(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
#Qatar National Day By Sidi Mohamed | The Peninsula
The work has been started to develop and expand the National Air Quality Monitoring Network, which will be the largest national monitoring network in the region meeting the highest international standards.
All stations will be connected to a central monitoring unit, and are being measured as per the standards following the environmental specifications of Qatar, said Head of Air Quality Section at the Monitoring Department and Environmental Laboratory at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Abdullah Ali Al Khulaifi.
In an interview with The Peninsula, he said that the State of Qatar is making great efforts to maintain air quality through the establishment of air monitoring stations at the highest levels distributed throughout the country.
“The work is currently underway to build several stations. We are working on establishing 50 stations before the end of 2022, as many of them have been installed,” he said.
Al Khulaifi also noted that after the completion of the national network soon, the data would be published and would not be kept secret according to the established standards.
He explained that there are specific standards for monitoring and evaluating air quality in all regions.“As soon as pollution rises in an area, we receive warnings and the issue is remedied.”
Explaining more details, he noted that there are standards, including natural situation, limited pollution and severe pollution.
He added that there are standards for installing the air quality stations, their types and specifications therefore the installation of the stations is subject to the Ministry's standards in order to provide real time reliable data.
The Head of Air Quality Department further revealed that the work is going on to link many other stations belonging to other parties, such as Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Energy, with the Ministry in order to form a unified network linking all monitoring stations.
Regarding the causes of pollutants, he said that these stations measure a number of elements, including car exhaust, dust, factory smoke, and others, according to the locations of the stations and the geographical area in which they are located.
For the monitoring stations at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venues, he noted that most of the air quality monitoring stations which are being installed at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venues have been completed and the work is underway on the remaining ones.
“The installation of a station at Al Janoub Stadium has been completed. The work is underway on stations at Al Thumama Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium and soon they all will be completed,” he said.
Al Khulaifi stated that these stations will monitor air quality in 4km ambit surrounding the stadiums during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and beyond. An air quality monitoring station has been installed at MIA which will cover Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, he added.
Al Khulaifi said that the number of air quality monitoring stations in the country will increase to 50 before the end of 2022.
“We have special standards for the installation of these stations therefore the installation is subject to the standards of the Ministry in order to give a correct reading. There are specific standards for monitoring and evaluating air quality,” he said.
He also said that an integrated national plan is being implemented to monitor air quality by measuring the concentration of pollutants in the surrounding air, identifying the causes of pollutants, and working on developing plans to avoid increase of the substances.
Improving air quality is just one of Qatar's sustainability goals. The country is committed to hosting a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup and leveraging the hosting of the mega-event to build a green legacy across the country and region.
In order to achieve a carbon-neutral tournament, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has estimated the amount of carbon emissions from hosting the World Cup and raised awareness of reducing emissions with both local and regional stakeholders. Emissions have been reduced during the construction of World Cup infrastructure through a number of means, including the design and construction phases, which have reduced energy and water consumption, prioritised recycling and efficiently dealt with waste.
“At a present, the national network for monitoring air quality is connected with 20 air quality monitoring stations,” he noted.
Head of the Water Environment Quality Section, Ali Jassim Al Kuwari, said earlier that the section is working on an integrated programme covering 43 different locations at coastal areas for taking sea water samples and 52 locations for taking soil samples to check the pollution.
“We are working on a project to establish a national electronic network for stations for continuous monitoring water quality and early warning for the marine environment,” said Al Kuwari.
According to Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the State of Qatar is committed to enhancing ambient and indoor air quality in line with the latest scientific development. All monitoring stations will be linked to form a national network to provide real time reliable data. Air quality data and modeling will be the basis for decision making to improve indoor and ambient air quality.
Qatar plans to enhance ambient air quality standards and update limit value by 2024 and to establish comprehensive National Air Emissions Inventory by 2023.
The above mentioned aims and strategic priorities will ensure the protection of public health from rising pollution levels, as well the resilience of the economy over the long.
The air quality in general is the degree of purity of the air around us, so that it is natural and clean enough to sustain life on the planet, and the station also monitors every change in the characteristics and specifications of natural air that results in harm or danger to the health of the environment, and all living organisms on the planet.
With the rapid development the country witnessed in various industrial, economic and social fields there are known challenges related to fast population growth, urban development and mega projects, which required actions by the State by making tremendous efforts to preserve air quality.
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