such as the University of Arizona and the Missouri Botanical Garden, enhancing the environmental diplomacy between Qatar and the US on both an entity-to-entity and people-to-people level.” she added.
On the sidelines of the event, a memorandum of understanding was signed between QBG and QRCS to plant 2.5mn trees in Qatar over a period of 10 years.