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Monday, May 10, 2021

VIDEO: The beauty of Qatar’s mangroves, and the trash ruining it

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A  short film  produced by a long-time Qatar resident aims to highlight the beauty of the mangrove swamps in the northern part of the country – and the ugliness of the trash people leave behind after visiting the site.

Qatar is home to eight mangrove sites, and all are protected by a 2006 Emiri decree.

The plants play a vital role in helping to reduce climate change because they absorb up to 50 times more carbon than a similar area of tropical forest. They also offer a safe breeding place for many varieties of fish.

Peter, the producer of the video, told Doha News that he made this film to encourage people to treat the area with respect:

“I had never been to the mangroves before. I went up there just to shoot something that I hoped would be picturesque. I was really shocked to see all those truck tyres lying in amongst the mangroves and all the plastic bags hanging off the branches. At that point I decided to use sweeping shots of the wildlife and landscape set to classical music to give a sense of the beauty of the location – then to use the same technique to show the ugly side of what’s happening there.”

He added that the problem is littering in public places is a widespread one in Qatar, and during other trips to the country’s shores has seen dead animals tangled up in other people’s discarded fishing lines and trash:

“I have lived here for nearly eight years and I get really depressed when I visit the dramatic desert landscapes and find litter everywhere. After a camping trip or a picnic it’s so easy to pack up all the garbage in a bin liner and take it home rather than leaving it behind to ruin the environment…

Plastic waste is a real killer and not just an eyesore. If we all take a little more care, Qatar’s environment will regain its beauty and the wildlife will be protected. As for the truck tyres, I have no idea how they got there but it would not take a great effort for the municipality to organise their removal.”

Littering is illegal in Qatar, and punishable by a QR500 fine.

To encourage others to keep the nation clean, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning recently launched a nationwide campaign. Advertising billboards around Doha urge people not to litter, spit or dump garbage in public areas.

Thoughts?

46 COMMENTS

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DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

“Littering is illegal in Qatar, and punishable by a QR500 fine.”

I wonder how many people have been cited and then had to pay the fine. Once again, reasonable laws but lacking enforcement leads to (quite literally in this case) a mess.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Like the traffic fines, QR 500 is nothing in the law breakers pocket.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Actually if you’re caught dumping trash in a public beach or in any of the many pastures in Qatar you do not get fined. You are reported to the ministry of environment who will take the case up to the public prosecutioners office. Local Arabic papers reported at least nine different law suits against individuals for dumping, unauthorized hunting and illegal grazing.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Nine different law suits? I see at least that many people throwing garbage from their windows on a single drive. There isn’t enough enforcement. If there was, there would not be this much rubbish, and cleaning the interior of one’s vehicle would not be routinely completed by throwing garbage out of a window.

HoopoeGirl
HoopoeGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

“law breakers pocket” Nice euphemism!

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

There is enforcement, if you bothered to look up you’ll find information.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Clearly not enough–if you bothered to watch the video or see all of the piles of rubbish around Qatar.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago

Watching the video was painful… Thanks.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

The tragedy is that this is so avoidable in a rich country like this. There appears to be no will to police and prevent. I visited some mangroves up north and was planning to stop and have a picnic there. The rubbish made it impossible.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Police cannot stop ships from dumping things like tires ans such that end up washing ashore. However, the “rich country” part is true. Certainly, we can afford to clean up our beaches.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Ships don’t dump KFC, etc refuse on the beach.

And FYI tires do not float. If they have a rim and are pumped up they will barely but tire alone will not.

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

yep, it is up to locals to prove that they can do something about it.

Marilyn McLeroy
Marilyn McLeroy
7 years ago

I think most of the trash found in the mangroves, especially tires are the result of tidal flows. I would bet that other countries are disposing of their trash by barges. They are dumping in the Gulf and the tide draws it in and heavier items will not float back out.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Al Zubarah’s beach is particularly upsetting for this reason. What made it a prime location for a major trading settlement centuries ago makes it a resting place for so much garbage–ocean currents. Standing in the captivating ruins one can easily imagine life long ago–until another plastic bottle is washed on shore.

HoopoeGirl
HoopoeGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Ocean Currents? No! You are too kind? Blaming this on another country’s trash is not taking responsibility for the necessity to teach Qatar’s people to pick up their own mess. Get real

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  HoopoeGirl

At Al Zubarah it truly is the ocean currents, as the beach in from of the heritage cite is closely monitored (and truly covered with an obscene amount of ocean trash).

Of course, there is no such excuse for many other beaches our Qatar.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Old tires do not float.

Marilyn McLeroy
Marilyn McLeroy
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

They do not have to float to come in in tide.

Ree
Ree
7 years ago

Today we went up North just past AlZubara for there was an abandoned village /archeological site – we went to park next to it and have our picnic – the white on the mangroves that from a distance I hoped were birds were plastic bags the ground and water was littered with rubbish in the end we left as we couldn’t let the kids out there and it looked awful. As an Al Khor resident the video was very as sad it’s so beautiful – children from a local school collected bags and bags of rubbish and removed it and yet that was a fraction. The beautiful island is littered with rubbish – if you can carry it in why can’t you carry it out? If your friends leave their rubbish shame them by taking it with yours so next time they know it’s not acceptable.

KK
KK
7 years ago

Environmental awareness is non-existing.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

False.

KK
KK
7 years ago

For sure, it is not my country so not my problem

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

It’s your problem if you’re dumping your waste in our environment.
These expats got caught recently dumping their waste in the desert.

Maybe DN should write something about the enforcement instead of deluding the readers that there isn’t any enforcement. Follow the Ministry of Environment’s twitter account and you’ll see the pictures of the violators.

https://twitter.com/Qatar_MOE/status/455269204799680513

Peter Smith
Peter Smith
7 years ago

I don’t get it…so these guys where sitting there dumping their truck while MoE was taking pictures….??? It really seems fake. And of course it’s expats…evil expats with trucks…

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  Peter Smith

Yes it’s all fake unless it’s a Land Cruiser which is dumping the waste. https://twitter.com/Qatar_MOE/status/448737169968869377

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Usually

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago

The latest report we saw was MOE issued 60 citations last month for things like littering and camels grazing in unauthorized areas. http://www.gulf-times.com/qatar/178/details/388305/60-environmental–violations-detected

However, news media’s role is not to write about a government ministry *doing its job*. It’s to seek truth and report it, and to serve as a watchdog for the public.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

You’re reporting half the truth, and when you have an ignorant audience you should educate them about the actions that MoE is doing. Professional journalism, maybe you heard of it.

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago

Our report is about littering in the mangroves. I think the audience can decide for itself whether enough is being done there about this problem.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

So we’re all ignorant and the Doha News people are not journalist. so why are you on here? LoveItOrDontReadIt!!!

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

You hate everything related to Qatar and Qataris, why are you still here?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Who said that? Just the ignorant ones who try to kill me. And no those aren’t Pakistani drivers in LCs running people off the roads.

And you hate everything expat so why are you on this site?

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago

Well, seems to me that this is an opportunity for you write some articles, get them posted, and show others how it is done?

As for ‘educating’ the public on the actions of the MoE, that is the job of the MoE, and no one else. Perhaps you should send your suggestion to them?

HoopoeGirl
HoopoeGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

if people do not know how to buy a bin bag, then yes, it is non-existing

pirran driver
pirran driver
7 years ago

I am afraid that regardless of the origin of the waste, the Ministry of Environment has to shoulder some of the responsibility here. They have a big shiny building in west bay stuffed full of well paid staff, none of whom seem to be particularly willing to leave their air conditioned offices to make anything happen. Another example is the huge amount of construction waste dumped all over the place. There needs to be a task force of officers and inspectors prowling, and another task force to clear up. Whilst I am ranting, about 5 years ago I visited Al Dhakira and found a JCB ripping up all the mangroves, right under the protected area signs. I was outraged. The reason for it was that the local residents didn’t like the smell, apparently. I took some photos and it made the front page of the Gulf Times…..but of course no action was taken by MoE or anyone else.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  pirran driver

https://twitter.com/Qatar_MOE

Go to the pictures and see the list of violators getting caught.

pirran driver
pirran driver
7 years ago

Thanks. Glad to see that since I have left Doha MoE are making progress…….though the photos are few!

pirran driver
pirran driver
7 years ago
Reply to  pirran driver

Just dug up the photos. This was in 2008.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  pirran driver

That’s in Al-Dhakira, it’s very different now.

Net-guy
Net-guy
7 years ago

We may disagree on certain topics, that is normal, but we all should agree that we should protect the environment as best we can.

To stop littering is one of the most simple things that every person can do to contribute in a positive manner.

Does there really need to be a decree from anyone to make littering illegal?

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago
Reply to  Net-guy

Isn’t there something in religion about keeping your backyard clean?

koko
koko
7 years ago

Ppl are just plain lazy and ignorant.. i live in an apartment building where there is a trash/rubbish shoot only a few steps away from all our apartments on each floor… my neighbors actually walk to the shoot with their trash/rubbish but leave it on the floor.. Now.. where is the difficulty in actually opening the shoot and placing ur rubbish bag in it to be discarded?? Laziness.. it is a disgrace..

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Everyday I see people throw rubbish from their cars along the road, outside Karak & Shwarma shops. Go down to Old Club Reef or Golden beach as it is also known and the litter is terrible. Its also on the bottom of the sea when you dive. What is so hard about keeping your rubbish in a bag in your car and putting it in a bin when you get home? It just baffles me…

irshad aranhikkal
irshad aranhikkal
7 years ago

this is my snaps from Alkhor Mangroves when I visited in a fine morning..

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago

So who do I contact the next time I see takeaway detritus being thrown from a Land cruiser window? Make us all responsible, give us the tools to do the job, make people embarrassed when they litter, whoever they are.
. Fining someone QR500 means little to too many in Doha whilst being disproportionate to income for many more. Education is the way forward. Videos like this are fantastic, so lets have more, don’t pull punches, let us see how fragile Qatar is at the hands of it’s own neglect.

Omar farukh
5 years ago

This is a monstrosity! At the point when will individuals discover that their house keepers are not around 24/7 to get after them… .Sickening http://www.sincerelyshirley.com

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