Category Archives: Monthly Meeting

The Sahara Forest Project

Presenter: Dr. Patrick Brading

Dr. Patrick Brading is a Cultivation Coordinator for the Sahara Forest Project and holds a MSc and PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Essex and BSc in Zoology from the University of Nottingham. Dr. Brading has considerable international field experience. His research focuses on marine algal physiology and ecology, particularly in relation to the environmental control of photosynthesis, growth and productivity.

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Whale Shark Project

Presenter: Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Ministry of Environment

Mr. Mohammed Al-Jaidah is a Colonel in the Qatar Air Force. For the past 7 years he was seconded to the Ministry of Environment as head of Environmental Protection Department. In his position as marine specialist he advised the Minister and directed many special research project, including the Qatar Whale Shark project, a collaboration effort with Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre at QSTP. Mohammed helped identify, track and observe feeding habits of these fascinating creatures in the Arabian Gulf. He will share some research  findings and preservation efforts in his presentation.

Opportunities for the Sustainable Use of Camels in Qatar

Presenter:   Corby Elford, MFA Virginia Commonwealth University

Corby Elford recently completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Design Studies at Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy in Qatar. Corby promotes the use of unwanted and perceived low value resources which are readily available in Qatar, that would otherwise be wasted. ‘Opportunities for the Sustainable Use of the Camel in Qatar’ became the topic for her thesis research. Post graduation Corby continues to focus on creating a framework for a production line of a range of camel products and is exploring opportunities for commercialization.

Corby teaches two community classes at VCU; one about camel uses to raise awareness and on sustainable textiles. The purpose of these classes is to disseminate the knowledge gained through her research on animal husbandry in Qatar. The classes will serve to demonstrate the viability of sourcing local natural materials to sustainably produce a range of ‘cradle to cradle’ (Braungart, 2002) products.

Before moving into the field of Art and Design Education Corby began her career as a Graphic Designer and has over 20 years of expertise working in the UK, Kuwait and Qatar. She is now also working on completing a Masters in Art History.
This presentation will take the audience on a journey from conceptualization to the final outcome of the thesis design project from a design perspective.
Read the article from Qatar Tribune (5 March 2013).

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation: A Well Hidden Secret In Qatar

Presenter: Dr. Tim Bouts, Director, Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, as Dr. Tim Bouts describes, as a “well hidden secret in Qatar” partly due to its remote location as well as wildlife preservation and conservation efforts in Qatar are relatively obscure.

Al Wabra, a 2.5 sq km conservation centre, started out as a hobby farm in the 1990s by Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani, a Qatari national and hailed as one of the foremost art collectors in the world. The farm holds more than 480 cages, aviaries and enclosures. The animal collection includes 2006 animals of 90 different species. Many of the species are endangered and are managed through European Endangered Species programs (EEP) or regional and national species plans. These rare breeds live at the centre alongside the staff, who include vets, curators, biologists, wild animal keepers and their families.

The next step for Al Wabra is to increase public access so that the community can learn more about the important conservation work being carried out there.

About Tim Bouts
Tim Bouts works as the Director of the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, a breeding and conservation centre for endangered wildlife, and is actively involved in the reintroduction of spix’s macaws in the wild  in Qatar. 
Tim holds a Masters of Science degree in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College in London and ZSL London Zoo. His undergraduate degree and first work experience stems from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ghent, Belgium at the department of Surgery and Anesthesiology of large animals and also developed a new anesthetic table for Koi carps. 
He moved to South-West England to work at Duchy veterinary hospital in Newquay, Cornwall. This hospital was a referral centre for exotic pets. He also was the attending veterinarian for Newquay Zoo, The Cornish Bird of Prey Centre and Blue Reef Aquarium. 
In the United Arab Emirates he became the Head of Veterinary Department of the private collection of the UAE President (Management of Nature Conservation). He was also the chief vet in a private zoo specialized in breeding wild cats (e.g. cheetahs and clouded leopards). 
As the sole clinician at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Tim perfected his anesthesia skills in large herbivores (rhinoceroses and wild artiodactylids) where he lead research on elephant medicine including research into the lethal disease elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV).

Sustainable Development Initiatives in the Construction Sector

Presenter: Sheikha Athba Bint Thamer Al-Thani, QDVC

The building and construction sector is one of the key sectors for sustainable development, both in terms of the important benefits it contributes to society and the considerable negative impacts it may cause if appropriate considerations are not given to the entire life span of buildings.

“Everyone has to be involved in sustainable development,” stressed by Sheikha Athba as she starts her presentation on the sustainability initiatives that QDVC has been implementing in their various construction projects.

QDVC’s sustainable development policy is based on the definition of viable programmes and related key indicators. Socially, QDVC continues to implement an active recruitment policy, promoting equal opportunities to the community. Training programmes are made available to employees to challenge and improve their professional skills and personal development.

Sheikha Athba also presented the various community oriented projects initiated by QDVC which involved employees and their families, jointly with other community stakeholders.

On the environmental front, green practices are observed in the office and on site as well as in the supply chain. Here is an interesting video of QDVC’s green building practices applied in Lusail Light Rail Transit Project.



About Sheikha Athba Bint Thamer Al-Thani

Sheikha Athba Bint Thamer Al-Thani is the Chief Support Services and Sustainable Development Manager at QDVC. She was born in Qatar and studied science and art and graduated with Honors from Qatar University. She also studied carbon reduction and measurement in the United Kingdom.

Sheikha Athba joined QDVC in June 2010 to head the Sustainable Development Team. Sustainable Development is new to Qatar and therefore presented the right time for her to tackle the challenge, doing something for her country and the planet. Waste reduction was already a message she taught at schools to a younger generation and now she has the opportunity to raise awareness on a much bigger scale, for the whole population of Qatar.

Since 2012, she also assume responsibilities as the Chief Support Services Officer at QDVC and manages Human Resources, Health, safety and Environment, Sustainable Development and IT.

Sheikha Athba is currently preparing for the Masters in Business Administration.


Healing Ecologies and Building Sustainable Peace: From Buffer Zones to Pocket Parks

Presented by: Dr. Anna Grichting Assist Professor,  Qatar University

Anna Grichting is a Swiss architect and urbanist and holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University, where she teaches Sustainable Urban and Landscape Design and Regeneration as well as Urban Design in Practice and Design Studios at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels. She is interested in a holistic and systems approaches to Design and her academic experience includes teaching at the Universities of Geneva and Harvard, developing an Education Initiative for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and teaching the Balkans Peace Parks Academic Expedition Summer Course. Her fields of research and interest include Food Security and Food Urbanism in Drylands, the Urban Legacies of Mega Events, and Healing Ecologies in Landscapes of Conflict. She is also a musician, participating in multi-cultural and international projects such as Bordermeetings, Sufi Moon and Desert Bridges.



Some of the meeting’s attendees, Glada Lahn (second from the left) of Chatham House and Tanzeed Alam of Emirates Wildlife Society, flanked by our very own executive committee members, Mari Luomi and Katrin Scholz-Barth.


Recycling for a Sustainable Environment

Presenter: Dr. Yasser Mahgoub, Associate Professor, Qatar University and his students

Dr. Yasser Mahgoub, is an architect, academic, and scholar. He received his Doctorate in Architecture from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA in 1990. He held several academic positions since 1990 in Egypt, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Dr. Mahgoub participated as an architecture consultant in Egypt, UAE and Kuwait from 1990 to date and teaches architectural design studios, architectural research, environment and behavior in architecture and architectural professional practice.

His research interests include social and cultural aspects of architecture, sustainable architecture, architectural education and the impact of globalization on architecture. Published in several refereed journals including Habitat International, JA, Archnet-IJAR and OHI. He published book chapters including “Kuwait – Learning From a Globalized City”, in The Evolving Arab City, edited by Dr. Yasser Elsheshtawy and published by Routledge, and “The Architectural Design Studio Pedagogy: From Core to Capstone”, in Architecture Education: The Design Studio edited by Dr. Ashraf Salam. Attended and presented papers in several international and regional conferences.



You can check-out Dr. Mahgoub’s site to have a glimpse of his presentation.

The Arab Recycling Initiative, The Big Tree Society and Tarsheed Qatar

The Arab Recycling Initiative and The Big Tree Initiative
Presenter: Mark Sutcliffe, UNESCO Doha

Mark Sutcliffe is a natural sciences project officer at UNESCO Doha since February 2008, and prior worked with a number NGOs. His work focuses on the creation, development, and sustainability of civil society networks. His talk will provide an update of his research findings, with an emphasis on the UNESCO initiatives on Green Schools and recycling.

The Arab Recycling Initiative is the culmination of UNESCO Doha’s work waste resource management since 2003, and the partnership agreement represents a big step towards improving waste management in the Arab region The Arab Recycling Initiative is the product of 7 years of development between UNESCO and a wide variety of stake holders.The Arab recycling initiative is a web based platform aiming to improve the waste management capacity of the Middle-East by improving the availability and visibility of information related to waste management in the region, as well making networks of stakeholders easily accessible.

UNESCO is by its very nature an organisation of multiplicity. In the very same spirit of cooperation with its partners in Doha Bank and Mr. Steve Wilkinson, decided to provide a platform where schools can use whichever programme they feel most comfortable with, while still receiving recognition for their efforts towards improving our urban ecosystems, be it through recycling, energy awareness, even water efficient permaculture landscaping! Furthermore, the programme was designed to encourage the active participation of the private sector, so they can help either with technical advice, in kind contributions or financial support, either to the programme or to the schools. Visit the website of The Big Tree Society.

If you missed meeting, Mr. Sutcliffe was nice enough to share his presentation material which you can download as a PDF file.

Tarsheed Qatar
Presenter: Eng. Fahad Rashid Al-Kaabi, Manager CN, Conservation and Energy Efficiency Department, Kahramaa

Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has launched an ambitious five-year national campaign for the conservation and efficient use of water and electricity.

Tarhseed is a strategic initiative on behalf of Qatar to formalise our national responsibility to protect the resources that we have. Over the last one decade, Qatar’s population is almost trebled and needless to be said it has resulted in huge increase in water and power consumption.

Tarsheed is a noble campaign that includes a combination of ad campaigns, awareness programmes, direct activities, and outdoor initiatives. There will be several cultural and governmental forums and the public to generate a meaningful response and reduce unnecessary pressure on Kahramaa networks.

Tarsheed Program is summarized in this interesting presentation material.

Hygienic Standards in Food Establishment

Presenter: Dr. Atef Kamel
Head of Food Hygiene Department at the Ministry of Municipal and Urban Planning

Dr. Atef Kamel heads the Food Hygiene Department at the Ministry of Municipal and Urban Planning in Qatar and is responsible for food control, hygiene and food-borne diseases. He received his PhD in Zoonotic Animal diseases between animals and humans from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his MS in Environmental Sciences and Conservation Biology from Cairo University in Egypt. Dr. Atef has completed multiple post-graduate diplomas in Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and England on food hygiene and safety as well as environmental sciences and conservation biology. He specializes in food-borne and communicable diseases.