COVID-19 affects green campaigns but cannot stop


Environmental campaigns and workshops in Qatar have been halted amid a new coronavirus outbreak, but climate activism in the Gulf state continues online.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the occasion of the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on environmental campaigns and climate change activism, Neeshad Shafi, the founder of the Arab Youth Climate Movement in Qatar, said there was a need for drastic, systematic and community-based change. in Qatar as well since the virus has affected life in every way around the world.

“The outbreak has halted all of our collaborative campaigns and initiatives around climate change awareness, policy workshops, the Earth Talks series and other offline campaigns like the Qatar Environmental Ambassadors initiative” , did he declare.

He added that the Earth Hour event in Qatar, which has been celebrated annually on March 28 since it began as a symbolic “lights-out” event in Sydney in 2007, has also been suspended due to a coronavirus, following the advice of the authorities.

“COVID-19 still can’t stop our next campaigns which we are already doing online with engaging social media posts and questions,” he mentioned, adding massive online campaigns that will run until the end of the month.

Stating the urgent media attention responses to the coronavirus outbreak, he stressed that climate change also needs as much attention as the coronavirus: “We need climate crisis communications to match the emergency as we have seen with the coronavirus, we the people will respond accordingly.”

Referring to the drop in CO2 emissions around the world due to the restriction of travel, production and transport to fight the coronavirus, he mentioned that these types of measures only lead to temporary results which cannot stop long-term climate change.

“The longer-term impact of this crisis on emissions depends on how policymakers and governments respond to this crisis,” he added.

Founded in 2015, Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar, which is the first and only youth-led environmental NGO in the country, aims to build a generation-wide movement to understand, contemplate and reflect the essence of nature and its attributes.

So far, 452 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Qatar, which has the highest number of cases in the Arabian Gulf region.

Since it was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has claimed 8,939 lives worldwide, most of them in China, according to global data kept by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

At least 219,042 cases of the virus have been confirmed in at least 158 ​​countries and territories, with Europe the new epicenter of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

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