CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION
2. Climate change education and training in the country
3. Climate change communication in the country
Climate change context
Qatar is one of the world's largest oil and gas producers. Oil and gas constitutes over 90% of the nation’s exports, and the country relies entirely on these resources for its primary energy consumption. Qatar is home to 2.6 million people, out of which only 313,000 are Qatari citizens, and had the highest per capita emissions in the world in 2019, with 39tCO2/person, according to the Global Carbon Atlas. At the same time, according to the World Bank, Qatar has the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the world.
Qatar is primarily a desert state with a long coastline. As a result, it is most vulnerable to climate impacts such as floods, droughts, and sandstorms, as well as the scarcity of water combined with a growing population. Therefore, according to Qatar's 2011 National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change presents a dual threat:
On one hand, like other developing countries with minimal adaptive capacity, Qatar's ecological and human systems are prone to the adverse impacts of climate change. On the other hand, due to its total dependence on the export of carbon-based resources, Qatar's economic welfare and prosperity depends on the outcome of the climate change negotiations, which seeks, as an ultimate objective, complete phase-out of fossil fuel energy sources from the world energy market. (p.2)
Qatar is considered a Non-Annex I, or non-industrialized, country in the UNFCCC classification. It ratified the Kyoto Protocol in January 2005 and the Paris Agreement in June 2017. The country accepted the Doha Amendment (the second commitment round of the Kyoto Protocol) in 2020.
Relevant government agencies
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment is the leading organization responsible for Qatar’s climate change responses. The Ministry works closely with officials in several government entities to develop responsible environmental policy. Qatar’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point sits within the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in the Climate Change Department. The Climate Change Department is one of a number of departments that deal with climate change within the Ministry. The Department is responsible for proposing policies, plans, and programs relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Department is also responsible for following up on climate change-related policy, plan, and program implementation with the appropriate authorities, and for suggesting ways to cope with climate change impacts to the Qatari government.
According to a 10 March 2021 Qatar News Agency report, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a decision by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani for Qatar to be the first Arab country to appoint a special representative for climate change and sustainability, confirming the country’s commitment to the Doha Programme's efforts to support the fight against climate change.
Education and communication
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (formerly the Supreme Education Council from 2002 to 2016) is the governmental authority responsible for developing and advancing education at all levels in Qatar. The Council defines national educational policies and sets educational goals, plans, and programs per the country’s strategic objectives. The Council takes a vital role in developing and implementing educational initiatives such as the Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (n.d).
Qatar's Ministry of Education and Higher Education promotes increasing sustainability, minimizing pollution, creating a healthy environment, and improving the quality of life for everyone in the national education system. The Ministry introduces environmental awareness concepts into education curricula in all stages of education.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports also plays a leading role in climate change communication and education through the Friends of Environment Center. The Center helps raise awareness in young Qatari people and helps establish environmental preservation as a national duty.
Relevant laws, policies, and plans
Sustainability has been integrated at the highest legislative level with the Qatar Permanent Constitution, which was ratified in 2005, although climate change is not explicitly mentioned. Article 33 states, "The State shall conserve the environment and its natural balance for the comprehensive and sustainable use of its resources for all generations."
Law No. 30: The Environmental Protection Law of 2002 provides enforcement mechanisms for all environmental-related issues. The Law establishes procedures and guidelines in multiple areas such as air and water quality, hazardous waste management, and pollution prevention. Significantly, however, the phrase ‘climate change’ is only mentioned once in reference to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) accession documents. However, Article 7 requires education authorities to include environmental education in the curricula of all levels of education and mandates the media to communicate environmental education and awareness. The Law further mandates education institutions to form specialist advanced environmental education to provide technical competency.
Climate change is also covered in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 15 of 2011, which established the Climate Change and Clean Development Committee and determined its functions.
Qatar's National Vision 2030, developed in 2008, rests on four key pillars of human development, social development, economic development, and environmental development. The Fourth Pillar, 'Environment Development,' contains several statements about supporting international efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and about becoming a leader in climate change mitigation in the Gulf region. However, as this is a general guidance document, it does not specify concrete policies or initiatives.
The 2nd National Human Development Report: Advancing Sustainable Development, produced by the General Secretariat for Development Planning in 2009, identifies issues and challenges related to three critical environmental stress points for Qatar: water security, threats to the marine environment, and the effects of climate change.
In 2014, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment prepared the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025 to support conservation of biodiversity in the country. The Strategy includes goals related to raising public awareness and participation in conserving biodiversity, incorporating biodiversity conservation into the country’s national planning processes, building local capacity for biodiversity conservation, and improving knowledge of biodiversity in the country.
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022 is one of the most important pillars of the 2nd National Development Strategy (2018-2022). The intention of the Strategy is minimize the negative impacts of climate change on the environment and biodiversity through conserving ecosystems and biodiversity in a scientifically sound and effective manner, taking into account regional and international considerations.
Qatar Petroleum, a state-owned public corporation responsible for all phases of the oil and gas industry, launched its Sustainability Report in 2019, which sets in motion a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development is a non-profit organization established to preserve and build upon His Excellency Al-Attiyah’s 40 years of service in the energy industry. The institute engages in a number of climate change-related research activities. For example, on 25 February 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University to collaborate in the areas of research in energy and sustainable development.
Education and communication
Education is one of the most critical pillars in Qatar's vision of a diversified, knowledge-based economy and a prosperous future for its citizens. The Qatar National Vision 2030 (2008) rests on four pillars. The Environment Development pillar aims to preserve and protect the environment, including air, land, water, and biological diversity, through:
An environmentally aware population that values the preservation of the natural heritage of Qatar and its neighboring states; An agile and comprehensive legal system that protects all elements of the environment, responding quickly to challenges as they arise; Effective and sophisticated environmental institutions that build and strengthen public awareness about environmental protection, and encourage the use of environmentally sound technologies. (p.32)
Similarly, to comply with the Qatar National Vision 2030 (2008), the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education developed the Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (n.d.) which includes learning objectives and topics in its Science curriculum related to energy and water efficiency, renewable energy sources, and local flora and fauna.
In 2001, the Qatari government hired the RAND Corporation, an American non-profit global policy think tank, to perform a sector-wide analysis of education and propose improvements. Based on RAND's findings, Qatar published an education reform initiative named Education for a New Era in 2007. The reform does not mention climate change communication and education.
The Education and Training Sector Strategy 2011-2016 and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 complement the 2nd National Development Strategy (2018). Both documents aim to organize high-quality learning opportunities for all education levels and develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes in students. However, the Sector Strategy and Strategic Plan provide no reference to climate change communication and education.
While it is not reflected in Qatar’s policy and strategy documents, the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2015) reports that education and communication are vital strategies for leading climate change issues.
Terminology used for Climate change communication and education
It should be noted that terminology related to climate change communication and education is largely absent from Qatar’s policies, strategies, and plans. However, climate change aspects are referred to in terms of ‘environmental education,’ ‘protecting,’ and ‘preserving’ the natural environment, and sometimes in relation to ‘sustainable development’ and ‘public awareness.’ For example, The Qatar Vision 2030 states:
The State of Qatar seeks to preserve and protect its unique environment and nurture the abundance of nature granted by God. Accordingly, the development will be carried out with responsibility and respect, balancing the needs of economic growth and social development with the conditions for environmental protection. (2008, p.30)
However, the Second National Development Strategy (2018-2022) does use specific terms for climate change responses, such as ‘adaptation’ and ‘mitigation.’ For example, the Strategy states that "Adapting to, and mitigating the impact of climate change has become imperative for, and central to, the national sustainable development policy" (2018, p.5).
Qatar has tended to use the terminology ‘environmental balance’ and ‘sustainable development’ in education-specific materials in reference to climate change issues. For example, the Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (n.d) determines four fundamental objectives, among which is "Commitment to Sustainable Development where learners should: understand the need to balance economic growth with environmental conservation; the importance of an ecosystem to life; appreciating their responsibility towards future generations; and active contribution towards achieving sustainable development" (p. 18).
The Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2025) uses ‘environmental education’ as an umbrella term for issues related to climate change education.
In United Nations reporting on climate change, Qatar has adopted the language of ‘energy preservation.’ For example, the 2015 Nationally Determined Contributions states, "Qatar is seeking to preserve and protect its unique environment…. Qatar has been contributing indirectly to the global efforts to mitigate climate change by exporting Liquefied Natural Gas as a clean energy" (p. 1).
Budget for climate change communication and education
The Education Sector in Qatar Report (2020) developed by the Qatar Development Bank states that in its 2020 budget, the government allocated US$6.65 billion (QAR 22.1 billion) to the education sector, which represents 10.5% of its total expenditure. However, there are no specific budget allocations for climate change communication and education.
The Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy 2015-2025 aims to “develop sustainable financing and resourcing plan[s] for each protected area” (p. 17). Goal 2 also aims to “develop an annual agenda for environmental awareness events and celebrations, and create the multi-agency committees responsible for organizing these events and determining respective budget allocations” (p. 13).
The Qatar Investment Authority is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar and is a major contributor to realizing the Qatar National Vision of 2030. The Authority was founded in 2005 to strengthen the country's economy by diversifying into new asset classes. It invests in climate-related financing projects, and is a founding and active member of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund, which came out of the One Planet Summit held in 2017 in Paris.
Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
In the country’s formal education, climate change falls under ‘environmental education’ more broadly. Environmental education is included across different levels of schooling. The Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2025) acknowledges that climate change-related issues need to be incorporated into the education system. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in the MECCE Project Monitoring section of this profile. For example, the Strategy states that among its priority actions is
…to create an environmental education working group that includes members from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Ministry of Education, Qatar University and representatives of public and private schools to set the main themes for an environmental education curriculum for primary and secondary schools (2015, p.13).
The Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (n.d.) does not specifically mention climate change in the primary curriculum. However, related topics including the natural environment, pollution, environmental protection, water management, and climate components are integrated across Geography, Science, Social Science, English, and Arabic Education subjects.
The secondary education portion of the Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (n.d.) also does not mention climate change education. Related topics include ‘climate and meteorology’ in 12th grade Geography, which references environmental protection as "protecting natural and artificial environment and contributing to sustainable evolvement through activities and collective practices" (p.62). The impact of climate change on biodiversity as well as the human activities that lead to climate change are discussed in the Year 11 General Science curriculum.
The Qatari General Secretariat for Development Planning published the 2nd National Human Development Report: Advancing Sustainable Development in 2009, where it stresses the importance of a "continuous expansion of schools and universities to ensure access to high-quality education at all levels in a variety of disciplines relevant to addressing climate change problems" (p.116). Additionally, the same report states that:
In order to manage the challenges of climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy, Qatar needs to further support human development through modern world-class educational systems. Education should prepare people to address complex climate change issues, which require collaboration with many institutions and stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds. (2009, p.122)
Outside of the classroom curricula, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education regularly publishes school magazines. For example, the 5th edition of Ali Ben Jasim School Magazine (2016-2017) highlights the school’s engagement in climate change education activities, including the foundation of the ‘Friends of Nature’ school club. In this club, students participate in meaningful ecological activities and programs. The magazine features stories about club participants visiting the Friends of the Environment Center; giving presentations on climate change, global warming, and protecting the natural environment; and visiting the Qatar Botanic Garden, where they learned about different plants and participated in a campaign to raise awareness about plants.
Tarsheed 22 is a national campaign that teaches energy awareness through football. The Project raises awareness about the importance of energy conservation in schools by using football as a means of reaching young people. The project has achieved a significant reduction in carbon emissions due to participating schools’ adopting modern energy saving technologies.
The State of Qatar participated in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development 2021, which was organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. A representative of Qatar spoke about the country’s role in achieving the Berlin Declaration commitments, foremost of which was building an educational system that ensures the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiatives discussed by the Qatari representative include integrating sustainability into curricula at all levels of education, increasing the quality of school curricula to support achievement of the SDGs, and linking education curricula and programs local and international community development. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education encourages students to get involved in various tree planting and pollution control activities, including beach cleaning campaigns.
To promote scientific research and learning at the school level, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education encourages secondary school students to participate in Natural Science Research Competitions, a series of competitions for schools across Qatar held since 2015. For the 12th cycle of the Competition, which took place in 2021, schools across Qatar submitted a total of 705 research projects about environmental issues related to air quality, waste management, water quality, and crop irrigation in a variety of categories, including Earth and Environmental Science, as well as Animal and Plant Sciences.
The Eco-Schools Qatar program (an international program of the Foundation for Environmental Education) encourages young people to engage with the environment through actively protecting it from climate change. The Qatar Green Building Council, established in 2009, is a non-governmental, membership-driven organization that provides leadership and encourages collaboration on environmentally sustainable practices for green building design and development. The Council became the national operator for Eco-Schools Qatar in 2018. Doha College was the first school in Qatar to adopt the Eco-Schools program in 2014. In 2018, the College formed an eco-school committee of students and staff who meet regularly to discuss environmental issues affecting the school and develop strategies to overcome them. The committee also raises awareness through a variety of initiatives, competitions, and enterprises.
The Qatar Sustainability Week workshop teaches Qatar Academy Sidra students about Qatar's green 2022 FIFA World Cup. Professors of Sustainable Development and a group of PhD students at Hamad Bin Khalifa University's College of Science and Engineering have incorporated water conservation, waste management, renewable energy, and carbon emissions reductions into the planning and construction of stadiums.
Education has broadly been considered as a way to address climate change issues in Qatar; however, education is not at the center of the country’s climate change response. The National Communication (2011) highlights examples where education programs and public awareness could be enhanced to address climate change issues such as waste heat and greenhouse gas emissions, but the document does not include a coherent action plan.
Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources
Qatar has implemented some climate change education-related teacher training.
Qatar’s Education and Training Strategy 2017-2022 indicates that teacher training is crucial to meaningfully implementing the Qatar 2030 Vision (2008) to develop quality education at all levels. Goal 2 of the Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy 2015-2025 aims to “upgrade curricula and teachers on biodiversity issues” (p. 13). However, neither Strategy references climate change education in relation to teacher training.
The Education Development Institute leads professional learning and builds the leadership capacity of educators across Qatar, enabling them to engage with and apply the best and most promising educational practices. For example, more than 1,500 teachers and education leaders across Qatar attended the 5th Annual Teaching and Learning Forum in 2018 as an opportunity to share knowledge and discuss education issues. However, the Forum’s agenda makes no references to climate change education or environmental issues.
The National Center for Educational Development, established in 2010, builds local educational capacity through various professional development training programs for teachers. However, no climate change education-related training program had been provided at the time of this review.
The Qatar Green Building Council offers a variety of workshops for professionals in various sustainability rating standards for professional accreditation. For example, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system provides third-party verification of green buildings. The WELL Green Classroom Professional Workshops certifies teachers and school staff to manage their classrooms and schools in a more environmentally sound way and teaches them how to convey information about sustainability to their students. The Global Organization for Research and Development offers a certification for professionals in the design and construction fields in the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating system.
Qatar also hosts a number of prestigious annual conferences, which represent an accessible platform to share sustainability-related research papers, experiences, recent trends, and knowledge with professionals and the community. Examples of conferences hosted by Qatar include the World Innovation Summit for Education, the Qatar Green Building Conference, and the Global Organization for Research and Development Sustainability Summit. The conference’s prior themes have been related to climate change, but not specifically focused on the topic.
Climate change in higher education
While there is no overarching climate change strategy for higher education in Qatar, individual climate change-related programs exist at several national universities and the important role of higher education in climate change has been recognized in the 2009 2nd National Human Development Report: Advancing Sustainable Development in 2009.
A large number of higher education institutions offer courses related to environmental protection, in particular with a focus on environmental law. For example, Qatar University offers undergraduate and postgraduate Environmental Sciences programs and Environmental Law and Policy programs. At the national university, the Qatar University College of Law teaches climate change topics in Master’s degree courses in English and Arabic languages. European Union (EU) environmental law is taught on the Jean Monnet module at Qatar University's Centre for Law and Development. The Centre for Law and Development researches, publishes, delivers grants, and runs educational roundtables for academics, students, and the community in the fields of Qatari and international environmental law and policy, climate change, and sustainable development. In addition, the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University has officially introduced its first Environmental Law course, which provides opportunities for students to understand the values, assumptions, and guiding principles that underlie the field of global environmental law.
Study programs related to sustainable development also include climate change content. The Hamad Bin Khalifa University provides graduate and postgraduate programs such as Master’s and PhD degrees in Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Environment. The Qatar Foundation Universities offer environmental and sustainability-related undergraduate courses. For example, Texas A&M Qatar offers a course focused on Water and Environmental Engineering. Georgetown University Qatar has held panel discussions on topics such as ‘the impact of climate change on agriculture in South Asia’ and ‘new political strategies to limit climate change.’
The 2nd National Human Development Report: Advancing Sustainable Development (2009) reported that the national capacity to monitor, predict, and evaluate climate impacts needs to be strengthened through increased investment in scientific research and education. A number of higher education institutes have stepped up to undertake this research. For example, the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute conducts and coordinates long-term and multidisciplinary research on the effects of climate change in relation to critical national priorities such as water security, energy, and the environment.
The Environmental Science Center at Qatar University promotes diverse professional education and research experiences in Marine Science (including physical & chemical oceanography and marine biology), Atmospheric Science, and Earth Sciences. The Earth Sciences division addresses themes related to climate change and global warming including researching the development of national/regional climate change models through downscaling established global climate projections. In addition, it carries out adaptation research in areas such as sustainable development of freshwater/groundwater ecosystems and adaptation of the built environment.
Qatar’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2015) states that universities and research facilities have programs that center around environmental studies, including climate change. Education is expected to produce graduates who specialize in green technologies. Target 6.1. of the Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy 2015-2025 aims to increase the number of Qatari undergraduate university students in environmental sciences by 2025.
Climate change in training and adult learning
Climate change in training and adult learning exists in Qatar but is not widely available. The 1st National Development Strategy 2011-2016 states that "education and training help prepare citizens to meet their aspirations and to play a part in the country's increasingly diversified economy" (p.19), but it makes no reference to climate change training.
The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar is the only platform for climate change, environmental education, training awareness, and advocacy for youth in Qatar. The Movement develops workshops and seminars on climate change, natural disasters, and climate diplomacy to train young Qataris on environmental issues and teach them about sustainable consumption practices and preserving the environment. Qatar University's Centre for Law and Development also offers executive legal education training programs in climate change subjects and has delivered legal clinics on climate change law.
On a practical level, Qatari youth are trained to understand environmental threats and find creative ways to respond to the crisis through innovative project design. For example, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the British Council, the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar, and the Qatar Green Building Council collaborated to deliver the Climate Change in Qatar Virtual Webinar in April 2021. The webinar offered an engaging and informative dialogue where environmental experts, government officials, teachers, and youth environment leaders shared their views on climate change issues, discussed the types of local and international efforts needed, and explored how education can play a vital role in empowering young people to make a difference.
The Qatar Green Building Council is a nonprofit, membership-driven organization which provides leadership and encourages collaboration in conducting environmentally sustainable practices for green building design and development in Qatar. The Council also aims to support the overall health and sustainability of the environment, the people, and economic security in Qatar for generations to come. The Council is a member of the Qatar Foundation and was formally established in 2009.
Climate change and public awareness
Qatar's climate change documents highlight the importance of public awareness in designing solutions to mitigate and respond to climate change issues. The Qatar National Vision 2030 (2008) emphasizes that public awareness forms a strong foundation for bringing climate change issues to public discourse. For example, the report says that:
Preserving and protecting the environment including air, land, water and biodiversity should be through effective and sophisticated environmental institutions that build and strengthen public awareness about environmental protection, and encourage the use of environmentally sound technologies. These institutions will also conduct awareness raising campaigns, employ environmental planning tools, and carry out environmental research. (p.32)
Qatar's 1st National Development Strategy 2011-2016 stresses the importance of "building an environmentally aware society and appoint[ing] a well-known national champion for the environment to raise awareness and commitment through demonstration projects and conversation partnership" (2011, p.37). Similarly, the 2nd National Development Strategy 2018-2022 states that environmental awareness should form the basis of human relationships with the environment and suggests the country implement methodological tools to measure environmental awareness, such as surveys.
In the Qatar National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025, the goal of ‘Increased Interest and Awareness in Biodiversity’ calls on Qatar to
…develop an annual agenda for environmental awareness events and celebrations, and create the multi-agency committees responsible for organizing these events as well as invite national media outlets to publicize events and meetings and make known the main points of the National Biodiversity Strategy (p.13).
The Strategy also mentions the organization of nationwide public events including the World Environment Day, World Oceans Day, World Turtle Day, World Day to Combat Desertification, Run/Swim/Bike for Biodiversity Marathon, International Day for Biodiversity; as well as interactive ecology modules, community science programs, and conferences.
The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar developed a project entitled Earth Talk Series, which brings together eminent environmentalists and experts to raise awareness on global problems and discuss the scientific, ethical, social, and political dimensions of climate and environmental issues. The key objective of this project is to bridge the knowledge gap of global environmental problems among Qatari citizens.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (2015) mentions that awareness programs are being carried out to encourage Qatari citizens to adapt to climate change, including by encouraging the development of positive environmental attitudes and values and a sense of shared responsibility towards the environment.
Several non-state actors (especially foundations and non-governmental organizations) are active in disseminating knowledge about and raising awareness of climate change. For instance, more than 600 young participants from 7 countries gathered online in April 2021 for the 10th Annual THIMUN Qatar Conference. The conference provided high school students from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe with the opportunity to have their voices heard in climate change debates which shape the global community.
Climate change and public access to information
The Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is responsible for enhancing the state's participation in providing information, technical reports, and scientific studies in collaboration with national, regional, and international authorities concerned with climate change.
Dedicated compendia of environmental statistics are compiled and published by the Qatari government to facilitate access to and understanding of environmental issues, including climate change. For example, the Planning and Statistics Authority publishes annual Environmental Statistics, a public source for climate change information. Official environmental statistics of the State of Qatar support implementing the fourth pillar of the Qatar Vision 2030, which provides a single source of trusted environmental information that is useful for multiple purposes such as research, awareness raising, and national and international environmental reporting. These environmental statistics include the issue of climate change education and examine higher education programmes on climate change.
Qatar’s 1st National Development Strategy 2011-2016 (2011) established an environmental management strategy that envisaged developing a national biodiversity database and creating a searchable electronic information source at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to facilitate public access to information. However, this review was unable to locate further information on this database.
Climate change and public participation
Qatar’s 2nd National Development Strategy 2018-2022 emphasizes promoting global citizenship and active and positive participation in society. However, it does not specify how this should be done.
The Friends of Environment Center is a non-governmental organization that encourages environmental values in youth while urging them to preserve the environment as a national duty. The Friends of Environment Center has taken an active role in promoting climate change action and participation. For example, the Center partnered with the Ministry of Culture and Sports on a campaign where 400 members of youth centers and sports clubs planted more than 300 native trees and plants at El Hashem Kindergarten to raise awareness and protect the environment.
Similarly, a joint initiative of the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar and Qatar Green Building Council established the Environmental Ambassadors of Qatar program. The Program offers opportunities for critical and creative engagement and experiences for youth where participants practice leadership skills and sustainability competencies through learning, planning, and idea implementation. The Program raises participants’ awareness of issues such as climate change, terrestrial ecosystems, oceans, plastic pollution, seed conservation, renewable energy, and waste management. The Program also involves a year-long campaign using social media, public events, and other relevant platforms at schools and universities to highlight climate change-related actions the target audiences can take.
Country monitoring for climate change communication and education is not assigned to any specific ministry, department, or agency in Qatar. Instead, various government entities and international bodies collect data to monitor and report on climate change communication and education actions in the country.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (2015) states that the Climate Change Department within the Ministry of Municipality and Environment was established to:
Strengthen the governance of climate change on [a] national level and to implement standardized data collection and reporting. This national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system could be used to track the progress of the actions and projects that may push towards achieving the aim of this [Nationally Determined Contribution]. (p.6)
No further information on the development, progress, or outcomes of this Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification system was available at the time of data collection.
The Planning and Statistics Authority, in cooperation with a few ministries and government agencies, has produced national indicators for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. The Qatar Sustainable Development Goals Report (2019) aims to monitor progress in achieving the 2030 SDGs, and to modernize national data in international organizations' databases. The 13th section of the report focuses on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The report also provides a summary of SDG 13 achievement, including Target 13.3 (climate change education). It monitors, for SDG 13.3.1, the number of countries that have integrated mitigation and adaptation impact reduction and early warning into primary, secondary and tertiary education programmes.
The Climate Change Department is involved in the “monitoring implementation of the international conventions relevant to climate change.” The Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority seems to be involved in monitoring climate change issues.
MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined the Qatar General National Curriculum Framework (NCF, n.d.) and the Education and Training Strategy 2017-2022 (ESP), for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘biodiversity,’ and the ‘environment.’
Qatari government documents generally have few references to themes related to climate change. The Qatar General National Curriculum Framework does not reference ‘climate change.’ The document also does not mention ’environment’ or ‘biodiversity,’ but does reference ‘sustainable development’ 13 times.
The Education and Training Strategy 2017-2022 (ESP) makes no references to any of the search terms used.
This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.