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Environmental Awareness, Attitudes and Actions: A Baseline

Survey of the Citizens and Residents of Qatar


Environmental Awareness, Attitudes and Actions: A Baseline Survey
of the Citizens and Residents of Qatar

Sayeed Showkath Mohammed

2017
To cite
Sayeed, Mohammed (2017): Environmental Awareness, Attitudes and Actions: A Baseline Survey
of the Citizens and Residents of Qatar, Figshare.
(Follow the figshare link to get the DOI)

About the Author


The author is currently a PhD student at the Queensland University of Technology. His PhD thesis
is on “political economy of low carbon transition in Qatar.” Last year, he published a major report-
Qatar’s National Emission Inventory 1995-2015. His research interest includes low carbon
economy, global environmental policy and politics, climate change mitigation/adaptation and
community engagement.

The author can be reached at smssayeed@gmail.com

Disclaimer – The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and do not
necessarily represent those of any institutions funded or supported through the course of
the work.

Readers can share the figures on social media, acknowledgement is appreciated.


Environmental Awareness, Attitudes and Actions: A Baseline Survey of
the Citizens and Residents of Qatar
Sayeed Showkath Mohammed

smssayeed@gmail.com

Photo Courtesy: John Thompson (http://www.pbase.com/luckyjon/birds_of_qatar)


This open access book is available online at
Copyright © 2017 Sayeed S. Mohammed
This is an open access book distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
license CC BY-4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Preface
Environmental Development is one of the four core pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. The
Vision lays the foundation for the sustainability of local ecosystem, judicious use of natural
resources and minimize waste. To achieve this ambitious goal, the first National Development
Strategy 2011-2016 set several targets to sustain the environment for future generations. One of
the key targets is to “build an environmental aware society,” and it is a precursor for successful
environmental management in the country. Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute
(QEERI) initiated this study in partnership with the Ministry of Development Planning and
Statistics (MDPS) to gauge the level of environmental awareness among the citizens and residents.
During the last phase of the project, due to unforeseen circumstances, the project was axed along
with the team.
Since the project is of utmost importance to the State, the Principal Investigator (PI) of this Study
and main author of this Report decided in continuing this study and publish under the full
authorship of the PI.
I fully acknowledge and appreciate QEERI’s institutional and financial, MDPS’ institutional
support. I express my deep gratitude for their support during the important phase of the project.
As a principal investigator, my responsibility is to present the results objectively in this Report.
The findings are based on the public’s opinion, any inference or interpretation of the results left to
the readers. Therefore, any views expressed in this report does not belong to the author,
QEERI/HBKU and MDPS.
First and foremost, I would like to thank H.E. Dr. Saleh Al Nabit, the minister of MDPS, in
approving this initiative and I thank the colleagues in the Census, IT and Public Relations
Department. My special thanks extended to Mr. Nasser Saleh Al Mahdi, Mona Othman
Mohammed, Dena Al Hail, Torfa Alzarraa and Noora Al Abdullah. Gratitude extended to Shaikha
Salem Hassan Al Hmoud and Khalid Shatarat for their review.
At QEERI, my first thanks to Dr. Mohamed Darwish, the then Director of Water Desalination
group for approving this study. Thanks to Dr. Reza Aini, Nadia Amar Hosn and Annie Mathew
for their administrative support. My special gratitude to Abeer Al-Dossari and Mohammed Al-
Azba for their unflinching support during the difficult phase of the project.
I would like to thank our media partners DohaNews, Qatar Living and ILoveQatar for their
unflinching support in advertising the surveys.
Last but not least, our thanks to all the respondents who actively participated in these surveys and
shared their valuable feedback on social media and through emails. We hope to translate your
voice into policy.
Sayeed Mohammed
June 2017
Abstract
Measuring environmental knowledge, opinion and attitude is of paramount importance to the
academics and policymakers for developing better policies for human well-being and protection
of ecosystems. Self-reporting attitudes and behaviours are one of the ways to measure. A first-of-
its-kind national opinion survey on environmental issues was conducted in 2016 in a series of three
surveys (Survey 1 - 1093; Survey 2 - 753; Survey 3 – 963) including ten sociodemographic
questions in each survey. The survey covered a wide range of topics from climate change to
government policies to urbanization to food. The results show a large number of people are deeply
aware of the local and global environmental problems. Overall, the public has a positive ecological
worldview. There is a general agreement that public is willing to make concessions in their
lifestyles to mitigate the impact on the environment. However, not many are willing to take
difficult actions. Lack of information dissemination is rife. The public is least aware of the
initiatives the government has taken to improve the environment. The government must do a lot
to disseminate the information and critically evaluate the State of the Environment in Qatar
regularly. The survey provides surprising findings on several issues that will help in developing
policy interventions that could facilitate in transitioning to an environmentally conscious society
in Qatar (target of NDS-I).

Keywods: public opinion, knowledge, pro-environment, attitude, behaviour, Qatar, water, energy,
conservation, climate change
Who is this Report for?

The Report is intended for general public, academics, corporates and policy makers. The survey
addressed all key issues that are relevant to integral institutions of the society (State-Communities-
Market). We hope that the policy makers will make use of these findings to develop policy
interventions that can build environmentally conscious society.

How to use this Report

This Report provides a comprehensive analysis of all the questions asked in three surveys. The
Report uses cross-tabulations to examine the relationship between demographic information and
responses to specific questions. Since the Report is meant for a wider readership, the language and
style of the Report were simple and lucid. The author made concerted effort to avoid statistical and
other technical jargons.

The Report contains two main sections: Executive Summary provides concise findings of the
Report, and the Main Report begins with an overview of the global history of environmentalism
both in developed and developing countries and how it continued to evolve until this day. A very
brief exposition of different behavioral theories is presented. The other part of the Main Report
is dedicated to detailed analysis of the survey. The Readers can skip to any topic of interest to
know the public opinion. The sociodemographic survey of each survey is provided at the beginning
of the survey. The author included some of the unique feedback (unedited) received in the final
survey. At the end of the report, the author proposed carefully selected books and documentaries
on various topics related to the environment.

If the readers are interested in getting further insight into the data, they can contact the author.
Table of contents

Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 1


A short note for policymakers....................................................................................................... 30
1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 33
1.1 Aims and Objectives ........................................................................................................... 34
1.2 Survey Design and Administration ..................................................................................... 35
2. Rise and Rise of Environmentalism ...................................................................................... 38
2.1 First Wave – Response to Industrial Revolution ................................................................. 38
2.2 Second Wave: Environmentalism in Affluent Societies ..................................................... 41
2.3 Third Wave: Global Environmentalism .............................................................................. 43
2.3.1 Environmentalism of the Poor ...................................................................................... 48
2.4 Theories of Behavior Change .............................................................................................. 52
2.4.1 Social Cognitive Theory ............................................................................................... 53
2.4.2 Theory of Planned Behaviour ....................................................................................... 53
2.4.3 Value-Belief-Norm Theory .......................................................................................... 57
2.5 Environmental Psychology ................................................................................................. 57
3. Survey 1 ................................................................................................................................. 61
3.1 Summary of Socio-demographics of Survey 1 ................................................................... 61
3.2 Environmental Perception and Attitude .............................................................................. 66
3.2.1 Environmental Perception ............................................................................................ 66
3.2.2 General Environmental Attitude ................................................................................... 71
3.3. Water .................................................................................................................................. 81
3.3.1 Water Conservation Behaviour ........................................................................................ 85
3.3.2 Proposed Actions to Conserve Water............................................................................... 90
3.4 Energy ................................................................................................................................. 96
4. Survey 2 ............................................................................................................................... 104
4.1 Summary of Sociodemographics of Survey 2 ................................................................... 104
4.2 Knowledge of Basic Environmental Terms ...................................................................... 109
4.3 Global Environmental Issues ............................................................................................ 114
4.4 Climate Change ................................................................................................................. 119
4.5 Local Awareness Campaigns ............................................................................................ 124
4.6 Environmental Literacy ..................................................................................................... 129
4.7 Government Policies ......................................................................................................... 137
4.8 Factors Influencing to Protect the Environment ............................................................... 147
4.9 Actions to reduce the impact on the Environment ............................................................ 149
5. Survey 3 .................................................................................................................................. 152
5.1 Summary of Socio-demographics of Survey 3 ................................................................. 153
5.2 Transport ........................................................................................................................... 157
5.2.1 Public Transport ......................................................................................................... 161
5.3 Urbanization ...................................................................................................................... 164
5.4 Waste ................................................................................................................................. 169
5.5 Food................................................................................................................................... 177
5.6 Overall Satisfaction ........................................................................................................... 186
5.7 Rating of the Survey.......................................................................................................... 187
5.8 Open Feedback .................................................................................................................. 188
References ................................................................................................................................... 193
Recommended Readings ............................................................................................................. 195
Appendix ..................................................................................................................................... 196
Survey 1................................................................................................................................... 199
Survey II .................................................................................................................................. 208
Survey III................................................................................................................................. 217
Executive Summary

1. Environmental Development is one of the four core pillars of the Qatar National Vision
2030. The Vision lays the foundation for the sustainability of local ecosystem, judicious
use of natural resources and minimize waste. To achieve this ambitious goal, the first
National Development Strategy 2011-2016 set several targets to sustain the environment
for future generations. One of the key targets is to “build an environmental aware society”
and it is a precursor for successful environmental management in the country. To guage
the level of environmental awareness among the citizens and residents, Qatar Environment
and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) initiated this study in partnership with the Ministry
of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).

2. The survey was intended to capture a current “snapshot” of attitudes related to Qatar’s
environment and other related issues. The survey intends to contribute to the development
of new policies or refining the existing policies and, potentially, to create new initiatives
and programs to build an environmentally-conscious society. Specific objectives of this
survey were to

• provide robust information on baseline environmental perception, attitude and


behaviors of citizens and residents
• offer policy recommendations based on the public opinion
• proper new research agenda on understanding the interaction with the local
environment among the citizens and residents

3. The surveys were divided into three parts and published online during February –
November 2016. In total, there were 91 questions (Survey 1 -25; Survey 2 - 33; Survey 3
– 33) with extra ten sociodemographic questions in all three surveys. The
sociodemographic variables used in the survey are similar to national census questionnaire
except for the age category. The total number of respondents for three surveys were: 1,093;
753; and 963, respectively. The respondent's age was above 17.

4. Because of inadequate budget and lack of time, the surveys were conducted online. We
hope, in our future surveys, we will conduct face-to-face surveys to have a better
representation of the local community, age group and gender to minimize bias and various
forms of error (sampling error, coverage error, nonresponse error, and measurement error).
The responses are not totally representative of the population, although, 91.5% of
individuals in Qatar has access to the internet and 98% of households connected with
internet, which is second highest in the world. Individuals who are interested in this topic
are highly likely to respond and the responses will be partially biased.

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General Environmental Perceptions and Attitudes
5. The survey finds that traffic congestion (62%) and air pollution (56%) are the two most
significant environmental concerns of all in Qatar (Figure 1). More than one-in-four people
believe depletion of natural resources (47%) and poor waste management (44%) also the
areas of concern. Whereas issues such as desertification (19%), oil spills (20%), oil and
gas depletion (24%) are not on high on public’s immediate concern. 70% of Qatari public
view air pollution is the most pressing environmental concern of all in Qatar. Roughly half
(49%) Qataris believe oil and gas depletion as a significant environmental problem than
22% of non-Qataris. Desertification, sea water pollution tops the opinion list of Qataris
than their counterparts. This indicates that Qataris have a general sense of understanding
of the local concerns and expatriate community find it difficult to sense the urgency and
importance.

Figure 1. Primary Environmental Concerns in Qatar

6. The survey finds daily activities like air conditioning/lighting, water consumption and food
waste contribute negatively to the environment. The public thinks driving a big car, having
a big residence are not necessarily bad for the environment. Qataris are far more likely to
see water consumption as one of the major activities affecting the environmental compared

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to non-Qataris (56% versus 34%). This view is common among the adults of age group 25-
34 (54%) and 35-50 (70%).

7. An overwhelming majority (80%) of public know a lot or fair amount about climate change
and sustainable development (Figure 2). Four-in-ten (40%) of the public say they know a
lot about climate change and 32% about sustainable development. However, many other
important environmental terms are less familiar; 15% say the public never heard about of
ocean acidification and some 10% say the same about ecological footprint. There are some
wide differences in opinion about desertification. More (74%) Qataris say they know a lot
or fair amount about desertification compared to only 48% of non-Qataris. Qataris can
relate themselves to the loss of ‘green’ in the desert area. But the diverse group of non-
Qataris can hardly able to relate to this problem. Therefore, they know very little about it.

Figure 2. Public’s response to their level of knowledge of basic terms

8. Collectively, Qatar’s public (47%) view climate change is one of the pressing
environmental threats of our time (Figure 3). This view is prominent among the younger
generation. Water and air pollution (44%) and loss of natural resources (36%) rank equally
high in public’s concern. However, issues like loss of biodiversity (18%) and urbanization
(17%) do not really rise high in public’s view.

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Figure 3. Public’s response to most pressing global environmental issues (5 is highest, 1 –
lowest)

9. Generally, the public has a positive ecological worldview; non-Qataris are more likely to
exhibit pro-environmental attitude than Qataris (Figure 4). A notable share (88%) of public
agree that the Earth has limited natural resources like freshwater, food, etc. A staggering
majority (92%) of public back the statement that the quality of life depends on the quality
of the environment. A vast majority of the public (91%) agree that humans are severely
abusing the environment. Roughly two-thirds (63%) of public find it unacceptable to
deplete the natural resources or sacrifice environmental quality for economic growth. 87%
of the public overwhelmingly agree (of which 60% strongly agree) that we need to make
sacrifices in our excessive consumer lifestyles to reduce environmental problems. Fully
two-thirds (67%) of public disagree that the environment is a low priority compared with
other things in their life. By contrast, one-in-five (19%) Qataris say that environment is a
low priority compared with other things in my life. Overwhelming majorities (88%) say
they are willing to curb consumerist lifestyle to protect the environment and a notable share
said very willing (37%) and 52% say fairly willing.

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Figure 4. General Environmental Attitudes (or ecological worldviews) of Qataris

Water
10. Qatar is one of the water scarcest countries in the region and world. But the continuous
expansion of fossil fuel-led desalination technology and associated water infrastructure
evaded the shortages and led to continuous access to safe and clean water to all the citizens
and residents. In recent years, Qatar witnessed the growing household water consumption
adding stress to the economy, infrastructure, and the environment. New measures were
proposed to curb the demand through increasing water tariffs and recycling domestic
wastewater for semi-productive use. However, these measures have not reduced the
household consumption. Conserving water is one of the strategic areas for Qatar for its
natural sustainability.

11. The survey tested the knowledge of public about Qatar’s ground-and-freshwater resources.
Only a very small share of the public is aware of water resources in Qatar. The survey finds
just one-in-four (27%) knows the current state of groundwater aquifers in Qatar, whereas
nearly half (48%) of the public is unaware. A notable share (61%) of the public do not
know about the freshwater reserve capacity and storage in Qatar.

12. The survey finds that more than one-third (36%) of public say bathing (shower) is where
most of the day-to-day water is consumed. Followed by 26% say toilet and one-in-five
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(21%) marked washing clothes and utensils (19%), respectively. However, there is no
sizeable difference in ranking when it comes to gardening, drinking and washing the car,
all rank equally. Whereas cooking (7%) and cleaning homes (6%) are the least water-
consumed activities. There is a slight variation in terms of usage of water for different
socioeconomic groups. Qataris’ water consumption in the garden is highest compared to
non-Qataris (29% versus 15%) and common among higher income non-Qataris. Also, over
one-fourth (28%) of the Qatari public marked car washing as a major water consumer
compared to non-Qataris (12%). Bigger homes, higher income and lavish lifestyle drives
water consumption.

13. The survey finds that a large number of people already engaged in water conservation
activities, but most of them that are convenient such as loading their washing machine and
dishwater fully. Roughly half (49%) of public say it is likely (including very likely) to
install a grey-water recycling system. Older generations are more likely to consider
installing grey water recycling system in their homes than younger groups.

14. There was a general perception that people are reluctant to use treated wastewater for
agriculture or landscaping or non-consumptive use. The common concerns are a health
risk, religious and cultural reasons. However, there is popular support for reusing treated
wastewater. A sizeable majority (61%) of public say they would consider using treated
wastewater (from kitchen and washing machine) for toilet flushing. A fewer than 10% say
it is unlikely or they would not do. Men and women broadly share same views. Some 12%
of Qatari men say it is unlikely and 13% of Qatari women say they would not do. However,
more than half of Qatari men and women expressed a favourable opinion of using well-
treated wastewater from kitchen, washing machine for toilet flushing.

15. Roughly one-in-six (57%) people say they would consider reusing best quality treated
water from bathtubs for landscaping. A sizeable opinion gap exists among and between
subgroups. Women are more supportive of this idea than men, 63% of women say it is
likely in comparison with only 52% of men. Both Qataris and non-Qataris express
favourable views of using treated wastewater for landscaping (58% vs 56%).

16. What would encourage people to conserve water effectively? Some options are more
preferable than others (Figure 5). The most preferred option is installing a water meter and
notifying their monthly consumption to their mobiles (80% likely), information about
water scarcity and conservation options (76% likely) and putting a limit on the water use
at free or low cost (73%). Whereas the responses are divided for increasing the water tariffs
and faith-based encouragement. Nearly one-in-four people said it is unlikely that increasing
water tariffs will influence water conservation. One in five people said faith-based values
would not influence to conserve water.

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Figure 5. Public’s response to various influencing factors in water conservation

Energy
17. Energy (electricity) is another growing concern in Qatar, although, less important because
of its abundant availability. Between 2014 and 2015, electricity production has increased
7.3% and a five-year annual average increase of 8.2%. Per capita electricity consumption
in 2015 was 17,141 kWh/year, which is considered to be one of the highest in the world.
The continuous rise in per capita consumption has cautioned the policy makers and looking
for ways to reduce electricity consumption. The government has increased electricity tariffs
for non-Qatari households and commercial enterprises to promote energy conservation.
Nearly 70-80% of the household electricity consumption goes to air conditioning.

18. The survey asked to report the most-energy consuming appliances in a list five options
ranking from highest to lowest. The survey finds that a staggering majority (77%) of public
say air conditioning is the most energy consuming appliance and which goes with the
evidence by a recent study of Kahramaa (air conditioning and lighting consume 70-80% of
household electricity). Whereas other appliances lie far below the public list; lighting
(22%), other appliances (TV, ironing clothes) (14%), water heating (12%) and electric
cooker (9%).

19. The electricity consumption is highest during the peak summer period June to September
when the temperature exceeds 45°C. The average temperature for human comfort is 24°C.
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The survey finds that the average temperature of ACs in households is 22.3°C. The median
temperature between men and women is relatively same, but women tend to keep their AC
temperatures lower compared to men. Qataris tend to keep their AC temperatures 2°C
lower compared to non-Qataris (20.78 vs 22.61).

20. A majority of the public is conscious of usage of air conditioning; however, the AC
temperatures are lower (Figure 6). Three-fourths of public use air conditioning only when
they are in need and a just two-in-ten (21%) say they keep the AC on throughout the
summer and fewer than 5% say they keep it on during the summer and winter. Younger
Qatari adults are more likely to keep the AC on throughout the summer and winter. People
with less income tend to be more mindful of their usage than the higher income groups.
There is no influence of education on the behaviour.

Figure 6. Public’s response to average AC temperature in their household

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21. For over six months, the weather in Qatar is pleasant where the fan (ceiling/table) can do
the job to keep us comfortable. Some 58% of public endorse the idea, and roughly one-
fourth (24%) say ‘Maybe.’ Just one-in-ten (10%) say it is unlikely they would use fan
whereas fewer than 5% say they never thought about it, implying they would consider
using it. Qataris are not very favorable of using the fan as an alternative source of
conditioning the room temperature. People with lower income are more inclined to use fan
compared to respondents with higher income.

22. The government aims to diversify its sources of electricity production. Solar energy is the
most preferred option. The survey finds an overwhelming willingness (98%) to install
rooftop solar panels for electricity and solar water heater (Figure 7). Of which, over one-
third (35%) say ‘Yes’ and majority (67%) of the public say, they are renting this place, if
they can they would. There is no statistically significant difference between men and
women (35% vs 36% say yes). An astounding number (84%) of Qataris endorse the idea
of using solar panels, and only 10% are not so fond of using so. By contrast, some 70% of
the non-Qatari public say they are renting this place, else they would consider it. This
indicates both Qatari and non-Qatari public express strong support in installing solar panels
for electricity and solar water heaters. Young generations are more convinced of this idea
compared to the older generation. Startling majorities of Qatari adults of age between 24-
35 and 36-50 voice their support compared to other groups. 97% of Qatari female adults
(24-35) say they willing to install solar panels and some 25% of young Qataris (17-24) say
otherwise. Income and education barely influence the decision of the public.

Figure 7. Qataris’ willingness to install solar panels

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Climate Change
23. The survey asked series of statements about the perceptions of climate change (Figure 8).
An overwhelming majority (91%) of public believe that man-made actions are responsible
for climate change. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of them strongly back the statement. A fewer
than 3% agree that human actions have nothing to do with climate change. Some 93% of
Qataris believe that climate change is man-made. Roughly eight-in-ten (78%) people say
climate change is responsible for most of the weather-related changes (floods, drought).
More than one-in-three (13%) people are unsure and only 7% disagree whether climate
change has anything do with the weather changes.

24. A majority (63%) of the public is optimistic that we are in reach of solving the greatest
environmental crisis. Some 20% of public remain pessimistic and 16% are skeptical and
maintained a neutral position. Qataris are a lot more pessimistic than non-Qataris (26% vs
15%) and almost one-quarter (24%) of Qataris are unsure. Academics and non-profit
employees are more optimistic than others. The public is mildly divided whether climate
change is a distant problem to be of immediate concern. Roughly six-in-ten (58%) say
climate change is a problem of today not tomorrow. More than one-fourth (27%) say
climate change is a far-off concern that needs to be worried about now. This view is
predominantly (37%) shared by Qatari women.

25. An overwhelming majority (83%) of public agree that we (collectively as a society) need
to make radical reforms in our production and consumption pattern to address climate
change. A fewer than 6% disagree with the statement. A vast majority (91%) of Qataris
believe that radical changes are imperative to tackle climate change. Whereas only 83% of
non-Qatari public share this view. Opinions across the generation are strongly united
among Qataris. Young Qatari adults (17-24 and 25-35) are more likely to agree to radical
reforms. Almost a quarter (24%) of public agree the Western countries should take most
of the blame for climate change. A notable share (31%) of public remained neutral, and
39% do not believe that the West should be blamed entirely. Men are particularly likely to
believe compared to women (23% vs 16%). Qatari and non-Qatari public share similar
perceptions, but a one-third of Qatari remained unsure.

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Figure 8. Public’s response to climate change related questions

Local Awareness Campaigns


26. Unfortunately, citizens (and residents) engagement in local environmental activities is
abysmally low. A sizeable majority (62%) of public never attended any environmental
programs. Some 22% attended once, and only 12% attended more than twice. An
overwhelming majority of the public is unaware of the awareness initiatives and programs
organized by the Ministry of Environment and Friends of Environment.

27. Overall, not many people in Qatar are aware of environmental awareness campaigns.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents never attended any of the environmental initiatives, 22%
attended once, and only 12% of overall respondents attended more than twice. Males and
middle-income groups are more likely to have participated in environmental initiatives.
Even people with higher education has barely participated in any environmental events.
Students are more likely to participate than any other groups, one in four students attended
at least one environmental initiative.

28. Kahramaa’s Tarsheed seems to be a popular campaign. Roughly two-thirds (63%) say they
heard of Tarsheed campaign and only one-third not aware of it. Men tend to know more
about the campaign than women (66% versus 53%), and a majority (85%) of Qataris know
the Tarsheed campaign compared to only 60% of non-Qataris. Qatari women and men and
across all ages are equally aware of the campaign. However, a sizeable minority (41%) say
the campaign could be better, and a fully 10% say the campaign lack any relevant

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information. Roughly men and women share similar perception, but more women say the
campaigns could be better. Far more (50%) Qatari public say it is effective, but a majority
say it could be better.

29. For few years, Qatar Petroleum organized annual Environmental Fair with the support of
all major oil/gas companies. More than 90% did not know about the Fair and those who
have attended reported it was not worth it. Qataris are less likely to attend the events
(lectures/site visits) organized by the Friends of Environment (FoE). More than half of the
respondents never knew about these events, and those who know about these programs
never attended or not attended more than once. Over 90% of the public have neither
attended the event or knew about the events organized by the Ministry of Municipality and
Environment (formerly, Ministry of Environment). Nearly half of the Qataris knew about
the events, but never attended, and 60% of non-Qataris never knew about these events in
first place. The middle-aged respondents are least likely to attend the event.

Environmental Literacy
30. Environmental (or ecological) literacy is very important for citizens to take conscious
decisions in their day to day life. Independent and trustworthy information is needed to
achieve more systematic change by addressing the fundamental information failure
impeding sustainable development. In many developed and developing countries, civil
societies and news agencies fill this information gap through publishing pamphlets, reports,
videos and lectures. A fewer than 10% of public say there is environmental information
available for public use. A sizeable majority (40%) of the public have no idea and some
32% say there is partial information on the government websites. A fully one-quarters
(26%) of Qataris say there is not enough information at all and some 44% say they do not
know if such information exists on the government websites. This indicates the government
should do a lot to publish regular information on various environmental issues and market
it through different traditional and social media tools. The information should be accessible
to all.

31. A staggering majority (89%) of public say they like to have more information to help them
build a lifestyle that is within the ecological limits. Roughly men and women express a
similar opinion. Some 95% of Qatari men and 91% of non-Qatari women say they like to
have information that helps to take conscious decisions about the products and services.

32. The survey finds that scientists are the most trustworthy source and industry is the least
trustworthy source (Figure 9). Dedicated environmental NGOs are favorable in public’s
eyes. Whereas the government, media is somewhere in the middle. Roughly one-in-four
(38%) of the public do not trust environmental information comes from the industry, which
is highest of all. Surprisingly, family/friends are not reliable sources of environmental

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information as well. News, social media and newspapers are the three most preferred
sources for environmental awareness in Qatar. Options like lectures/workshops and radio
are not a very popular source for the public to know about environmental issues.

Figure 9. Public’s response to most trustworthy sources when it comes to environmental-


related information

33. There is a surprising majority of the public expressed strong support for the independent
civil society organizations in building an environmentally conscious society in Qatar. Men
and women unanimously share similar views. A vast majority (83%) of Qataris say it is
crucial to have an independent civil society and this view is predominant among young
adults. Over 90% of young Qatari adults, 17-24 and 25-35, say they need an independent
civil society to address the information failure. This sentiment is equally shared by non-
Qataris. Nearly all age groups express strong desire. Academics, non-profit employees and
people with higher education show unanimous support, whereas the government
employees are not too convinced of this idea.

Government Policies
34. The public is clearly divided whether they have enough to say in the way the environment
is managed in Qatar (Figure 10). A fully one-quarters (26%) of the public do not believe
that they have any say. And roughly one-third agreeing with the statement, one-fourth
remained unsure whether they have enough to say the way environment is managed in
Qatar. More Qataris voice their concern about lack of citizen engagement in managing the

13
environment compared to non-Qataris. There are stark differences in opinion across
generations. Qatari adults, aged 35-50, are more convinced that they have enough say,
whereas a notable share of Qatari adults, age 17-24 and above 50 are not so sure if they
have any voice on this matter. Non-Qataris, those who are living in Qatar for a longer time
tend to agree more than the new expats. Opinions are split across the income and education
groups. Academics believe they have very little say, whereas the government and semi-
government employees convinced that they have enough say the way environment is
managed in Qatar.

Figure 10. Public’s response to government policies

35. There is unanimous public support (94%) for the government to enforce tough laws and
regulations on industries to minimize the impact on the environment. And, fully (70%) of
the public strongly favor (agree) with the idea. Women are particularly more likely to share
this opinion. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) of Qatari public back the statement compared to
95% of the non-Qatari public. There have been stark generational differences in opinion
especially among Qataris. Qatari adults, ages 24-35 and 35-50, overwhelmingly agree that

14
the government must enforce tough laws on industries, whereas one-third of older Qataris
(above 50) disagree.

36. Some 80% of public broadly share the view that the government should tax industries to
reduce emissions. One-in-ten (11%) of public say they are uncertain on this issue. There is
a total agreement of Qatari adults of ages 24-35 and 35-50 say the government must impose
taxes on industries to curb emissions. Whereas the Qatari adults (aged 17-24 and above 50)
remained skeptical on this issue. Non-profit employees (100%), semi-government and
private sector employees equally (83%) expresses strong agreement compared to
government employees (76%).

37. Is it just the state and corporate should protect the environment? What about citizens (and
residents)? Each individual has a role in the society to protect the environment. A vast
majority (84%) of public agree that the government should pass laws to make ordinary
citizens to protect the environment. One in ten (11%) people are unsure and fewer than 5%
disagree. Men and women roughly share same views. There is a consensus among Qataris
and non-Qataris, both agree strongly that the government should enact news laws for
citizens to take an active role in protecting the environment. Qatari adults, ages 25-35
(94%) and 35-50 (90%), are much receptive of this idea compared to younger (17-24, 54%)
and older (above 50, 66%) Qataris.

38. The survey finds that a fully (77%) of the public is convinced that investing in research
will solve the crisis. Some 14% are skeptical and fewer than 5% completely reject the idea
of R&D investment. Men and women tend to hold broadly similar views. Qataris express
more support for R&D than non-Qataris (85% vs 75%). Not a single Qatari reject this idea.
There are stark reactions across generations. Qatari adults, ages 25-35 and 35-50, show an
overwhelming support to this idea compared to the older generation. More than one-third
(36%) of young Qatari adults (17-24) remained unsure.

39. The survey asked if the government is spending enough to protect the environment. People
give mixed answers. Roughly three-in-ten (28%) people say the government is spending
enough, whereas one-fourth (24%) disagree. By contrast, more than one-fourth of them has
no opinion, and a fully one-in-five (21%) say they do not have enough information about
government spending. Qatari women feel that the environmental expenditure is not enough
compared to Qatari men (16% vs 9%). The government employees are far more convinced
with the government spending, whereas academics, non-profit and private sector
employees think otherwise.

40. There is an overwhelming (80%) public support for the idea of the government to invest
more to protect the environment. Some 16% of the public is unsure (8%) and do not have
enough information (8%) to share their opinion. Qatari public thinks the government
should invest more than non-Qataris (84% vs 79%). A whole of young Qatari adults, ages
25-35 and 36-50, overwhelmingly endorse the idea. Employees from all sector are strongly
15
united on this issue. However, academics (84%), private sector (82%) and non-profit (89%)
employees tend to hold this view quite strongly than others.

41. There is very little transparency about the state of the local environment in Qatar. A lot of
information has been kept away from public use (see details – [1]). We asked if the
government should publish more about the status of the local environment. Public
unanimously (90%) agree that the government should release annual environmental reports
for public use. A fully 91% of men back the statement compared to 87% of women. An
overwhelming majority (94%) of Qatari public says the government should release annual
reports addressing local environmental issues.

42. The survey asked the public if the companies (oil, gas, petrochemical and others) should
release their environmental performance report annually for public use. A vast majority
(91%) of public strongly united in supporting the idea of publishing corporate
environmental reports. Men and women equally share the same opinion. Some 92% of
Qatari public agree overwhelmingly that the corporates should publish and 96% of Qatari
men endorse the idea. Nine-in-ten non-Qataris, both men and women, believe that the
companies should publish reports about their activities impacting the environment.

Responsibility and Accountability


43. Roughly three-quarters (74%) of public think Ministry of Environment is the most
responsible institution in protecting the environment. A sizeable minority (46%) of public
say Ministry of Energy and Industry, oil & gas industries (43%) and MMUP (35%) are
equally responsible for protecting the enviornment. More than one-thirds (38%) of public
believe households/individuals are responsible for protecting the environment, which
means that the government should give more space and policy instruments for
individuals/households. The survey finds institutions like Ministry of Public Health (27%),
research organizations/civil society (22%) and Ministry of Interior (15%) are not entirely
responsible for protecting the environment.

Transport

44. Over three-fourth (78%) of respondents (n=963) have a car, of which 34% has a sedan, and
38% has four-wheel drive car. One-in-three (29%) of women do not have a car compared
to 20% of men. Qatari women are less likely to have a car than non-Qatari women (33%
vs 28%). Women are more likely to have a four-wheel drive than men, and 59% of Qatari
men have a four-wheel drive compared to 36% of non-Qatari men. Roughly one-in-five
(19%) of non-Qatari men do not have a car compared to 5% of Qatari men.

16
45. More than half (59%) of the public has at least one car in their households. Undoubtedly,
Qataris have more cars in their households than non-Qataris. Roughly one-fourth of Qataris
say they have three cars and some 18% of them have four cars. One-in-ten Qataris say they
have six cars.

46. The average distance traveled per day is 46 km and the maximum distance traveled is 300
km. The average distance travelled by Qatari and non-Qataris is almost the same, whereas
the non-Qataris are more likely to travel a lot per day. Two-thirds of the public rarely or
never carpooled.
Public Transport
47. The survey finds that public transport is the least preferred mode of transit in Qatar. One-
in-six (61%) people say they never used public transport and another one-fourth seldom
use public transport. Only 5% use public transport daily. A vast majority (90%) of Qatari
public never used public transport compared to 59% of non-Qataris. There are sizeable
differences among income groups. Low-income non-Qataris are more likely to use public
transport. Some 14% of earning less than 5,000 QR and 11% of the public with income
between 5,000 and 10,000 use public transport regularly.

48. Since public transportation is not a usual mode of the transport system in Qatar, we asked
the public what is stopping them from using the public transport (buses) more often (Figure
11). Most prominent are inconvenient schedule (27%) and unsuitable routes (22%). Some
13% cite environmental factors such as high temperature, humidity and air pollution
prevent people from using public transport. Many see gender and other sociocultural
factors hinder people to use public transport regularly, this is very true for Qataris. Nearly
40% of overall Qatari public say social/cultural factors prevent them from using it, whereas
the balance of opinion was just the opposite of non-Qataris. A sizeable majority (42%) of
non-Qataris consider it as the least barrier.

17
Figure 11. Public’s ranking of different barriers in using public transportation regularly

49. The survey asked what would encourage public from using public transport regularly.
Some 70% of public say, they would consider using public transport if there is a frequent
service and covers wider areas and suitable routes. Whereas other factors (gender specific
buses, air-conditioned bus stations) do not influence people to use public transport system.
Roughly half (47%) and 26% of Qatari men say frequent bus services and air-conditioned
bus stops will encourage them to use regularly. And, one-third of Qatari women prefer to
have gender-specific buses. Among non-Qataris, 76% of men assert that frequent service
will encourage public transport use regularly. Surprisingly, no one ever mentioned that
they would never take a public transport even among Qataris.

50. More than half of public say that they would take the Metro every day and another 40%
mentioned sometimes. Less than 3% said they would never take the Metro. Men will take
Metro more frequently than women (58% versus 45%), and more than 50% of women say
they would travel in Metro sometimes. Non-Qataris are in strong favour of using Metro
regularly than non-Qataris (17% vs 57%). Whereas, more than 60% of Qataris across
generation say they would sometimes and roughly one-in-five young Qatari adults, age 17-
24, will never use Metro. Younger generations are more likely to use Metro regularly than
older generations among non-Qataris. There are very modest differences among income

18
groups. Lower-income and middle-income groups express their keen desire in using public
transport regularly.

Urbanization
51. The public has a positive opinion about the urban development in Qatar. More than two-
thirds (68%) of public agree Qatar benefitted a lot from urban development. Roughly one-
third (32%) of public say it is good for the economy in the long-run and another over one-
third (36%) ascertained that this development projects Qatar as a modern, vibrant and
dynamic place to live and work.

52. Little over one-in-ten (15%) people say that rapid development led to increasing in
consumption of energy, water, materials and growing accumulation of waste. A similar
share (12%) declared that it is bad for the environment, as it puts pressure on the local
ecosystem through increased pollution, destruction of biodiversity, resource depletion.
Fewer than 5% of public say it threatens the traditional way of life and disappearance of
local cultural identity.

53. The survey asked people to rank the negative consequences of rapid urbanization. The
survey finds the three most cited adverse consequences of rapid development are increasing
in traffic congestion (56%), rising cost of housing (49%) and increase in air pollution
(41%). The least of all is an increase in crime (9%) which is very positive outlook for Qatar.
Non-Qataris feel a lot safer in Qatar (Figure 12).

19
Figure 12. Public’s response to negative consequences of rapid urban development

54. When asked about the immediate actions the government must take to address the negative
impacts of urbanization; affordable housing tops the list of public’s concerns. Some 43%
of people believe that government should pay more attention to low cost housing, which
was a consequence of rapid urbanization. Non-Qataris are more likely (44%) to report as a
major concern compared to Qataris. Low cost housing is a major concern among low-
income non-Qataris. Over 50% of non-Qataris earning less than 10,000 reports low-cost
housing as most important compared to only 37% of income above 15,000.

55. Public Transport is the second important (38%) concern that the government should pay
attention to. Men are more likely to prefer public transport. Over one-in-four (29%) Qatari
men report that public transport is where the government must pay attention compared to
20% of Qatari women. Both non-Qatari men and women believe public transportation need
immediate attention (40% vs 38%). Surprisingly, young Qatari adults are not too fond of
public transportation.

56. Surprisingly, air pollution received the least importance here in terms of government’s
attention. Over one-third (34%) of public rated that government should pay attention to
reduce air pollution in Qatar. Women believe air pollution is a bigger concern and needs
immediate attention from the government (33% vs 36%). Qataris are more likely to believe

20
that government should pay more attention to air pollution compared to non-Qataris (42%
versus 33%). This sentiment is much common younger Qatari adults; 25-35 (66%).

57. The survey finds that roughly one-in-four (23%) of public say the government is not taking
enough measures in mitigating the negative consequences rapid urban development. A very
small share (16%) say the opposite. Whereas a sizeable minority (44%) say the government
actions are partial and need additional effort. Some 17% of the public does not have
enough information to process and express their opinion. An equal share (33%) of the
Qatari and non-Qatari public do not believe the government’s actions are adequate in
addressing above concerns. This opinion is common among Qatari adults of age group 25-
35 (53%) and 36-50 (42%). Young Qatari adults, 17-24, fairly agree that the government’s
actions are somewhat adequate. A sizeable share of non-Qataris of all age group mentioned
somewhat adequate.

Waste
58. Plastic is the most common waste generated in a typical household. One-third of overall
respondents say that of all products, the volume of the plastic waste generated is higher,
followed by food waste (19%) and paper (12%). Metal, electronic waste and glass are the
least amounts of waste generated in Qatar.

59. Overall, half of the surveyed people recycle either at home (11%), work (16%) or both
(23%). Another half never recycled. Women are more likely to recycle than men. However,
the different is not significant (57% vs 48%). There is a sizeable difference between Qataris
and non-Qataris. Non-Qataris are particularly more likely to recycle compared to non-
Qataris (51% versus 38%). Women recycle more than men. A clear majority (71%) of
Qatari men do not recycle compared to 58% of Qatari women (Figure 13). Low-income
non-Qataris are more likely to recycle than higher-income groups. Younger non-Qataris of
age group 25-25 are least likely to recycle (80% reported they do not recycle). This shows
that the attitude may not necessarily reflect in behavior.

21
Figure 13. Public’s response to recycling

60. A vast majority (82%) of public say there are not enough recycling facilities close to their
home or office and another one-in-ten say it is too time consuming (Figure 14). Roughly
three-fourths (72%) of Qataris claim there are not enough recycling facilities and 13%
recycling is time consuming. There is a prominent generational divide. Young Qatari
adults, 17-24, say a little over half say there are not enough recycling facilities, 14% of
young adults say recycling takes too much time, and an equal share ack faith in the
facilities. Whereas the response for other age group is not so divided; 93% of Qataris of
age group 36-50 said there were not enough recycling facilities. Majority (90%) of public
earning more than 20,000 complain that recycling facilities are insufficient.

22
Figure 14. Public’s response to factors encourage recycling

61. The survey asked public’s opinion about having segregated recycling bins in public places.
There was an overwhelmingly positive opinion of having segregated recycling bins. A
sizeable minority (45%) of public say it makes recycling easier, 42% say it promotes
awareness. Only 13% of public remained skeptical; people do not care and will put
everything in one bin and a waste of money. Both men and women are optimistic about
recycling bins in public places. Roughly half of women and 44% of men claim that
segregated recycling bins in places makes recycling easier and promotes awareness. A
fewer than 10% of men and women are pessimistic about this idea. An overwhelming
number (87%) of Qataris strongly support this idea claiming it will help in promoting
awareness and facilitating recycling.

62. Overall, people are willing to take simpler actions to avoid household waste. Eighty percent
of public say they would buy exactly what is required (be it food and other products), 10%
said avoiding over-packaged goods, and 6% report donate/sell items for reuse. Only a 3%
of public say they would make an effort to get broken appliances and other items repaired
before buying new ones. Even the younger people among Qataris and non-Qataris prefer
easy option – buying exactly what is required. Income does not influence people to mend
their appliances and reuse them.

23
Food
63. Supermarkets are the most popular choice to purchase food and vegetable markets are the
least one. Some 85% of public buy their food markets in supermarket chains, followed by
12% in small grocery stores (or bakhala) and only 2% purchase in specialized vegetable
markets. An overwhelming majority (95%) of Qataris buy food in supermarkets compared
to 85% of non-Qataris.

64. The survey finds that the public gives more preference to freshness and taste (65%) than
anything else in their food choice. Followed by health implications (54%) and the least
important factors were animal welfare (18%) and environmental issues (16%),
respectively. Over one-third (39%) of public say price and some 24% say seasonal and
locally produced commodities are important factors in their food shopping choice. The
latter is more prominent among Qataris. Non-Qataris are more concerned about food prices
than Qataris (39% vs 26%). It is obvious people with lower income would be more
concerned with the price. More than half (57%) of non-Qataris earning less than 5,000 say
price plays a crucial role in food shopping compared only 27% of people earning above
20,000. Whereas animal welfare or environmental issues are the least options in food
shopping behavior. Qataris are most likely to rank environmental factor as the least
important factor than non-Qataris.

65. An overwhelming majority (83%) of public say less than 15% of their food goes to waste
and 10% of them said 16-30% of food goes to waste. Men are less likely to generate food
waste compared to women (85% versus 78%). Some 15% of women generate 16-30% of
food waste. Qataris are more likely to generate food waste than non-Qataris. Two-thirds of
Qataris generate less than 15% of household food waste and 17% generate 16-30% and
10% report that 30-50% of food goes to waste in their household.

66. Public gives a mixed answer when it comes to consuming meat and other animal products
and its negative consequence to the environment (Figure 15). The responses are evenly
split, one-third agree, one-third remained unsure and the rest one-third disagree with the
statement. Women back the statement strongly compared to men. A sizeable minority
(one-thirds) of men and women remained uncertain on this issue. Qatari men tend to
disagree a lot compared to Qatari women (50% versus 17%).

24
Figure 15. Public’s response to environmental consequences related to food choices

67. A sizeable majority (67%) of public back the statement that food waste contributes
negatively to the environment. One-in-five people disagree and 11% are not entirely sure
about the food waste and its impact on the environment. There are stark differences by age.
Younger Qataris strongly agree compared to other age groups. Nearly two-thirds of Qatari
adults, ages 25-35 and 36-50, strongly back the statement.

68. Nearly half (47%) of public agree that importing food from distant areas impacts the
environment. Over three-in-ten (30%) people could not be able to relate food import and
its impact. Roughly one-in-four (24%) do not back the statement. 40% of Qataris remain
unsure whether importing food from long distance has a negative impact on the
environment.

69. The survey asked to know what are the possible actions public is in favour of reducing
food-related impacts on the environment. Public is willing to take steps that are convenient
and consumes less time. More than one-thirds of public say that they would use reusable
shopping bags for food shopping. Low-income groups are more likely to use every time,
whereas middle-income and higher-income groups are less likely to use regularly. Nearly
60% of Qatari men said they never used reusable shopping bags and this is very common
among Qataris of age group 25-34 and 35-50.

70. More than one-third of people say they limit meat consumption sometimes, but 28%
reported they never limited or avoided meat consumption. More than half of Qataris and
one-fourth of non-Qataris say they never limited or avoided meat consumption. Nearly
three-fourths of Qataris of age group 25-34 reduced or avoided meat consumption.

25
Final Thoughts

71. Environment means different to different people. Some see the environment as pure
economic resource needs to be converted into a commodity and sold in the market. Some
see it as a recreational value, for leisure and relish the beauty of it and for some, the
environment is sacred and has a spiritual value. Based on how they conceive of the
environment, the value of the environment and their attitude varies. There are several
factors influence people to protect the environment. Moral/ethical obligation and concern
for future generation is the most dominant factors for people to protect the environment
(Figure 16). Religious values, cultural norms or national policies do not play a significant
role in protecting the environment. In fact, national policies, laws and regulations are the
least influencing factor. When it comes to religion, the opinion varies considerably between
Qataris and non-Qataris and the opinion is polarized among non-Qataris. 50% of Qataris
say religious values influence them to protect the environment compared to only 23% of
non-Qataris. There are generational differences. Non-Qataris take fairly different positions
on this issue. The young adults in both groups consider religious values influence their
decisions.

Figure 16. Public’s response to various factors influencing in protecting the environment
26
72. Pro-environment attitude results in environment behavior/action. The actions are
determined by various reasons: convenience; cost; a lack of alternative options; and
practical considerations. The survey response suggests that people prefer to act upon things
that are easy and convenient (Figure 17). The three most commonly reported doable
activities were fixing water and energy leaks in their home (46%), reducing electricity
consumption and food consumption (41%). The three least doable activities were reducing
material consumption (24%), using public transportation, walking and biking (22%) and
the least among them is participating in environmental campaigns and initiatives (20%).
Participating in environmental awareness campaigns is one form of civic duty and
commitment to mobilize change in the community. It also minimizes the impact on the
environment through education, lobbying and awareness. There are many reasons why the
public is not interested in participating in environmental awareness campaigns. Lack of
opportunities, lack of public space to express freely, lack of financial and institutional
support, fear, and transient nature of expats (they are here for a short time, long-term
commitment is impossible).

73. One can observe that why some options are more doable compared to others, although, it
does not require any extra effort or cost involved. A comprehensive study is required to
analyze the hidden barriers or challenges. At times, misconception or lack of information
on certain issues pose a major barrier.

27
Figure 17. Public’s response to most and least doable activities to protect the environment

74. There is a strong divide in public opinion about their satisfaction with the local
environment (Figure 18). A sizeable minority (40%) are satisfied and only 7% are very
satisfied with Qatar’s environment. A fully one-third (33%) of the public is dissatisfied
with the environment. Roughly one in five (17%) people neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Men are more likely to be satisfied compared to women (42% vs 35%). Some 40% of
women are dissatisfied with the environment. A sizeable minority (40%) of Qataris and
non-Qataris are satisfied with the local environment, and 25% of Qataris are dissatisfied
and almost one-tenth of them are very dissatisfied. There are stark differences in opinion
by age. A sizeable number of young people are dissatisfied with the environment. One-
third of Qatari adults, age 17-24, is not too happy with the quality of the environment.
Qatari men of age above 50 are very satisfied. Government employees (both Qatari and
non-Qataris) are more likely to be satisfied with Qatar’s environment that other groups.
50% of Qatari housewives (and men) hold an opposite view on this; they are dissatisfied
with the local quality of the environment.

28
Figure 18. Public response to the satisfaction of Qatar’s environmental quality

75. A large part of the respondents has given a favorable rating to our surveys. In a scale of 1
to 9; one in five people marked excellent, 27% marked ‘8’ and 26% marked ‘7’ and 16%
of total respondents marked less than ‘5’.

76. Finally, it is crucial to emphasize that self-reported measures of pro-environmental attitude


are generally weakly associated with the environmental impact. For instance, the difference
between the low-income person who lives downtown and cares little about the environment
and a middle-class person who lives in the suburbs and cares deeply about the environment.
A low-income resident living in a small apartment uses little energy for cooling and
consumes overall less products and a middle-income person living in a reasonably sized
apartment with energy star rating appliances, purchases organic vegetables and products
and drives a hybrid car. The middle-class person appears ‘greener’ based on the
environmental concern measures but the low-income person has an overall less
environmental impact. Behaviours vary in terms of their impact as well.

29
A short note for policymakers
The scale and impact of the environmental problems are growing across the world, but the impact
varies across and within the communities in both developed and developing countries. A better
understanding of how our economies and societies contribute to these ecological problems will
reshape our perspective and help us realigning our societies for better living. Consequently, there
is a growing effort predominantly by the civil society and academia to raise awareness of these
issues and find meaningful ways to tackle it. The communication revolution, especially, social
media bridging this information and knowledge gap. At the same time, misinformation is rife.

The recommendations proposed are based on the considered professional judgement and firmly
believes the policymakers would consider them in a constructive way.
The readers must keep in mind that these self-reported surveys measure the barometer of
environmental attitude and behaviour. But the link between attitude and behaviour is weak. A
more comprehensive approach is needed to understand the public’s attitude and behaviour such as
representative survey, focus group discussions with small and large groups (with diverse
backgrounds) and critical observation. More independent studies are crucial in understanding the
societal-environmental interactions among Qataris and residents.
Since this is a baseline survey, we aim to capture wide ranging environmental issues. The surveys
do not tackle other economic or social problems, which we feel are equally important. I hope the
policymakers and/or academic institutions will follow suit in conducting surveys regularly
addressing various aspects of the environment and also integrating sociocultural; economic
questions will give us a better understanding of the nexus of various issues. Also, it will help situate
the position of “Environmental Issues” among other socioeconomic issues. This will help in
establishing a monitoring framework to assess changes in the levels of understanding of pro-
environmental attitude and behaviors through this baseline data.
The survey finds that the public is aware of global ecological problems, however, there is a
widespread misconception about local environmental problems, and it is mainly attributed to lack
of information available for public access. For instance, the majority of the public is unaware of
the current status of groundwater resources, and an overwhelming number prefer to know water
and energy conservation practices. The government must ensure publishing information about the
environment in Qatar regularly and find creative means to disseminate the information. This would
ensure a citizen-driven action towards sustainability, which is one of the goals of Qatar National
Vision 2030.
Currently, some of the activities of the existing environmental groups are severely hampered
because of excessive bureaucratic pressure and intervention. The government must allow
independent environmental groups to thrive and open space for a wider community engagement.
One may say that the public has a favourable attitude towards the environment, why we need
environmental groups? The straightforward answer is, one may have a positive attitude but
30
transpiring into a behaviour is a real challenge, and that is where these groups might help in
addressing the attitude-behaviour gap. Sustained grassroots awareness initiatives will not only help
in building an environmentally conscious but a ‘wise’ society.
There are some positive signs that people are willing to change their behaviour if the circumstances
are suitable. The policymakers must consider new policy interventions that would allow citizens
and residents to take a conscious decision in mitigating their daily impacts on the environment.
Some policy interventions require comprehensive understanding such as mandatory solar rooftop
for power generation and encouraging walking and cycling.

31
32
1. Introduction
Climate change and other environmental issues are an imminent threat to human survival. We are
on the verge of sixth extinction. The global emission trajectory is upward; it must be contained by
the middle of the century, and decarbonization of the economy and energy systems must accelerate
rapidly. Else, it is highly likely that the temperature will rise to 4°C above pre-Industrial period.
The consequences of inaction are severe. Many sectors will be affected and the poor are most
likely to suffer [2], [3]. The recent Paris Agreement offered optimism and hope. Many countries
have ratified the Agreement and willing to take efforts to slow emission growth [4]. However, the
current pledges are insufficient to keep the temperature well below 2°C.

Much of Qatar’s infrastructural (energy and non-energy) development happened in the mid-1990s
when there was growing awareness about climate change and sustainable development.
Unfortunately, the government was too slow to integrate the environmental risks into the national
infrastructure and economic planning process. There was a global movement towards integrating
environmental planning into national economic policies. The government realized the significance
of aligning itself with the global movement, and it was reflected in their Qatar National Vision
2030. Environmental sustainability is one of the four core pillars of QNV 2030. The following
National Development Strategy (2011-2016) emphasized the importance of environmental
development by setting up national goals and actions. Various efforts are underway to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial and transport sector. For more details, see Ref [1]

In the last few years, the Ministry of Environment has taken some measures to protect terrestrial
and marine biodiversity. There was a sudden shift in policy towards Protected Areas. In fact,
protected areas received considerable attention from the highest level of the State. In 2013, the
combined land and marine protected area was 3,463.48 km2. This accounts for 23% of Qatar’s
total land area[1].

There is a recent growth of environmental awareness campaigns across Qatar by different


institutions but mostly initiated or supported by the government. One notable national campaign
is Tarsheed aiming to reduce the electricity and water consumption. The campaign started five
years back with substantial institutional and financial support from the government. Whether the
campaign had any tangible reductions or change in perception or behaviour is difficult to assess.
Qatar National History Group, Friends of the Environment and many other unregistered voluntary
groups organize outdoor events and lectures to raise awareness about local environmental issues.
As we see in the report that not many of them were aware of such campaigns. By and large, the
campaigns are shallow (beach cleaning, paper recycling), not addressing core issues of
unsustainability and not challenging the current consumerist lifestyle.

A recent study indicates that twitter users are not very active in environmental issues [5]. More
than half of twitter users have tweeted only once about climate change in the course of five years

33
(2011-2015). Most of the tweets are related to global events such as COP21 (Paris) or weather-
related events such as sand storms, local flooding, etc. In 2015, Social and Economic Research
Institute (SESRI) at Qatar University surveyed to understand the perception of climate change with
over 1,500 respondents, of which 50% are Qataris. Eighty-three percent of both Qatari and non-
Qatari respondents said climate change is a serious issue [6].

The fast-paced economic and population growth adding stress to the local environment and will
exacerbate if there is no tangible action. To keep it simple, we highlighted some of the key
environmental issues in Qatar.

a. One of the water scarcest countries in the world (Water stress ranking 5.0) (WRI)
b. Renewable internal freshwater resources per capita is 24 m3 (World Bank, 2014)
c. Fresh groundwater lens in the middle of the country is declining rapidly and will be
exhausted in less than a decade [7]
d. The fish stock has declined from 72% in 2010 to 68% in 2015 (MDPS, 2017)
e. Qatar’s urban areas contain an annual average of 105 µg/m3 of PM2.5 particles (The
annual average PM2.5 values should not exceed 10 µg/m3) (WHO, 2016)
f. Water consumption per capita – 223 m3 and electricity consumption per capita – 17,141
KWh, one of the highest in the world [8]
g. Per capita domestic waste is 1.24 kg/day [1]
h. The total CO2eq emission in 2015 was 107 million metric tonnes, a compound annual
growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% between 1995 and 2015.
- A major share of emission is from the oil & gas sector – 53.6%, followed by
industrial sector (petrochemicals, fertilizers, metals) – 27.8%, power sector – 13%,
transport – 5% and the rest 2% from agriculture and waste [1]

1.1 Aims and Objectives

Environmental Development is one of the four core pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. The
Vision lays the foundation for the sustainability of local ecosystem, judicious use of natural
resources and minimize waste. To achieve this ambitious goal, the first National Development
Strategy 2011-2016 set several targets to sustain the environment for future generations. One of
the key targets is to “build an environmental aware society” and it is a precursor for successful
environmental management in the country. To gauge the level of environmental awareness among
the citizens and residents, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) initiated this
study in partnership with the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).

The survey was intended to capture a current “snapshot” of attitudes related to Qatar’s environment
and other related issues. The survey intends to contribute to the development of new policies or
refining the existing policies and, potentially, to create new initiatives and programs to build an
environmentally-conscious society. Specific objectives of this survey were to

34
• provide robust information on baseline environmental perception, attitude and
behaviors of citizens and residents
• offer policy recommendations based on the public opinion
• proper new research agenda on understanding the interaction with the local
environment among the citizens and residents

1.2 Survey Design and Administration

The questionnaire was designed by Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)
based on the intense discussion with various members within QEERI and beyond. The topics were
selected based on the priorities listed in the National Development Strategy 2011-2016, Qatar
National Development Framework and consultation with the local experts. The questionnaires
were prepared and tested in multiple rounds with the participants from the Ministry of
Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) and QEERI. The feedback was reviewed; taken into
consideration and alterations were made to questionnaire ensuring easy understanding for the
public by avoiding technical jargons and confused statements. It was very difficult to select the
questions that go into the survey. Many other important questions were removed for the sake of
length and time. We hope in our future surveys; we will have surveys for each theme where we
can incorporate all relevant questions. With few exceptions, we designed the questionnaire in such
a way that promotes truthful response and minimize social desirability bias. However, there may
be significant social desirability effect how the public responds to survey questions about the
environment.

Because of inadequate budget and lack of time, the surveys were conducted online. We hope, in
our future surveys, we will conduct face-to-face surveys to have a better representation of the local
community, age group and gender to minimize bias and various forms of error (sampling error,
coverage error, nonresponse error, and measurement error). The responses are not totally
representative of the population, although, 91.5% of individuals in Qatar has access to the internet
and 98% of households connected with internet, which is second highest in the world [9].
Individuals who are interested in this topic are highly likely to respond and the responses will be
partially biased. However, this is the first step and in the future studies; we believe the research
institutes and government organizations will conduct a nationally representative study.
Since this is a baseline survey, we aim to capture wide ranging environmental issues. The surveys
do not tackle other economic or social problems, which we feel are equally important. In our
following surveys, integrating social/economic questions will give us a better understanding of the
nexus of various issues. Also, it will help situate the position of “Environmental Issues” among
other socioeconomic issues. We hoped to establish a monitoring framework to assess changes in
the levels of understanding of pro-environmental attitude and behaviors through this baseline data.

35
The surveys were divided into three parts and published online during February – November 2016.
The survey listed ten strategic perspectives (see below) and assembled over 90 questions (Survey
1 -25; Survey 2 - 33; Survey 3 – 33) with extra ten sociodemographic questions in all three surveys.
The sociodemographic variables used in the survey are similar to national census questionnaire
except for the age category.
In Survey 1, we covered
a. General Environmental Values (9)
b. Water (16)
c. Energy (7)
In Survey 2,
a. Climate Change (8)
b. Local Awareness Campaigns (11)
c. Government Policies and Actions (14)
In Survey 3,
a. Transport (8)
b. Urbanization (5)
c. Waste (9)
d. Food (9)
All surveys were published online and used traditional newspapers and specialized social media
channels such as Facebook, and Twitter to advertise these surveys. In the successive surveys, we
retained the previous surveys (web links) allowing participants to fill if they have missed earlier.
Also, the surveys were sent through emails registered in the MDPS system and circulated through
Qatar Foundation Communication channels such as QF Telegraph, Maktabi, etc.
The questionnaire length had a negative impact on the number of respondents. There were several
cases where respondents did not fill more than the first page. The IT department of the MDPS sent
two reminders to all the incomplete respondents. The average time to fill the survey was fifteen
minutes. The number of Qatari responses was very small in all three surveys. Based on the expert
advice, we added an incentive for respondents - 200 QR voucher for ten randomly selected
respondents for the second and third survey each. We noticed that these incentives had a very little
impact, survey responses were much lower compared to the first survey. Also, we noticed a spike
in responses on the day of the launch of the survey especially on key English news website such
as DohaNews. Some of the general complaints registered in the social media by respondents that
survey was too long, and the scale ordering was not uniform, which was corrected in our
consequent surveys. To expand our reach, we reached out to other social media agencies like
ILoveQatar, QatarLiving, to publicize these surveys on their social media, which has large
followers and users.

36
All surveys were collected using the specialized system managed by the Ministry of Development
Planning and Statistics. At the end of all three surveys, the IT department transferred all the data
into Excel sheets excluding personal information such as the mobile number, email addresses, and
others.
Throughout the report we aim to compare the results with major sub groups like gender,
nationality, age group and income level. Time and time again we see the influence of other
socioeconomic variables such as education, employment, etc. The purpose of comparing results
between Qataris and non-Qataris is to show the variances in perception, attitude and behavior.
Also, we reported younger people’s opinion in most cases and on rare occasions we highlighted
opinion of older age group. In some cases, the percentage does not sum exactly to 100%, this is
usually because of rounding of individual percentages to the nearest whole number. Tables and
charts are used throughout the report.
Structure of the Report
The report begins with an overview of the global history of environmentalism both in developed
and developing countries and how it continued to evolve to this day. A very brief exposition of
different behavioral theories is presented. A large section of the report is dedicated to detailed
analysis of the survey. We used cross-tabulations to examine the relationship between the
demographic information and responses to specific questions. Cross-tabulation is the simplest
technique for understanding patterns of differences between populations. If the readers are
interested in getting insight into the data, they can contact the author.

37
2. Rise and Rise of Environmentalism
Since the 1970s environmental issues have become a global affair; issues like ozone depletion,
loss of biodiversity and lately climate change grabbed the attention of policy makers. Concerted
efforts and several multilateral agreements resulted in partial success and some cases full success
(stemming ozone depletion). The widespread environmental movements started in the 1960s as a
result of growing public perception of ecological crisis and continued its course until this day.
Whereas other social movements such as anti-war, civil rights lost their way. Environmentalism
varies spatially and temporally and it comes in various shades and the idea of environmentalism
differs in developed and developing countries. Guha rightly pointed out the stark differences of
environmentalism – ‘full-stomach’ environmentalism of the North and ‘empty-belly’
environmentalism of the South [10]. In this section, we will briefly highlight these major
differences in North and South and three waves of environmentalism and how it shaped global
environmental policies. The author intends to familiarize the readers with the early and
contemporary history of environmentalism and how it differs in developing countries using two
case studies. This section draws several excerpts from articles and monographs. The excerpts in
the First Wave is taken from a seminal book on “Environmentalism – A Global History” by an
eminent historian, Ramachandra Guha [10].

2.1 First Wave – Response to Industrial Revolution

Industrial revolution kicked in late-eighteenth century in Great Britain resulting in the


development of coal mines, textile mills, railroads, shipyards and countless inventions. The
Industrial Revolution also helped in the expansion of the British Empire. Human prosperity
flourished, wealth accumulated, urbanization increased rapidly, all at the expense of the
environment. Many scholars opined this rapid development and destruction of the natural
environment and beautiful landscape of Great Britain. William Wordsworth (1770-1850), a noted
poet captured the degradation of the environment in his poems that resonates until now.
Wordsworth defended the ‘organic union with nature of the peasant and shepherd, a way of life
that the deadly combination of industrialization and market farming wished to obliterate.’ John
Ruskin (1819-1900), artist, professor of poetry criticized the physical consequences of the
industrialization and launched several campaigns during his lifetime, and the notable one is to
prevent the extension of the railroad into the Lake District. He set up a guild, promoting self-
sufficiency and simplicity, producing food and cloth for their own use. His book, Unto the Last
inspired Gandhi in his early years and reshaped his thoughts on industrialization,
environmentalism and the significance of villages. William Morris (1834-96), native Londoner,
poet, designer, socialist deplored urbanization, remarked ‘city’s growth is swallowing up with its
loathsomeness field and wood and heath without mercy and without hope, mocking our feeble
attempts to deal even with its minor evils of smoke-laden sky and befouled river.’ The writings of

38
Wordsworth, Ruskin, Morris and others led to establishment of an array of environmental societies
in the late nineteenth century such as Commons Preservation Society, National Trust, etc. Similar
movements emerged in Germany; many poets and writers responded the unconstrained industrial
growth through their writings and defended that ‘Germany is a nation of peasants and shepherds,
not of factory workers and entrepreneurs.’ The fast-paced destruction of forests and conversion
into timber plantations. William Heinrich Reill, self-proclaimed sociologists ‘of field and forest,’
wrote in 1861 that the words ‘were the heartland of [German] folk culture… so that a village
without a forest is alike a town without any historical buildings, theater or art galleries. Forests are
games fields for the young, feasting-places for the old.’ Alongside, the German forest science
developed significantly and the lessons learned from the fields were transferred to other countries
in Europe and beyond. The most notable German foresters were Dietrich Brandis (India),
Ferdinand Muller (Australia), and Bernhard Fernow (Canada).

Environmental degradation is not only limited to the heartland of the industrial revolution, but in
its peripheral and expanding colonies. To boost the economy and trade, European settlers and
colonial officers destroyed the pristine forests converted them into tea plantation, pastures in the
plains replaced by commercial crops such as cotton and sugarcane. This led to accelerated soil
erosion, deforestation, droughts, and mismanagement of water resources. In 1908, one colonial
soil scientists noted about the behaviour of European settlers in African colonies, ‘scoop out the
richest and most beautiful valleys, leaving them dry and barren.’
Although, the idea of ‘getting back to the land’ received popular support in Europe and North
America, the idea did not resonate well in the colonized states. As many consider the forest
department as ‘reviled arm of the colonial state.’ The idea of environmentalism in the Southern
countries is much different from the Northern countries. We will explore Environmentalism of the
Poor in the following paragraphs. Here, I’ll limit the impact of scientific conservation in nineteenth
and early twentieth century in colonized countries. To cite one instance, when British enacted
comprehensive Indian Forest Act in 1878, some government officials and local population were
outraged by this Act, because it forbids the forest dwellers and villagers to have access to the forest
resources. The peasant and tribal groups resisted the Act through ‘arson, breaches of the forest
law, attacks on officials and on government property, through coordinated and collective social
movements aimed at restoring local control over forests.’ One account is worth telling; Jotiba
Phule, a nineteenth-century social reformer noted,
Small landholders who could not subsist on cultivation alone used to eat wild fruits like
figs and [berries] and sell the leaves and flowers of the flame of the forest and the mahua
tree. They could also depend on the village ground to maintain one or two cows and two
or four goats, thereby living happily in their own ancestral villages. However, the cunning
European employees of our motherly government have used their foreign brains to erect a
great superstructure called the forest department. With all the hills and undulating areas as
also the fallow lands and grazing grounds brought under the control of this forest

39
department, the livestock of the poor farmers do not even have a place to breathe anywhere
on the surface of the earth.
This is not only limited to South Asia but in many parts of Latin America, Africa and East Asia.
On the other side of Atlantic, scientific conservation rose to prominence. In 1864, George Perkins
Marsh published a volume Man and Nature: Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human
Action, which sparked the first wave of American environmentalism. Lewis Mumford remarked
this book as ‘the fountainhead of the conservation movement.’ This book helped in the
establishment of a national forestry system and the creation of forest reserves. He was much ahead
of his time in predicting the ruthless industrial expansion and the upward trend of urbanization at
a global level. He remarked,
“Man has too long forgotten that the earth was given to him for usufruct alone, not for
consumption, still less for profligate waste… There are parts of Asia Minor, of Northern
Africa, of Greece, and even of Alpine Europe, where the operation of causes set in action
by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the
moon… The earth is fast becoming an unfit home for its noblest inhabitant, an another era
of equal human crime and human improvidence… would reduce it to such condition of
impoverished productiveness, of shattered surface, of climatic excess, as to threaten the
deprivation, barbarism, and perhaps even extinction of the species.”
Two other prominent environmentalists deserve attention here – John Muir and Aldo Leopold.
John Muir, founder of Sierra Club an influential conservation society in the history of American
Environmentalism. Looking at the massive deforestation in the eighteenth-and nineteenth century
America, Muir wrote persuasive articles and stirred the public opinion and cried out loud, “Save
what is left of the forest!” Through his writings, he forewarned the perils of deforestation and the
economic gains of protection such as the steady supply of timber, prevention of soil erosion and
regulate the flow of water in the rivers. Not only that, he believed in the independent, non-
utilitarian rational for preserving the wilderness. Muir’s wilderness protection gained popularity
among the urban folks during the early twentieth century, as more and more urban people visit
mountains and forest for leisure. Looking at this growing interest, Muir asserts that ‘wildness is a
necessity; and that mountain peaks and [forest] reservations are useful not only as fountains of
timber and irrigation rivers, but as fountains of life.’
Aldo Leopold, a trained ecologist served in the United States Forest Service for a quarter of a
century before becoming a professor at the University of Wisconsin. In 1935, he founded the
Wilderness Society, pressure group to protect the wild areas that are not yet used for any industrial
activities. He encouraged farm owners to enhance soil fertility through polyculture and maintain a
diverse flora and fauna. At the same time, he advocated for communities to reduce the
consumption, respect nature and reorganization of the economy on ecological principles. This shift
of allegiance from scientific forestry/conservation to a philosopher of nature is well-articulated in
these statements:

40
“A harmonious relation to land is more intricate, and of more consequence to civilization,
than the historians of its progress seem to realize. Civilization is not, as they often assume,
the enslavement of a stable and consistent earth. It is a state of mutual and interdependent
cooperation between human animals, other animals, plants and soil, which may be
disrupted at any moment by the failure of any of them.”
The emergence of ecology has placed the economic biologist in a peculiar dilemma: with
one hand, he points out the accumulated findings of his search for utility, or lack of utility
in this or that species; with the other he lifts the veil from a biota so complex, so conditioned
by interwoven cooperation and competitions, that no man can say where utility begins or
ends.

2.2 Second Wave: Environmentalism in Affluent Societies

Because of World War II the environmental movement has stalled briefly. Most of Europe was
busy in postwar reconstruction and Americans prospered with increasing production and growing
consumer class. The developing countries were reeling from their colonial past, drafting
constitutions, forming political and social institutions and developing plans to reduce poverty. The
rapid technological development in the Northern countries led to the extraction of natural resources
at a breathtaking speed without foreseeing the consequences. Trust in technology, rapid
development and substitution of products, accelerated economic growth and optimism
foreshadowed the need for moderate consumption. Environmentalism in the 1960s and 1970
became popular addressing two major concerns – threats to human health posed by pollution, and
the threats to wild species and habitats posed by economic and industrial expansion.

Lewis Mumford, American historian and sociologist warned the impending dangers of the way
nature is pillaged. In his classic book, The City in History, he passionately argues against the
mechanized, standardized, dehumanized megalopolis,

Instead of bringing life into the city, so that its poorest inhabitant will have not merely sun
and air but some chance to touch and feel and cultivate the earth, these naive apostles of
progress had rather bring sterility to the countryside and ultimately death to the city. Their
'city of the future' is one levelled down to the lowest possibility of active, autonomous,
fully sentient life: just so much life as will conform to the requirements of the machine….
this would only carry the present forces at work in Megalopolis to their ultimate goal—
total human annihilation. Such prophecies tend to be self-fulfilling. The more widely they
are believed the better they work. But by the same token the more swiftly they work, the
sooner they may come to a dire climax. [11]

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But it’s Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring that ignited the new wave of environmentalism on both
sides of the Atlantic. Silent Spring is a landmark book, warned the dangers of newly synthetic
chemicals such as dichloro-diphenyl-tricholorethane (DDT) for human and natural habitat
(including rivers, birds, animals). This book has sparked global awareness of harms of synthetic
insecticides and herbicides and in its home country, dozens of states and the Federal Government
outlawed the use of the most deadly chemicals (including DDT) and led to the establishment of
Pesticide Control Act (1972) and Toxic Substances Control Act (1974). In her colourful, yet
polemic language she provides evidence of the impact of chemicals on soil, water, and forests and
how it is affecting the whole food chain. The book does not argue the protection of certain species,
but nature as a whole. She elegantly argued the interconnectedness of all life in nature – between
plants and the earth, plants and other plants, plants and animals, insects and microbes - forming a
giant intricate web of life.

These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens,
forests, and homes—nonselective chemicals that have the power to kill every insect, the
“good” and the “bad,” to still the song of birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to
coat the leaves with a deadly film, and to linger on in soil—all this though the intended
target may be only a few weeds or insects. Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down
such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life?
They should not be called “insecticides,” but “biocides.” [12]

The book concluded with a plea for a modest, gentle and cautious attitude towards nature instead
of arrogant and aggressive path of synthetic chemicals and technologies,

Through all these new, imaginative, and creative approaches to the problem of sharing our
earth with other creatures there runs a constant theme, the awareness that we are dealing
with life—with living populations and all their pressures and counter-pressures, their
surges and recessions. Only by taking account of such life forces and by cautiously seeking
to guide them into channels favorable to ourselves can we hope to achieve a reasonable
accommodation between the insect hordes and ourselves.

The current vogue for poisons has failed utterly to take into account these most
fundamental considerations. As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical
barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life—a fabric on the one hand delicate and
destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in
unexpected ways. These extraordinary capacities of life have been ignored by the
practitioners of chemical control who have brought to their task no ‘high-minded
orientation’, no humility before the vast forces with which they tamper.[12]

After the publication of Silent Spring, there was a growing recognition of global and transboundary
environmental problems. Not only ecologists are ringing the alarm bell, a rare breed of economists

42
warned the dire consequences of economic growth. One such economist is E.F. Schumacher, in
his remarkable book – Small is Beautiful- convinces the reader the economics should be based on
machines and production processes that would be cheap, decentralized, use little energy, and be
sensitive to the environment [13]. Another influential report that alarmed the world is Limits to
Growth, a study commissioned by the Club of Rome which argued that the current population
growth, energy use, and consumption are putting a strain on the environment and carrying capacity
of the Earth [14].

2.3 Third Wave: Global Environmentalism

Since the publication of Brundtland report (Our Common Future), countless high-profile summits
were held. Pledges were made, some were successful; many failed. Commitments were made by
all parties to phase out ozone depleting substances. Intergovernmental institutions (IPCC,
UNFCCC) were established to monitor the climatic changes and its impact on the humans. New
environmental issues (climate change, peak oil, overconsumption, resource competition and
conflicts, water shortages) emerged and displaced or sidelined older issues (smog, acid rain, toxic
waste, etc.). Research funding in the environmental sector increased dramatically. Billions
allocated in cleaning up the environment as major cities were swallowed up in toxic pollutants.
Foreign aid was given to environmental projects in developing countries (e.g., protection of
rainforest in Brazil and Indonesia). Political parties were formed on the ecological principles of
addressing pressing environmental issues. Environmental issues were not only limited to academic
and civil society groups but also received significant attention among policymakers leading to
change (and creation) of policies. New concepts emerged to address the crises – green economy,
green development, sustainable development, etc. The central premise of all the theories was to
ensure development within the framework of social justice and ecological limits. Increasing impact
of climate change felt across the world, more so in developing countries. The intensity and
frequency of natural hazards increased significantly. For instance, a recent study recorded 6,873
natural disasters worldwide during 1994-2013, claimed 1.35 million lives, an average of 68,000
lives annually. On average, 218 million people were affected by natural disasters [15]. Books like
Limits to Growth, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed or Fail [16] Hot, Flat and Crowd
[17], Prosperity without Growth [18] and The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning [19]
popularized green thinking and raised global awareness of our existing unsustainability. Public
opinion about environmental issues (and disasters) shaped by media. Popular documentaries like
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Leonardo di-Caprioi’s Eleventh Hour and other lesser known
What a way to Go: Life at the End of Empire, Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash complemented
the news channels’ coverage of environmental disasters. The recent explosion of social media tools
has helped in this effort. We will limit our discussion to climate change.

43
Successive events followed after the publication of Brundtland report. One such telling event is
the First Earth Summit summoned more than 100 heads of state in Rio de Janerio, Brazil in 1992.
This is the first international summit to address the pressing environmental issues and economic
development. The Summit was influential in highlighting various concerns of sustainable
development and made sustainable development, a policy agenda for many countries. The
assembled leaders signed the Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological
Diversity, endorsed the Rio Declaration and the Forest Principles, and adopted Agenda 21, a 300-
page plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century. But since the beginning of
the summit, it was mired in challenges and the differences between the North/South
environmentalism was very visible in language and actions. The developing countries see this as
an effort by the Western countries to undermine economic growth and social progress. Tariq
Banuri captured this divide eloquently,

Whereas most northerners see UNCED as the very welcome unfolding of collective action
to save humanity, many southerners, government functionaries as well as NGO activists
(albeit for different reasons), fear in it the emergence of a new imperialism, of new
conditionalities, and of new obstacles to the alleviation of poverty and oppression.
Northerners have lined up to take part in a movie of Noah building an ark to defend us
against the deluge. But the south does not seem to belong in this story; it is in a theatre on
the other side of the railroad tracks, where Jesus is being crucified to save humanity where
the poor have to suffer in their poverty so that the rich can enjoy their life style [20].

These events provided a foundation for setting up an intergovernmental panel on climate change
(IPCC) to understand the science behind climate change and its impact on human wellbeing. The
First Assessment Report (AR1) was published in 1990 led to the creation of UN mechanism to
address climate change – UNFCCC - UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and entered
into force in 1994. Since then IPCC continued to publish comprehensive, well-researched reports.
So far, five assessment reports were published and in each report the potential effects of warming
have reported with empirical evidence. The latest report predicts,

Without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions beyond those in place today,
emissions growth is expected to persist driven by growth in global population and
economic activities. Baseline scenarios, those without additional mitigation, result in
global mean surface temperature increases in 2100 from 3.7 °C to 4.8 °C compared to
pre-industrial levels. (high confidence) [2]

The first conference of parties (COP) was held in 1995 and creation of Kyoto Protocol (1997)
urged developed countries to reduce GHG emissions. It came into force in 2005. Disappointingly,
the US the world’s largest emitter pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol. But the global emission
trajectory since the beginning of the 2000s alarmed scientists that to stabilize the atmosphere, all

44
nations both developed and developing countries should come forward in reducing GHG emissions
under the ‘common and differentiated’ principle of UNFCCC. Figure 1 shows the spate of
activities related to climate change and the global response to contain the growth of GHG
emissions. After two decades of negotiations, finally there was a landmark deal to keep the
temperature well below 2°C, support developing countries in technology transfer, financing green
development and protection of the environment, which is called as Paris Agreement. However, the
current pledges made by the member states in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
(INDCs) are weak and insufficient; to keep the temperature well below 2°C, the Paris Agreement
require even stronger actions than previously identified. In the meantime, developing countries
were subjected to frequent weather-related extreme events – floods, droughts, heatwaves –
claiming thousands of lives, millions affected and massive infrastructure damage and loss of
livelihood. Developing countries continue to blame developed countries for not accelerating the
effort in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the German Watch latest report, nine
of the ten most affected countries (1996–2015) were developing countries in the low income or
lower-middle income country group, while only one was classified as an upper-middle income
country [21].

45
Figure 1. Timeline of Conference of Parties (COP) and IPCC reports [22]

46
Local Economy and Transition Towns - Responding to the global environmental crisis, many
counter movements emerged in different parts of the world, fighting against climate change,
unemployment, inequality, globalization, resource access, pollution, etc. Awareness campaigns,
by and large, were limited to recycling initiatives, protection of endangered species of the Arctic,
organic food, etc. Some were challenging the very essence of the crisis – economic growth,
capitalism, income inequality and unjust resource sharing practices. Protests, lobbying and
pressure groups are more visible these days and especially after the 2007 economic crisis.
Academics and civil society groups were calling for a new economic model such as ‘social
economy,’ ‘solidarity economy,’ ‘degrowth,’ ‘steady-state economy’ which works under the
principle of fair distribution of wealth and resources, localization of economy (challenging
financial globalization) and ensuring ecological integrity. Transition Towns’ movement (or
Transition movement) started in 2005 and recently emerged in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. The
vision of the movement is to build a local economy progressively decoupling from the long supply
chains of energy, materials, and commodities of the globalized economy do herald a clearly more
self-reliant economic and social vision. Also, the transition calls for a low energy, sustainable post-
peak oil society and long-standing commitment to less-consumerist society. The movement
captivated many community groups, NGOs across the world. There are national hubs in the US,
UK, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, etc. The movement has become global with several initiatives
on the ground, bringing communities together and striving for a change. Some of the core
principles of the movement are listed below,

a. Respecting resource limits and creating resilience


b. Promoting inclusivity and social justice
c. Adopting subsidiarity (self-organisation and decision making at the appropriate level)
d. Free exchange of ideas and power
e. Fostering positive visioning and creativity
f. Building social cohesion and solidarity in the community

More details about the transition movement can be found on the website
https://transitionnetwork.org/ and there are many inspiring videos about this movement
https://www.youtube.com/user/TransitionTowns/videos

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2.3.1 Environmentalism of the Poor

Environmentalism comes in various shades. It varies with the geography, social status, and
ideological values. In previous paragraphs we noticed environmentalism in the North (full-
stomach environmentalism) on ideas of wilderness (partially resonates the idea with eco-tourism
in modern terms), protecting endangered species, recycling, which are signs of affluence and post-
materialist societies. But the environmentalism in the South (or ‘empty-belly’ environmentalism)
concerns are different. Poor in most of the developing countries are dependent on the natural
resources – forests for wood, wild fruits; pastures and fields for livestock grazing and food
production; lakes, rivers, coastal areas for fishing. Hugo Blanco, a Peruvian activist explained this
fundamental difference of North/South environmentalism. He writes,

environmentalists or conservationists are nice, slightly crazy guys whose main purpose in
life is to prevent the disappearance of blue whales and pandas. The common people have
more important things to think about, for instance how to get their daily bread. Sometimes
they are taken to be not so crazy but rather smart guys who, in the guise of protecting
endangered species, have formed so called NGOs to get juicy amounts of dollars from
abroad . . . Such views are sometimes true. However, there are in Peru a very large number
of people who are environmentalists. Of course, if I tell such people, you are ecologists,
they might reply, ‘ecologist your mother’ or words to that effect. Let us see, however. Isn’t
the village of Bambamarca truly environmentalist, which has time and again fought
valiantly against the pollution of its water from mining? Are not the town of Ilo and the
surrounding villages which are being polluted by the Southern Peru Copper Corporation
truly environmentalist? Is not the village of Tambo Grande in Piura environmentalist when
it rises like a closed fist and is ready to die in order to prevent strip-mining in its valley?
Also, the people of the Mantaro Valley who saw their little sheep die, because of the smoke
and waste from the La Oroya smelter. And the population of Amazonia, who are totally
environmentalist, and die defending their forests against depredation. Also the poor people
of Lima are environmentalists, when they complain about the pollution of water on the
beaches. [10]

Similarly, Rob Nixon in his groundbreaking book, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the
Poor, argues the distinct characteristics of North/South environmentalism. He notes,

Most deep ecologists evinced a shallow grasp of the consequences of transferring whole
an environmental ideology from a supremely rich. Lightly populated, overconsuming, over
militarized society like the United States to densely populated countries (India, Nigeria,
Indonesia) where significant peasant communities subsisted off the land. For such
communities, the idea of the wild could never be primarily a recreational counterpoint to
an urban industrialized lifestyle, but was profoundly entangled with threats, assaults from
slow and direct violence on increasingly marginal ecosystems on which livelihoods

48
depend, ecosystems vulnerable to resource capture by transnational corporations; by third-
world military, civilian, and corporate elites; and by international conservation
organizations. In such peasant communities environmental sensibilities and practices
existed, but they were often directly entangled with ongoing, quotidian struggles for
survival [23].

Any natural (drought, forest fires, coastal erosion) or man-made (illegal logging, large dams, oil
drilling) changes in the resources are fundamentally detrimental to the poor. Any such external
(primarily man-made) threats to the livelihoods of the poor result in small and large-scale
movements, sometimes the movements last for years and decades. These movements cannot be
completely termed as environmental, but the inclusion of major social concerns of inequality,
unjust resource distribution, cultural aggression, etc. Quoting Guha again,

…movements that oppose commercial logging and industrial monocultures while


defending traditional community rights and natural forests; other struggles of dam-
displaced people who do not wish to make way for expensive and destructive
‘megaprojects;’ movements of peasants whose crops and pastureland have been destroyed
by limestone mines or granite quarries; movements of artisanal fisher folk directed at
modern high-tech trawlers that destroy their livelihood even as they deplete fish stocks;
and movements against paper factories by communities living downstream, for whom
chemical effluents destroy the beauty of the river as well as their sole source of drinking
water [10].

There were countless movements and struggles against environmental degradation and resource
capture across the world. Some achieved global attention, whereas most of them were locally-
based and some movements did not even receive any media attention at all. Many books, reports,
and articles were written on this matter. Not only there were movements against environmental
degradation or capturing resources by government and corporate elites, but also movements of
environmental renewal (Greenbelt Movement in Kenya led by Wangari Maathai). For the sake of
this report, we limit our discussion of two struggles; one in India fighting against dam construction
and displaced people. The other in Nigeria, the movement against oil production and
environmental damage in Niger delta.

Narmada Bachao Aandolan (Save Narmada Movement) – According to Nehru, India’s first Prime
Minister, dams are ‘temples of modern India.’ Dams were central to the post-colonial development
in India for economic development, to generate electricity and irrigate millions of hectares of land.
Narmada, one of the mightiest rivers of India and lifeline for millions of peasants living in Gujarat,
Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The World Bank assisted in developing this project ($400
million) – Narmada Project – envisioned to create thirty large dams, 135 medium dams, and 3,000
small dams. The dams would help provide potable water for almost forty million people, irrigation
for over six million hectares of land, and hydroelectric power for the entire region. This project

49
would result in the displacement of tens of thousands of people, inundating farms and forests and
loss of natural habitat. To avoid this catastrophe, thousands of villagers, activists, academics and
writers joined hands to stall this project under the cluster of multiple non-governmental
organizations called Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement) led by prominent
activist Medha Patkar. All forms of peaceful protest were observed – dharna (sit-down strike),
pradarshan (massed procession), hartal (general strike), rasta rook (transport blockade), bhook
hartal (hunger fast) and jail bharo andolan (or movement to fill jails). In 1990, thousands of
villagers made their way by boat and foot to a small town in Madhya Pradesh in defense of their
pledge to drown in the reservoir waters rather than move from their homes. Later that year on
Christmas day an army of six thousand men and women accompanied a seven-member sacrificial
squad in walking more than a hundred kilometers. The sacrificial squad had resolved to lay down
its lives for the river. The movement got worldwide attention forcing World Bank to withdraw
from the Project and many consider this as a triumphant symbol of the power of mass mobilization.
In my view, the fight was not only against dams, but against the wrong notion of development,
power, authority and globalization. To quote Medha Paktar and Arundhati Roy,

When the state has, under the principle of eminent domain, full right to resources, the state
is expected to act in favour of the most disadvantaged communities and use the resources
in such a way that the common good would be really achieved, of course, within the value
frame work [sic] of equality and justice…[Instead,] the state is using its power, its laws,
ways and means, its police force, a physical brutal force, to take away the resources….
That is like a privatized state, which is privatized by those small elite sections, and this is
being done more and more and more brutally and crudely, in the new context of
globalization and liberalization… (Medha Patkar) [24]

They’re a government’s way of accumulating authority (deciding who will get how much
water and who will grow what where). They’re a guaranteed way of taking a farmer’s
wisdom away from him. They’re a brazen means of taking water, land and irrigation away
from the poor and gifting it to the rich. Their reservoirs displace huge populations of people
leaving them homeless and destitute. Ecologically, they’re in the doghouse. They lay the
earth to waste. They cause floods, water-logging, salinity, they spread disease. There is
mounting evidence that links Big Dams to earthquakes.

Big Dams haven’t really lived up to their role as the monuments of Modern Civilisation,
emblems of Man’s ascendancy over Nature. Monuments are supposed to be timeless, but
dams have an all too finite lifetime. They last only as long as it takes Nature to fill them
with silt. [25]

Fight for Niger Delta – Niger Delta is considered as the largest wetlands in Africa, with an area
of 70,000 square kilometers. Oil was discovered in 1956, and since the inception of exports in
1958, Nigeria earned about US$600 billion from oil and gas exploration. The oil produced from

50
the Niger Delta accounts for about 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, and 80 per cent
of federal government revenues. However, this massive wealth accumulated from the oil fields did
not benefit the local population. For too long the local grievances such as land dispossession and
pollution, marginalization and political repression were unaddressed. The UNDP report made
following observations: “a critical issue in the delta is not only the increasing incidence of poverty,
but also the intense feeling among the people that they ought to do far better given the enormous
resource flowing from the region.” The report goes on to say further, “poverty has become a way
of life due to economic stagnation, unemployment, poor quality of life due to shortages of essential
goods and facilities, an unhealthy environment and government insensitivity.”[26]

Also, the environmental damages caused widespread havoc. A study by sixty-five Noble Laureates
under the Commission of Nobel Laureates on Peace, Equity and Development in the Niger Delta
in 2006, it was estimated that about 7,000 oil spills occurred in the Niger Delta between 1970-
2000, with devastating consequences for the environment and local livelihoods. As a result of
continuous environmental devastation and neglect by government, the indigenous population
protested against the oil extraction and production [26]. The protest soon turned into a movement
– Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP). The movement campaigned for
protecting the environment of the Ogoni People, social and economic development of the region
and protection of cultural rights. Ken Saro-Wiwa, the movement’s founder and along with the
Ogoni people signed a declaration – Ogoni Bill of Rights. The Bill was presented to the
government, “calling for political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people, control and use of
Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development, adequate and direct representation as of right
for Ogoni people in all Nigerian national institutions and the right to protect the Ogoni environment
and ecology from further degradation.” The Bill gives a vivid account of the horror of the
devastation.

Ogoni has suffered and continues to suffer the degrading effects of oil exploration and
exploitation: lands, streams and creeks are totally and continually polluted; the atmosphere
is forever charged with hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; many villages
experience the infernal quaking of the wrath of gas flares which have been burning 24
hours a day for 33 years; acid rain, oil spillages and blowouts are common. The result of
such unchecked environmental pollution and degradation are that (i) The Ogoni can no
longer farm successfully. Once the food basket of the eastern Niger Delta, the Ogoni now
buy food (when they can afford it); (ii) Fish, once a common source of protein, is now rare.
Owing to the constant and continual pollution of our streams and creeks, fish can only be
caught in deeper and offshore waters for which the Ogoni are not equipped. (iii) All wildlife
is dead. (iv) The ecology is changing fast. The mangrove tree, the aerial roots of which
normally provide a natural and welcome habitat for many a sea food - crabs, periwinkles,
mudskippers, cockles, mussels, shrimps and all is now being gradually replaced by

51
unknown and otherwise useless plants. (v) The health hazards generated by an atmosphere
charged with hydrocarbon vapour, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are
innumerable[27].

The once beautiful Ogoni countryside is no more a source of fresh air and green vegetation.
All one sees and feels around is death. Death is everywhere in Ogoni. Ogoni languages are
dying; Ogoni culture is dying; Ogoni people, Ogoni animals, Ogoni fishes are dying
because of 33 years of hazardous environmental pollution and resulting food scarcity. In
spite of an alarming density of population, American and British oil companies greedily
encroach on more and more Ogoni land, depriving the peasants of their only means of
livelihood. Mining rents and royalties for Ogoni oil are seized by the Federal Government
of Nigeria which offers the Ogoni people NOTHING in return. Ogoni is being killed so
that Nigeria can live[27].

After a brief success of MOSOP in halting oil production, the Nigerian government cracked down
the MOSOP activist leading to arrest, torture, detention and hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa. Perhaps
this brutal crackdown resulted in military insurgencies in the Niger Delta fighting for the right of
local producing communities to participate in Nigeria’s oil industry and to secure benefits –
royalties, employment, infrastructure and compensation for the degraded environment. Since late
2005, the resistance against the state by militants of the resistance group called the Movement for
the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND) had taken a violent turn. The militants attack oil
facilities, abduction of expatriate and local workers. Until now, the struggle to get the share of the
petroleum wealth continues and environmental degradation in many of the Niger Delta threatening
thousands of livelihoods.

2.4 Theories of Behavior Change

Understanding individual, organizational and collective societal behavior has been the interest of
researchers for quite some time. Millions of words have written on this subject. Many theories
evolved and disappeared. There is no single theory enough to explain the complex nature of the
behaviour. Technological advancements in last few decades resulted in a new understanding of the
behavioral research. Countless theories emerged. It is not the place to discuss the chronological
developments of ‘Theory of Behavior Change’ but to give a brief explanation of some dominant
behavioral theories pertaining to environmental psychology. Behavioural theories and model do
not guarantee or predict behavior change with certainty, but inform policy makers and others about
the “likely success of initiatives and interventions.” There are several variables of behavior change,
without downplaying any variables, we listed all possible variables in behavior change (see figure
2 and table 1). A brief description of three theories are given below and most of the content within
this section are excerpts from several sources. The author did not attempt to reproduce or rephrase
any definitions to avoid confusion and has cited the appropriated sources.
52
2.4.1 Social Cognitive Theory

According to this theory, people are driven not by internal forces, but by external factors. The
model suggests that human functioning can better be explained by a “triadic interaction of
behavior, personal and environmental factors” often known as reciprocal determinism.
Environmental factors represent situational influences and the environment in which behaviour is
preformed while personal factors include instincts, drives, traits, and other individual motivational
forces. Several constructs underlie the process of human learning and behavior change. These
variables may also intervene in the process of behavior change.[28]

Self-efficacy - A judgment of one’s ability to perform the behavior.


Outcome Expectations - A judgment of the likely consequences a behavior will produce. The
importance of these expectations (i.e., expectancies) may also drive behavior.
Self-Control— the ability of an individual to control their behaviors.
Reinforcements — something that increases or decreases the likelihood a behavior will continue.
Emotional Coping— the ability of an individual to cope with emotional stimuli.
Observational Learning— the acquisition of behaviors by observing actions and outcomes of
others’ behavior.

2.4.2 Theory of Planned Behaviour

Started as the theory of reasoned action in the 1980s and later on emerged as one of the
successful theories in explaining the behavioural change. The theory of planned behavior
suggests that behavior is dependent on one’s intention to perform the behaviour. It distinguishes
between three types of beliefs - behavioral, normative, and control. The TPB is comprised of six
constructs that collectively represent a person's actual control over the behavior [29].

1. Attitudes - This refers to the degree to which a person has a favorable or unfavorable
evaluation of the behavior of interest. It entails a consideration of the outcomes of
performing the behavior.
2. Behavioral intention - This refers to the motivational factors that influence a given
behavior where the stronger the intention to perform the behavior, the more likely the
behavior will be performed.
3. Subjective norms - This refers to the belief about whether most people approve or
disapprove of the behavior. It relates to a person's beliefs about whether peers and people
of importance to the person think he or she should engage in the behavior.
4. Social norms - This refers to the customary codes of behavior in a group or people or
larger cultural context. Social norms are considered normative, or standard, in a group of
people.

53
Figure 2 Different types of behavioural theories

54
Table 1 – Key elements of behavior change [28]

Key Element Definition Strategies of Behavior Change


A danger or a harmful event of which people may or may Raise awareness that the threat exists, focusing on
Threat not be aware severity and susceptibility
Fear can powerfully influence behaviour and, if it is
channeled in the appropriate way, can motivate people
Emotional arousal caused by perceiving a significant and to seek information, but it can also cause people to deny
Fear personally relevant threat they are at risk.
Perception that a recommended response will prevent Provide evidence of examples that the recommended
Response Efficacy the threat from happening. response will avert the threat.
An individual's perception of or confidence in their Raise individual's confidence that they can perform
Self-Efficacy ability to perform a recommended response. response and help ensure they can avert the threat.
Something that would prevent an individuals from Be aware of physical or cultural barriers that might exist,
Barriers carrying out a recommended response. attempt to remove barriers.
Positive consequences of performing recommended Communicate the benefits of performing the
Benefits response recommended response
What an individual thinks other people think they should
Subjective Norms do Understand with whom individuals are likely to comply.
An individuals' evaluation or beliefs about a Measure existing attitudes before attempting to change
Attitudes recommended response them.
An individuals' plans to carry out the recommended Determine if intentions are genuine or proxies for actual
Intentions response behavior
External or internal factors that help individuals make Provide communication that might trigger individuals to
Cues to Action decisions about a response. make decisions.
When an individual reacts against a recommended Ensure individuals do not feel they have been
Reactance response. manipulated or are unable to aver the threat.
x

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5. Perceived power - This refers to the perceived presence of factors that may facilitate or
impede performance of a behavior. Perceived power contributes to a person's perceived
behavioral control over each of those factors.
6. Perceived behavioral control - This refers to a person's perception of the ease or difficulty
of performing the behavior of interest. Perceived behavioral control varies across
situations and actions, which results in a person having varying perceptions of behavioral
control depending on the situation. This construct of the theory was added later, and
created the shift from the Theory of Reasoned Action to the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Figure 3. Theory of Planned Behaviour (Source: http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-


Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories3.html, accessed 27th June
2017)

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2.4.3 Value-Belief-Norm Theory

Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) is another popular theory emerged in last two decades, a spin-off norm
activation model. Values influence decision making and change in behavior. Changes in values
lead to changes in the decision and thus to changes in behavior. VBN find its popular use to
determine pro-environmental values and attitudes and its successfully applied to explain the
acceptability of household energy-saving policies and willingness to reduce car use. Personal
values precede environmental beliefs according to the VBN theory and it is another layer to the
causal chain to the theory of planned behaviour. Values are most commonly related to either (a)
self-reported behaviors (e.g., “Do you usually recycle newspapers?”), (b) behavioral intentions
(e.g., “Would you be willing to sign a petition in favor of stricter environmental protection?”), or
(c) other measures that express concern for the environment.

Figure 4. Value-belief-norm theory [30]

2.5 Environmental Psychology

Within the context of theories of behavioural change, we discuss how environmental decisions
were made and the psychology behind it. Environmental psychology is a not a new discipline. It
gained momentum in the mid-twentieth century addressing issues such as personal space, sensory
(noise) isolation, building design, etc. The recent resurgence is attributed to the rise of the global
environmental problems and effort in understanding “why some people tend to behave in pro-
environmental ways and support collective mitigation efforts, whereas others are seemingly
insensitive to current global environmental problems.”[31] The psychological predisposition to
environmental issues varies among people. The attitude of low-income groups who are dependent
on the natural resources for the livelihood is much different from urban high-income post-
materialist groups. Environmental decisions vary in terms of their complexity and intensity; from

57
setting up a solar rooftop to saying no to plastic bags in a shopping mall. The environmental
decisions are shaped by values, attitudes and internal/external factors, risks and possible outcomes.
Also, the pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors are dependent on the “psychological distance
on people’s construal of environmental problems- the degrees of which environmental issues are
felt to be psychologically close on dimensions of (un)certainty and temporal, spatial, and social
distance.” [31] A brief description of various psychological predispositions is handy in
understanding the complex and interdisciplinary discipline.
Environmental Values – According to Stern et al., three types of values are important and
explained in an individual buying a fuel-efficient car:
Egoistic (a focus on the self) – because it is cheap
Altruistic (a focus on the welfare of others) – its emissions have a lower impact on the health of
other people
Biospheric (a focus on the welfare of the environment) – its emissions have a lower impact on the
environment.
Environmental and Cultural Worldviews – Individuals with open and liberal views are more
prone to have pro-environmental values. An environmental worldview captures a person’s general
beliefs about the relationship between humans and the environment. For instance, in our
questionnaire, we have included a set of six questions in the General Environmental Values theme
such as ‘the earth has very limited resources,’ and ‘humans are severely abusing the environment.’
Traditional cultural theory in combination with theories of risk perception captures attitudes
towards understanding cultural cognition. “The hierarchical-egalitarian dimension captures
attitudes toward social ordering that are rigid, stratified, and conspicuous, e.g. gender, race, and
class. It is measured using statements such as “we need to dramatically reduce inequalities between
the rich and the poor, whites and people of color, men and women.” The individualist-
communitarian dimension measures alignment with a society in which people should determine
their own well-being without governmental assistance, measuring in items such as the government
should do more to advance society’s goals even if that means limiting the freedom and choices of
individuals. Individuals’ response to these questions will define them as hierarchical individualists
or egalitarian communitarians.”
Environmental psychology includes the behavioural changes when there are changes in framing
and labelling of environmental problems and how it is presented to the citizens (and consumers);
whether personal experiences of environmental phenomena can impact on one’s understanding
and willingness to pro-environmental actions. Social norms also do play a significant role in
shaping environmental values and behavior. Injunctive norms (those about what other people
approve or think should be done) and descriptive norms (those about what others actually do)
influence decisions in prosocial behavior (or environmentally-relevant actions).

58
It is crucial to emphasize that self-reported measures of pro-environmental attitude are generally
weakly associated with the environmental impact. For instance, the difference between the low-
income person who lives downtown and cares little about the environment and a middle-class
person who lives in the suburbs and cares deeply about the environment. A low-income resident
living in a small apartment uses little energy for cooling and consumes overall less products and a
middle-income person living in a reasonably sized apartment with energy star rating appliances,
purchases organic vegetables and products and drives a hybrid car. The middle-class person
appears ‘greener’ based on the environmental concern measures but the low-income person has an
overall less environmental impact. Behaviours vary in terms of their impact as well.

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3. Survey 1

3.1 Summary of Socio-demographics of Survey 1

The total number of survey respondents in the first survey were 1093, of which only 12 percent of
were Qataris. This replicates the total population of the country with an average of 10-12% of
Qataris.

The number of male respondents was higher (64%). There is a significant difference between men
and women respondents compared with the nationalities. Among Qataris, more than half of
respondents were women (53%), and non-Qatari men take a lion share of 66%.
The average age of survey respondents was 36. There is statisically significant difference between
the age groups among men and women. Respondents between the age group (25-35) were the
highest recording 45%, followed by 35% (36-50) and only 11% among the young cohorts (17-24).
Qataris with an age group of 17-24 are highest (20%) compared to non-Qataris (10%). There is no
significant difference in other age groups among Qataris and non-Qataris.
Among the non-Qatari respondents, nearly half (48%) of the population were living in Qatar for
less than five years; one-fourth (26%) between 5-10 years; and 17% more than ten years. The
number of respondents who were born and raised here is 9%.
People with higher income are more responsive to the surveys. Nearly 41% of the total respondents
have income greater than 20,000, followed by 19% between 5000-10000, 14% each between two
income groups (10001-15000; 15001-20000). People with income less than 5000 are lowest
recorded of 12 percent respectively. There is statistically significant difference in income between
Qataris and non-Qataris as well as between gender. For instance, nearly three-fourth of Qataris
have income over 20,000 compared to 37% among non-Qataris. Two-fifths of the non-Qatari
respondents were in income group 5000-10000. Females with income group (less than 5000) are
20% compared to males (8%). Similarly, females with income group (greater than 20000) are 38%
compared to males (43%). There is no major difference among other income groups between males
and females.
Respondents of this survey are highly educated. Over half (52%) of respondents have a university
degree and 32% with a postgraduate degree. Respondents with post-secondary (and lower)
combined only 9%, with a vocational education of 4%. There is no statistically significant
difference between the educational background and gender, whereas among Qataris and non-
Qataris there is statistically signicance difference in educational attainment. Among the Qatari
respondents, 11% has secondary education whereas non-Qataris with only 3%. Nearly 80 and
85% of Qataris and non-Qatari respondents have university and postgraduate degrees.

61
Over half (53%) of the survey respondents are professionals, and nearly 27% are marked as
“Other” in the profession, followed by students of only 7.4% respectively. Among Qataris, nearly
58% marked their profession as “Other” whereas non-Qataris only 22%.
Nearly 38% of respondents were from private companies followed by government (23%),
academia (15%) and semi-government (14%), respectively. Among Qataris, over half (52%) of
respondents are from the government sector, and one-fifth (21%) of respondents are from semi-
governemnt. Whereas among non-Qataris, over 40 percent of respondents are from private sector
followed by government (18%), academia (16%) and semi-government (13%), respectively.
Figure 3.1 provided a snapshop of sociodemographics of the first survey.

62
63
64
Figure 3.1 Sociodemographics of the first survey

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3.2 Environmental Perception and Attitude

3.2.1 Environmental Perception

A 62% majority of public see traffic congestion as the primary environmental concern in Qatar
The survey asked people to rank the major environmental concerns in Qatar in a given list of eleven
options. The scale ranging from most significant to least significant. Just in two-thirds (62%) of
public say traffic congestion is by far the major environmental concern. Other issues like air
pollution (56%), depletion of natural resources (47%), and poor waste management (44%) top the
public priority list of environmental concerns in Qatar. However, several issues such as
desertification (19%), oil spills (20%), oil and gas depletion (24%) rank relatively low on the
public’s list of concerns. Desertification is one of the biggest environmental threats in most of the
arid lands, however, it remains at the bottom of public’s agenda. A complete list of reported
environmental concerns is outlined in figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 Primary Environmental Concerns in Qatar


We will limit our analysis to four major issues based on the subgroups. Readers can contact the
author to get to know the subgroup analysis of other issues.

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A recent study suggests that a commuter living in Qatar spend 109 hours due to traffic congestion
and that frustration has reflected in the recent survey. Sixty-two percent of public identify traffic
congestion as a major environmental concern in Qatar. A fully two-thids (66%) of Qataris view
traffic congestion as a primary concern compared to 63% of non-Qataris (62%). Women are more
likely (65%) to mention traffic congestion as a major issue compared to men (60%). Also, there is
no sizeable difference among age groups (59-63%) of Qataris and non-Qataris. People with income
lower than 5,000 are less likely (55%) to view traffic congestion as a major concern compared to
mid-income groups (66%). Respondents from the academic and government sector are more likely
compared with the non-profit sector.
A recent report - Second Annual Qatar Traffic Report (QTR) - released by Qatar Mobility
Innovation Center (QMIC) highlighted the impact of traffic congestion on the economy and
wellbeing. The average number of extra hours spent due to congestion is 109 hours per commuter
in 2016 (this is slightly higher than the 102 hours in 2015). The economic cost (lost productivity)
of congestion in 2016 is estimated to be between 5.6 and 6.6 billion QR (compared to about 5.2-
6.0 billion QR in 2015). This translates to a loss of about 0.9-1.0% of the GDP in 2016. For more
details, see [32].
According to the World Health Organization, for the last three consecutive years, Doha ranks
among the top most polluted cities in the world and gets wider coverage in the local media. The
issue is widely debated in social media and pleading authorities to act to curb air pollution. Qatar
is one of the worst polluted countries; particulate matter (PM10) exceeded the national limits for
88 days in 2013.
This news has definitely sunk in to Qatar’s public, more than half (52%) of public consider air
pollution as the second biggest environmental concern in Qatar. The perceived importance varied
among the Qataris and non-Qataris. Overall, 69% of Qataris say air pollution is a significant
concern compared to only 54% of non-Qataris. Women are more likely (60%) to prioritize air
pollution as a major concern compared to men (55%). Only a sizeable minority (45%) of people
with lower income view air pollution is not a significant concern when compared to 65% of higher
income groups (> 20,000). There is no major variation among various educational groups; 60% of
people with secondary and postgraduate education marked air pollution as highly significant.
Adults of age above 36 (61-66%) tend to take air pollution more seriously than other age groups.
Qatari adults of age group 36-50 rank it highly compared to their peers (81% vs 57%). Whereas
younger non-Qataris see air pollution less of a problem compared to their Qatari counterparts (50%
vs 67%). People from the non-profit (83%) and academic (66%) are highly likely to mention than
compared with the household (46%) and government (54%) sector, respectively.
Globally, natural resources are depleting rapidly. The images of dry rivers, deforested lands had
captured the public imagination. Some 47% considers depletion of natural resources (such as
freshwater, arable land) as the third major environmental concern in Qatar. Men are less likely to
identify as a major issue compared to women (44 vs 54%). There is statistically significant

67
difference between Qataris and non-Qataris; nearly 63% of Qataris mentioned it as a significant
concern compared to non-Qataris (45%). Lower income groups (under 5,000 QR) are more likely
to consider as a major risk compared to other age groups with the exception of income group above
20,000. Concern for natural resource depletion increase with the age group: 17-24 (44%); 25-35
(46%); 36-50 (48%) and above 50 (60%), respectively. Non-profit (64%) employees and
academics (59%) are highly likely to consider as a major concern compared to the government
(40%) and semi-government (48%) employees.
Forty-four percent of the public considers poor waste management as the fourth major
environmental concern in Qatar. There were sub group differences in the findings. Women are
more concerned about poor waste management than men (53% compared to 38%). On the contrary
to the general perception that non-Qataris are more concerned about waste management and
recycling, only 38% non-Qataris view it as a major environmental concern compared to Qataris
(58%). In contrast to 50% of people with income above 15,000, less than 40% of people with
income less than 10,000 say poor waste management is a major environmental concern in Qatar.
Over half (55%) of the public with secondary education see it as a significant concern compared
to other educational sub groups. People working in the private and government sector are least
likely to consider it as a concern. There are also sizeable differences in views about this issue by
age, a minority 39% of adults between 17 to 24 years mentioning poor waste management as a
significant concern, compared with 41% of those aged 25-35 years, 47% of those aged 36-50 years
and 52% of those above 50.
There are sharp divides in public opinion when it comes to issues like oil/gas depletion,
desertification and sea water pollution. Far more (49%) Qataris view oil/gas depletion is a bigger
concern than only 22% of non-Qataris. A similar opinion gap exists when it comes sea water
pollution. More than half of Qatari people say sea water pollution is a big threat to Qatar. A
majority (57%) of Qatari public of age above 50 put desertification in the top of the list, however,
the view is opposite among younger groups (31% of 17-to-24-year-olds). This difference is
opinion is attributed to the understanding of the local climate and chanllenges, i.e. expatriate
community are least likely to connect the importance of oil/gas depletion, sea water pollution,
desertification, etc.

Activities contribute negatively to the environment


Of all their daily household activities, more than one-in-three (37%) people say that
airconditioning and lighting contribute negatively to the environment, followed by water
consumption (36%). However, there are no sizeable differences in public’s opinion about other
issues as shown in figure 3.3. There are roughly equal shares for food waste and driving a big car.
Big residences and paper consumption are the household activities that have the least impact on
the environment.

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Airconditioning and Lights - In a recent report by Kahramaa that air conditioners consume 60-
70% of electricity at homes, followed by 10-15% lighting system and over one-third (37%) of
public got it right. There is statistically significant difference between men and women (35 versus
44%). Qataris and non-Qatari public tend to hold broadly similar views. Only one in four Qatari
adults of age 25-34 marked it as significant which is lowest among other age groups. Over one-
third of the non-Qatari public of all age groups marked it as significant. There are no wide
differences when compared with educational groups. Nearly one-third of all educational groups
marked it as significant.
Water Consumption – Drinking water is produced through desalination, which is energy and
emission intensive. Again, over one-third (36%) of overall respondents report that water
consumption contributes negatively to the environment. There is statistically significant difference
between males and females. Females are more likely to mark as significant compared to males
(43% versus 32%). There are pronounced differences in opinion among nationalities. Qataris are
far more likely to see water consumption as one of the major activities affecting the environmental
compared to non-Qataris (56% versus 34%). This view is common among the adults of age group
25-34 (54%) and 35-50 (70%).
Driving a big car – Thirty-eight percent of overall respondents have a four-wheel drive in Qatar;
59% of Qatari males have a four-wheel drive compared to 36% of non-Qatari males. The emission
from and energy consumption of the four-wheel drives are much higher compared to sedan cars.
Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents believe driving a big car significantly impacts the
environment. There is no variation in response among men and women and marginal difference
between Qatari and non-Qatari (28% vs 31%). Only 15% of older Qataris of age above 50 think
driving a big car affects the environment.
Waste – Environmental Days were celebrated with the most common of the themes of recycling
and waste management, and this is very visible on the roadside graffiti of picking up plastic waste
from parks and shores. Public opinion on this issue is evenly spread. Just one-in-four (27%) say
their household waste contributes negatively to the environment. Women are more likely than men
to hold this view (32% vs 24%). 45% of Qataris marked it as significant in contrast to only 24%
of non-Qataris. Older Qatari adults are least likely to believe so. Whereas there is a fairly united
view among non-Qatari age groups. Two-thirds of Qataris with secondary education think waste
contributes negatively to the environment compared to higher education groups.
Food Waste – Many awareness campaigns sprout during Ramadan to minimize food waste and
some use religious scriptures to persuade people not to waste food. Very few consider food waste
affects the environment. The opinion is evenly split among the public on this issue. A minority
(27%) say it as significant, men and women broadly hold similar views. Again, more Qataris (38%)
think food waste contributes negatively than only 25% of non-Qataris. Younger generation are
more likely than other to identify the impact than the older adults (33% vs 14%, among Qataris).
There is relatively a similar opinion throughout the income groups.

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Figure 3.3 Ranking of activities contributing negatively to the environment

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3.2.2 General Environmental Attitude

A vast majority of the public (91%) agree that humans are severely abusing the environment. A
sizeable minority (19%) of Qataris say that environment is a low priority compared with other
things in my life.

People were asked to share their opinion about ecological worldviews on a six-point scale from
strongly agree with strongly disagree with don’t know as an extra option. Generally, the public has
positive ecological worldview; non-Qataris are more likely to exhibit pro-environmental attitude
than Qataris (see figure 3.4). There is a difficulty for people to link environmental quality and
economic growth. There is a little sense of understanding whether economic growth comes at the
expense of environmental growth.
The survey included another question whether the public is willing to compromise their lifestyle
to protect the environment, the survey finds that one-thirds are very willing, and a majority of the
public say fairly willing to do so.

Statement 1 - The earth has very limited resources (like freshwater, land) and we cannot continue the way
we are living

A vast majority (88%) of public agree, of which 70% strongly agree that the Earth has limited
natural resources like freshwater, food, etc. Women are slightly more likely to agree strongly than
men (72% vs 68%). Non-Qataris (90%) are more likely than Qataris (75%) to agree with the
statement. Qatari men are more likely to agree than Qatari women (81% vs 69%). More than one-
in-ten (15%) Qatari public remained neutral and more common among Qatari women (22%).
Opinion is narrowly divided among Qatari age groups. Young (17-24) Qatari adults are less likely
to agree than non-Qatari adults (66% vs 84%). Older non-Qataris (age above 50) hold that view
very strongly compared to older Qataris (84% vs 57%). People with lower income tend to disagree
more compared to higher income groups (13% vs 4%). Government employees are least to agree
strongly compared to other people.

Statement 2 - The quality of life depends on the quality of the environment


An overwhelming majority (92%) agree (70% strongly agree) that the quality of life depends on
the quality of the environment and only 4% remained unsure. There is no statistically significant
difference between men and women, however, women are more likely to agree strongly with this
statement (74% versus 68%). Over 90% of Qataris and non-Qataris agree with the dependence of
quality of life on the quality of the environment, but non-Qataris tend to strongly agree compared
to Qataris (70% versus 60%). Young adults are less likely to agree strongly compared to their older
counterparts (59% vs 78%). 14% of older Qataris of age above 50 remained unsure and opinion
barely changed throughout the age group. A sizeable opinion gap exists between Qataris and non-
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Qataris of all age groups except young adults (17-24). Similarly, there is no noticeable difference
between income sub groups, over 90% of all income groups tend to agree (including strongly
agree). People from the household and academic sector seem to agree over 95% compared to other
educational sub groups and respondents from the semi-government and government sector tend to
have less favorable views.

Statement 3 – Humans are severely abusing the environment


A vast majority of the public (91%) agree that humans are severely abusing the environment. Just
seven-in-ten (69%) strongly agree with the statement. There is statistically significant difference
between men and women. Men and women fairly united in saying that humans are severely
abusing the environment (90% vs 93%). However, women are particularly more likely to agree
strongly (76% versus 65%). Qatari and non-Qatari public take a fairly similar position with a
negligible difference (67% versus 69%). Mid-aged Qatari adults (36-50) are far more likely to
agree strongly than other age groups and not many older Qataris strongly agree with this statement.
With an exception to older non-Qatari adults, all other age groups have roughly similar
perceptions. There is no sizeable differences among various income groups, but the higher income
groups are particularly likely to agree strongly than lower income groups. Adults with higher
education strongly agree that humans are severely abusing the environment compared to lower
education groups but the share of opinion does not vary considerably (93% versus 89%, including
agree option). There are no major differences in opinion between different employment sectors
and professions.

Statement 4 – It is acceptable to deplete the natural resources or sacrifice environmental quality


for economic growth
Roughly two-thirds (63%) of public find it unacceptable to deplete the natural resources or
sacrifice environmental quality for economic growth. Only a sizeable minority (15%) agree
(including strongly agree) with the statement where more than one-in-ten (13%) of public find it
hard to make a connection between the environmental quality and economic growth. Roughly one-
third of the population either endorse the idea of sacrificing environmental quality for economic
growth or show no difference to it. There is statistically significant difference between men and
women. Women and men tend to hold broadly similar views (51% versus 47%). More women
expressed no opinion compared to men (16% reported ‘don’t know’). There is no statistically
significant difference between Qataris and non-Qataris. The responses are almost the same, nearly
two-thirds (64%) of Qatari and non-Qataris disagree with the statement (including strongly
disagree). Nearly two-thirds of older adults do not back this statement. More than half (52%) of
young (17-24) Qataris think it is unacceptable to deplete natural resources for economic growth.
There are pronounced differences in opinion among the income groups. People with lower income

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are far more likely to agree in depleting natural resources for economic growth. Some 22% of
people with income under 5,000 QR say don’t know. Respondents from the household are least
likely to disagree with this statement compared to subgroups.

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75
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Figure 3.4 General Environmental Attitudes (or ecological worldviews) of Qataris and non-Qataris

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Statement 5 - The environment is a low priority compared with other things in my life.
A majority of the public (67%) disagree that the environment is a low priority compared with other
things in their life and 13% of the public has no opinion on this. More than one-in-ten (12%) agree
that compared to many other things in their life, environment hardly a priority. There is no
statistically significant difference between men and women. A similar share of opinion expressed
by men and women. However, men are more likely to say that environment is not one of the
priorities of their lives. There is an equal share of both groups expresses no opinion. Non-Qataris
are particularly more likely to disagree compared to Qataris (68% versus 58%, including agree).
However, just two-in-ten (18%) of Qatari public say that environment is a low priority compared
to other things in their life (non-Qataris only 12%). Younger generations (Qataris) are more likely
than the older groups (age above 50) to disagree with the statement. Whereas older non-Qataris
are very less likely to say that environment is not a priority in their lives compared to older Qataris.
Two-in-ten lower income groups are reluctant to share their opinion. Over two-thirds of high-
income respondents (greater than 20,000) say they disagree (53% of which strongly disagree) with
the statement. A sizeable opinion gap exists between the education groups; secondary education is
more likely to agree that environment is not the main priority (25% versus 11%). Non-profit
employees tend to have a higher (80%) priority to the environment compared to 68% of
government employees.

Statement 6 - If we need to make sacrifices in our lifestyles to reduce environmental problems


87% of the public overwhelmingly agree (of which 60% strongly agree) that we need to make
sacrifices in our excessive consumer lifestyles to reduce environmental problems. Only a handful
of public maintained neutral position or disagree with the statement. There is no statistically
significant difference between men and women. However, 90% of the women say we have to
sacrifice our extravagant lifestyle compared to 84% of men. There is no statistically significant
difference between Qataris and non-Qataris. Both take fairly same position on this issue. A
sizeable opinion gap exist between the younger and older groups. Old adults (both Qatari and non-
Qatari) are more likely to agree than young people. There is no major variation in responses among
different income groups; nearly 90% of all income groups agree (including strongly agree). People
with income less than 5,000 are particularly more likely to agree compared to higher income
groups and a small share of non-Qataris earning more than 20,000 strongly disagree. Roughly two-
thirds (64%) of people with higher education (Masters/PhD degree) believe it is essential to
sacrifice our lifestyle to reduce environmental problems. By contrast, only 43% of people with
only secondary education back the statement. Government employees are particularly likely to
disagree, whereas non-profit employees think otherwise.

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Statement 7 - How willing would you be to accept cuts in your standard of living in order to protect
the environment
Having a positive attitude is one thing, but willing to take action to minimize the environmental
impact is another. Overwhelming majorities (88%) say they are willing to curb consumerist
lifestyle to protect the environment and a notable share said very willing (37%) and 52% say fairly
willing. Only 3% say they say it is not worth to compromise their lifestyle (see figure 3.5). Men
and women broadly share similar views. The difference in opinion among the Qatari and non-
Qatari public is not wide. Both are convinced that the current lifestyle is not good for the
environment. However, more than one-in-ten (13%) Qatari women maintained a neutral position.
Older Qatari adults are particularly willing to cut their standard of living compared to the younger
generation. Qatari women between ages 25-35 remained unsure about this issue. Whereas there is
a consensus among Qatari men. There are no wide differences among various income and
educational groups.

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Figure 3.5 Willingness to compromise their lifestyle to protect the environment

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3.3. Water

Qatar is one of the water scarcest countries in the region and world. But the continuous expansion
of fossil fuel-led desalination technology and associated water infrastructure evaded the shortages
and led to continuous access to safe and clean water to all the citizens and residents. In recent
years, Qatar witnessed the growing household water consumption adding stress to the economy,
infrastructure and the environment. New measures were proposed to curb the demand through
increasing water tariffs and recycling domestic wastewater for semi-productive use. However,
these measures have not reduced the household consumption. Conserving water is one of the
strategic areas for Qatar for its natural sustainability. We are interested in understanding the public
opinion about their water usage and conservation behavior and preferred measures to curb
consumption.

The survey tested the knowledge of public about Qatar’s ground-and-freshwater resources. Only
a very small share of the public is aware of water resources in Qatar. The classic reason for this is
a lack or poor access to information. Information campaigns through various sources will increase
awareness about the dire situation of water resources and encourage rationalize water
consumption.
Q1: Considering recent rates of water withdrawal, it is estimated that Qatar’s aquifers will be
exhausted in

Less than 20 – 30 30 – 60 60 – 90 More than 100 Don’t know


20 years years years years years

The correct answer is less than 20 years (MoE, 2009, pp70)


Q2: The freshwater reserves in Qatar are enough for

Don’t
2 days 8 days 2 weeks 8 weeks
Know

The correct answer is 2 days (MDPS, 2011)


The survey finds just one-in-four (27%) knows the state of groundwater aquifers in Qatar, whereas
nearly half (48%) of the public is unaware (see figure 3.6). There is no statistically significant
difference between men and women. Men and women are equally unaware of the groundwater
resources. Qatari public is more likely to know the answer compared to non-Qataris, although the
difference is minimal (34% vs 28%). More than one-in-four of Qataris (43%) and non-Qataris

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(48%) say they don’t know the state of groundwater resources. This is more common among the
younger generation, Qataris of age group 17-24 (48%) and 24-35 (52%) say ‘don’t know.’ Nearly
half (46%) of older Qatari adults seem to have a good understanding of their resources. More
than half of respondents with the age group (25-34) mention ‘don’t know’ which is highest among
all other age groups. The difference between the educational groups does not follow a single
direction.

Figure 3.6 Qataris and non-Qataris response to state of groundwater aquifers (age group: 36-50)

Same goes with the freshwater reserves, only 17% of public say two days. A notable share (61%)
of the public do not know about the freshwater reserves in Qatar (see figure 3.7). Men and women
are equally unaware of the situation (61% vs 62%). In this case, even a large number (60%) of
Qatari public say do not know about the freshwater reserves compared to 62% of non-Qataris.
Older Qatari and non-Qataris are more likely to know the answer compared to any other age
groups. By contrast, two-thirds (66%) of young Qatari adults of age group 17-24 and 25-35 do not
know the answer. Education has little to do with the knowledge of water reserves. People with
postgraduate degrees also do not know of water reserves. Qataris working in the government sector
are better aware of the situation compared to any other groups. Almost one-in-three (29%) non-
Qatari academics know it correctly than any other sub groups.

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Figure 3.7 Qataris and non-Qataris response to state of freshwater reserve capacity (age group:
17-24)

Water Consumption Activities


Where do we consume most of the water in our daily activities. We asked to people to rank their
views of water consumption based on their daily household activities. The ranking is based on
from highest to lowest with nine possible options (figure 3.8).
The survey finds that more than one-third (36%) of public say bathing (shower) is where most of
the day-to-day water is consumed. Followed by 26% say toilet and one-in-five (21%) marked
washing clothes and utensils (19%), respectively. However, there is no sizeable difference in
ranking when it comes to gardening, drinking and washing car, all rank equally. Whereas cooking
(7%) and cleaning homes (6%) are the least water-consumed activities.
Women are more likely to mark bathing as a major water consuming activity compared to men,
but there is no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Four-in-ten (41%) of
Qatari public say bathing is the most water-consumed activity compared to 35% of non-Qataris.
There is no major divide in opinion among sub groups for water consumption in toilets. However,
more women (28%) think washing clothes consumes more water in their daily life compared to
men (17%). A notable share of Qataris see they consume more water for washing clothes compared
to non-Qataris.

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Figure 3.8 Public’s ranking of water consumption

Not many people have a private garden in their homes, and only 15% say watering garden
consumes more water, whereas 46% reported it is the least water consumer activity implying that
they do not have private gardens in their home. Qataris are more likely compared to non-Qataris
in choosing watering garden as a major user (29% versus 15%). Respondents with higher income
(greater than 20,000) are more likely to use more water for gardens compared to other income
groups. It is obvious; more Qataris have private gardens than non-Qataris. A similar observation
is made of people with higher incomes. It is highly likely that high-income earners have homes
with private gardens, and so drives the consumption. Just three-in-ten (28%) Qatari say they
consume more water for washing cars than only 12% of non-Qataris.
There are no noticeable differences in consumption behavior when it comes cooking, drinking and
cleaning home.

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3.3.1 Water Conservation Behaviour

A large number of people do convenient things to conserve water and a nearly half of the public
say it is likely to consider reusing treated wastewater for toilet flushing and landscaping.

The survey asked people to get a better understanding of water conservation behavior from a set
of eight questions with a seven-point scale ranging from “I do it already” to “I don’t know” (see
the Appendix for actual questions). The behavioral activities range from the fully loaded washing
machine to installing grey water recycling system (see figure 3.9). We analyze all the questions,
since water is an important issue to the state and academics.
Q1. Ensuring washing machine and dishwasher are fully loaded before use
Overall, 68% of public say they fully load their washing machine and dishwater before use and
some 18% say it is very likely they would consider doing it. Women are particularly likely to do
it already compared to men (75% vs 64%). Qataris and non-Qatari take a fairly different position
on this; only a 48% of Qatari say they already do it compared to 70% of non-Qataris. However,
more than one-thirds of Qatari say they are very likely they would do it. Older generations are
more likely to do it compared to the younger groups. 73% of people above 50 do it in contrast to
only 56% of age group 17-24. There were marginal differences when it compared to the
educational groups.
Q2 and 3. Installing water-efficient showerheads and taps; Installing a dual flush/low flush toilet
More than one-in-three say (34%) they already do it (or they already have such systems installed
in their homes) and a majority (57%) say it is likely they would consider doing it. There is no
sizeable differences between men and women and same goes with Qataris and non-Qataris. A
fewer than 5% say it is unlikely. A majority of public of all age group says it is highly likely they
would install water-efficient showerheads and taps. Public with lower income is particularly likely
to be doing it already, whereas only 28% of people with income above 20,000 say they already do
it.
The responses for ‘Installing a dual flush/low flush toilet’ is similar to the responses of installing
water-efficient showerheads. Therefore, we skip this question.

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Figure 3.9 Public’s response to water conservation behaviour

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Q4. Watering the garden with a watering can
As mentioned earlier, very few have private gardens in their home and in many cases the real-
estate staff managed those who have common gardens in villas. More than one-fourth (28%) say
it is not applicable. Some 24% say they already do it. A notable share of non-Qataris says not
applicable in contrast to only 6% of Qataris. Almost one-third of Qataris say it is very likely to
consider watering the garden with a can. Comparing the response with Qataris and non-Qataris, it
is no surprise that nearly one-third of the non-Qatari respondents mentioned ‘not applicable’
compared to Qataris (6%). Almost two-thirds of Qatari respondents mentioned that they do it
already and very likely to water the garden with a can. There is no major change in pattern among
other sub groups that are worth mentioning.
Q5. Installing a grey-water recycling system
Roughly half (49%) of public say it is likely (including very likely) to install a grey-water recycling
system. Some 19% say not applicable for whatever reasons. However, installing grey-water
recycling requires regulatory support, capital investment, and required infrastructure. When these
conditions are in place, the public will be more likely to install a grey-water recycling system in
the households. A sizeable minority of public with higher education say not applicable. One-in-
three students say they do it already and one-third of them say consider installing a grey-water
recycling system. Among Qataris, older generations are more likely to install grey water recycling
system than younger groups. There are modest differences in response between income groups.
One-third of public of all group says ‘very likely’ to install. Academics, employees from the
private sector and household members are very likely compared to other sectors. Strangely,
respondents from the non-profit sector show very little interest which is inconsistent with their
pro-environmental views (see above).

Q6. Would you consider reusing the best quality treated wastewater (from your kitchen, washing
machine) for toilet flushing?
Over the last decade the government allocated massive infrastructure budget to drainage and
domestic wastewater treatment facilities. The domestic water treatment capacity has increased
from 67,000 m3/d to 809,000 m3/d between 2004 and 2015. Conserving water through recycling
and reuse is one of the strategic areas of the state to reduce the domestic demand. Reusing domestic
treated water has always been a concern for public safety and health. The survey included two
questions to gauge public opinion about reuse of treated wastewater. A sizeable majority (61%)
say it is likely to consider using treated wastewater for toilet flushing. A fewer than 10% say it is
unlikely or they would not do. Men and women broadly share same views. Some 12% of Qatari
men say it is unlikely and 13% of Qatari women say they would not do. However, more than half
of Qatari men and women expressed a favourable opinion of using well-treated wastewater from
kitchen, washing machine for toilet flushing. A fewer than 5% of non-Qataris say it is highly

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unlikely and would not do. Oddly, young Qataris of age group between 17-24 and 25-35
disapprove the idea of reusing treated wastewater compared to older generations. Roughly one-in-
three (28%) Qatari adults age above 50 say it is unlikely. A good majority of non-Qataris of all
age groups say it is likely. There is no difference in opinion between income groups. Education
has very little influence, all educational groups express a similar share of opinion. A large number
(66%) of households say it is very likely, which is far higher than any other sub groups. Overall,
there is a general consensus the public would consider reusing treated wastewater for toilet
flushing.

Q7. Would you consider reusing the best quality treated wastewater (from your bathtub) for
landscaping?
Roughly six-in-ten (57%) people say they would consider reusing best quality treated water from
bathtubs for landscaping. A sizeable opinion gap exists among and between subgroups. Women
are more supportive of this idea than men, 63% of women say it is likely in comparison with only
52% of men. Both Qataris and non-Qataris express favourable views of using treated wastewater
for landscaping (58% vs 56%). A fewer than 5% of Qatari public say it is unlikely or would not
do it. There are no major differences across generations. Housewives (men) are more (70%)
convinced of the idea of using treated water for landscapes, which is far higher than any other
groups. The survey finds that a majority of the public favour using treated wastewater from
bathtubs for landscaping.

3.3.2 Proposed Actions to Conserve Water

The survey asked the public to report their most influencing factors in conserving water. The
survey presented with five questions with a response scale ranging from ‘very likely’ to ‘not
applicable.’ Questions range from market mechanism (pricing) through normative beliefs (religion
sermons). Figure 3.10 shows the proposed actions in conserving water.

Q1. Charging and/or increasing my water bills


Qatar’s water pricing is very low compared to many developed and developing countries despite
its high production cost. For a very long time, the water prices were very low for households and
water for Qatari households is free. In recent years, the government has increased the water tariffs
to non-Qataris and commercial enterprises to curb the ever-growing demand.
There is a strong divide in public opinion on this issue. Roughly half (47%) say it is likely of which
20% say very likely that charging and/or increasing water bills will encourage the public to
conserve water. Whereas another is half is divided, nearly one-fourth (24%) say it is unlikely and
a minority of the public remained neutral. There is no statistically significant difference between

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men and women. More than four-in-ten men and women favour the idea and roughly equal share
express their disapproval. Qatari and non-Qataris have roughly similar perceptions. Some 45% of
non-Qataris remained neutral and unconvinced with the idea. 15% of Qataris say it is not applicable
indicating that pricing is not necessarily an option and this opinion is very common among the age
group 25-34 and 35-50. Opinions vary considerably among income groups. People earning income
under 5,000 are less convinced of the idea of pricing and charging water bills (32% vs 20% of
public income above 20,000). People with lesser education are more likely to disagree than any
other groups. Nearly half (46%) of the household respondents mentioned they are likely to pay for
increased water tariffs.
Many non-Qataris do not support the idea implying that the living cost is already very high and
any increase in public services will affect their income and savings. Also, some Qataris see that
pricing is not on the agenda at all.

Q2. Installing a water meter, and notifying the water consumption in your mobile for every month?
A vast majority (80%) favour the idea of installing a water meter and notifying the users of monthly
water consumption on their mobiles. Just about 10% remained neutral and a fewer than 5% of
public say unlikely. There is no statistically significant difference between men and women.
Roughly both express a similar opinion (79% vs 82% for both likely and very likely options).
Qatari (80%) and non-Qatari (81%) public is fairly united in believing that this idea will help to
conserve water. There are modest differences in opinion among generations. Older Qatari adults
of age above 50 are not so convinced with this idea; nearly one-third say it is unlikely. This is quite
the opposite when it comes to non-Qataris. There is general agreement among various income
groups; the views are hardly distinguishable. More than three-fourths say it is likely that this would
help in conserving water. There are no differences in other subgroups. Educational or sectoral
backgrounds have no influence on the responses. Nearly all respondents either mention very likely
or likely.

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Figure 3.10 Public’s response to various influencing factors in water conservation

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Q3. Putting a limit on the water I can use at low/free cost
The survey asked if the water utility company impose a limit (rationing) of water consumption for
each household with free or low cost and any household exceeds the basic requirements will pay
higher tariffs per unit of water consumption. There is wider support for this idea. Roughly three-
fourths (73%) of public say it is likely (including very likely) that rationing water will encourage
water conservation. Just two-in-ten (21%) people say it is unlikely or remained neutral. There is
no statistically significant difference between men and women, as both broadly share similar
views, over 70% of them say it is likely. Although 60% of Qataris say it is likely, some 20% of
Qataris disagree with this idea and this view is commonly shared among older adults. More than
one-in-four Qatari adults of age 25-34 say it is unlikely to induce water conservation behavior.
However, the views among non-Qataris of all age groups are fairly united. There are narrower
divides among income groups, people with lesser income are particularly likely to endorse the idea
compared to higher income groups. Again, there are no considerable variations with respect to
education groups. Respondents with higher education are more likely to consider this option (75%
vs 63%). Academics are more likely to favour water rationing than any other groups.
This indicates this is also one of the favored options for respondents to conserve water.
Q4. Information on water scarcity and water conservation options (e.g. Publicity campaigns)
Fully three-quarters (75%) of public say information about water scarcity and different
conservation options will influence water conservation. Some 12% remained neutral and fewer
than 10% of public say it is unlikely for people to conserve water through these publicity
campaigns. There is no statistically significant difference between men and women. Roughly equal
shares of men (75%) and women (76%) say it is likely. Qatari public well receives the idea. More
than three-quarters (77%) say it is likely to influence water conservation behaviour. Non-Qataris
equally welcome this suggestion. There are some modest differences by age. Younger Qatari and
non-Qatari adults show a predilection for this idea than older Qatari and non-Qatari adults.
Opinion did not vary considerably among income groups. A vast majority of the public with the
university degree and above say that information campaigns are influential, whereas some 20% of
the public with lesser education are unsure whether the information will encourage water
conserving behaviour. Again, housewives (men) favour more information compared to any other
sectoral groups and similar interest expressed by government and private sector employees.
Q5. Faith-based encouragement (scripture, traditions, sermons)
Will faith-based religious and spiritual messages encourage public to conserve water? There are
starkly different reactions compared to any other previous questions. A fully 50% of public say it
is likely that religious sermons and messages will influence the public to conserve water. Another
half is equally opposed to this view. There is statistically significant difference between men and
women. Men are particularly likely to agree compared to women (53% vs 41%). More than four-
in-ten women remained either neutral or disapprove this idea. Qatari and non-Qatar public take a

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fairly different position on this issue. More than two-thirds (67%) Qataris say likely in contrast to
only 47% of non-Qataris. A just two-in-ten (21%) of non-Qataris are not convinced of this idea
and this is common among women. There are also divides by age on views of religious sermons
to promote conservation with younger generations more inclined than older ones. Some 72% of
Qataris of age above 50 say very likely compared to 48% of age between 17 and 24. The balance
of opinion was just the opposite when it comes to non-Qataris. Only 28% of non-Qatari of age
above 50 say likely compared to 52% of Qataris age 17-24. Public in between age groups remained
partially positive about this idea. People with lower education favour this idea compared to higher
educational groups (63% vs 45%; secondary vs Masters/PhD). Government employees and
housewives see religious sermons as a tool of persuasion to conserve water. However, academics
and other groups strongly disagree.

3.4 Energy

Energy (electricity) is another growing concern in Qatar, although, less important because of its
abundant availability. Between 2014 and 2015, electricity production has increased 7.3% and a
five-year annual average increase of 8.2%. Per capita electricity consumption in 2015 was 17,141
kWh/year, which is considered to be one of the highest. The continuous rise in per capita
consumption has cautioned the policy makers and looking for ways to reduce electricity
consumption. The government has increased electricity tariffs for non-Qatari households and
commercial enterprises to promote energy conservation. Nearly 70-80% of the household
electricity consumption goes to air conditioning.

The survey asked to report the most-energy consuming appliances in a list five options ranking
from highest to lowest. The survey finds that an overwhelming majority (77%) of public say air
conditioning is the most energy consuming appliance and which goes with the evidence by a
recent study of Kahramaa (air conditioning and lighting consume 70-80% of household
electricity). Whereas other appliances lie far below the public list; lighting (22%), other
appliances (TV, ironing clothes) (14%), water heating (12%) and electric cooker (9%) (see
figure 3.11).
We looked at the response variations among different groups only for air conditioning because of
higher response compared to others. There is no statistically significant difference between men
and women. Both are likely to share similar views. There is a unified view among the Qatari and
non-Qatari public; both think air conditioning consumes more electricity than others. Older Qatari
adults are more likely to convince that ACs consume more electricity than younger generations
(100% vs 66%). Whereas there are narrow divides among age groups in non-Qataris. There are no
considerable differences in response when it comes to income and education. However, people
with higher education tend to lean towards higher rating than others.

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Figure 3.11 Public’s ranking of energy consumption

Q2. When do you keep your AC on?


A majority (75%) of the public use air conditioning only when they are in need. A just two-in-ten
(21%) say they keep the AC on throughout the summer and fewer than 5% say they keep it on
during the summer and winter. There is no statistically significant difference between men and
women, men are more likely to use when there is a need, though the difference is minimal. Both
Qatari and non-Qatari keep the ACs on only when there is use, however, younger Qatari adults are
more likely to keep the AC on throughout the summer and winter. Roughly four-in-ten (39%) of
non-Qatari adults of age above 50 keep the AC on throughout the summer. People with less income
tend to be more mindful of their usage than the higher income groups. There is no influence of
education on the behaviour.

Q3. On average, what is the temperature of your AC (enter in numbers)


The electricity consumption is highest during the peak summer period June to September when
the temperature exceeds 45°C. The average temperature for human comfort is 24°C. Based on the
observation over the years, many commercial and residential units have set their temperature

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around 18-20°C. Increasing per unit temperature of air conditioning will reduce the electricity
consumption and consequently emissions.
The survey finds that the average temperature of ACs in households is 22.3°C. A simple t-test
compared with the human comfort temperature (24°C) shows there is statistically significant
difference. The median temperature between men and women is relatively same, but women tend
to keep their AC temperatures lower compared to men. Qataris tend to keep their AC temperatures
2°C lower compared to non-Qataris (20.78 vs 22.61). The gender difference among non-Qataris is
very minimal; the median temperature is almost the same. But when it compared among Qataris,
there is a huge difference, Qatari women tend to keep lower AC temperatures compared to Qatari
men. There is a huge variation among Qatari women as well. When compared with the age groups,
the younger Qataris tend to keep the AC temperatures very low when compared with the older age
groups and there is a considerable variation among them as shown in figure 3.12.

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Figure 3.12 Public’s response to average AC temperature in their household

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Q4. Instead of AC, would you be willing to use Fan when it is not too hot?

For almost six months, the weather in Qatar is bearable and does not require AC to keep us comfort.
The survey asked, to minimize the energy consumption if they would consider using a fan instead
of AC if it is not too hot and humid. Some 58% of public endorse the idea, and roughly one-fourth
(24%) say ‘Maybe.’ Just one-in-ten (10%) say it is unlikely they would use fan whereas fewer than
5% say they never thought about it, implying they would consider using it (see figure 3.13). There
are modest differences between men and women. A fully 25% say they are unsure. When it
compared with non-Qataris, the balance of opinion was just the opposite. Only 28% of Qatari
public say yes compared to 61% of non-Qataris. However, more than one-fourth (27%) of Qatari
public say they would consider using it but not so confident about it and roughly 32% is not willing
to use a fan. There is a strong divide in reaction across generations among Qataris. A majority
(71%) of Qatari adults’ age above 50 say no compared to only 11% and 28% of Qatari adults of
age 17-24 and 25-35. By contrast, across all generations non-Qataris favour using a fan when the
weather is amicable. This shows fans are not popular among older Qatari adults for conditioning
the room temperature. Public with income less than 10,000 is more inclined to use fan compared
higher income groups. Over 80% of housewives (men) say they would consider using a fan, which
is much higher compared to any other sub groups.

Figure 3.13 Public’s response to using fan instead of air-conditioning

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Q6. Would you be willing to install solar panels (for electricity) and solar water heaters (water
heating)?
The survey asked if the public willing to install solar panels for electricity and solar water heaters
with a list of three options.
a. Yes
b. No
c. I am renting this place, if I can, I would.
The survey finds the overwhelming willingness (98%) to install rooftop solar panels for electricity
and solar water heater. Of which, over one-third (35%) say ‘Yes’ and majority (67%) of the public
say, they are renting this place, if they can they would. An overwhelming number (84%) of Qataris
endorse the idea of using solar panels and only 10% are not so fond of using so (see figure 3.14).
By contrast, some 70% of the non-Qatari public say they are renting this place, else they would
consider it. This indicates both Qatari and non-Qatari public express strong support in installing
solar panels for electricity and solar water heaters. Young generations are more convinced of this
idea compared to the older generation. Overwhelming majorities of Qatari adults of age between
24-35 and 36-50 voice their support compared to other groups. 97% of Qatari female adults (24-
35) say they willing to install solar panels and some 25% of young Qataris (17-24) say otherwise
(see figure 3.15). Income and education barely influence the decision of the public.

Figure 3.14 Public’s willingness to install solar panels

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Figure 3.15 Qataris’ willingness to install solar panels

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4. Survey 2
4.1 Summary of Sociodemographics of Survey 2

The total number of survey respondents in the second survey was 753, of which only 8 percent of
respondents were Qataris. This is 4% less compared to survey 1.

The number of male respondents was higher (61%). There is a significant difference between
males and female respondents compared with the nationalities. Among Qataris, only 40% of
respondents were males, and in non-Qataris, male respondents were 70%.
The average age of the survey respondents was 35, similar to our first survey. There is statisically
significant difference between the age groups among males and females. Respondents between the
age group (25-35) were the highest recording 47%, followed by 34% (36-50) and only 11% among
the young cohorts (17-24). Again, this has been consistent with our preivous surveys. Qataris with
an age group of 17-24 are highest (27%) compared to non-Qataris (10%). There is a moderate
difference in other age groups among Qataris and non-Qataris.
Among the non-Qatari respondents, nearly half (47%) of the population were living in Qatar for
less than five years; one-fourth (25%) between 5-10 years; and 17% more than 10 years. The
number of respondents who were born and raised here is 10%. Respondents are similar to the first
survey.
People with higher income are more responsive to the surveys. Nearly 36% of the total respondents
have income greater than 20,000, followed by 21% between 5000-10000, 30% between two
income groups (10001-15000; 15001-20000). People with income less than 5000 are recorded
lowest of 13 percent respectively. There is statistically significant difference in income among
Qataris and non-Qataris as well as between gender. Nearly 63% of Qataris have income over
20,000 compared to 34% among non-Qataris, and 31% of them fall into the income category of
(10001-15000 and 15001-20000). Females with income group (less than 5000) are 22% compared
to males (8%). There is no major difference among other income groups between males and
females.
Respondents of this survey are highly educated. Over half (55%) of respondents have a university
degree and 30% with a postgraduate degree. Respondents with post-secondary (and lower)
combined only 8%, with a vocational education of 4%. There is no statistically significant
difference between the educational background and gender, whereas among Qataris and non-
Qataris there is statistically significance difference in educational attainment. Nearly 17% of the
Qatari respondents have educational attainment less than university degree compared to 11%
among non-Qataris. Nearly 82 and 83% of Qataris and non-Qatari respondents have university and
postgraduate degrees.

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Over half (57%) of the survey respondents are professionals, and nearly 22% are marked as
“Other” in the profession, followed by students of only 7.4% respectively. Among Qataris, nearly
47% marked their profession as “Other” whereas non-Qataris only 20%.
Nearly 45% of respondents were from private companies followed by government (20%),
academia (14%) and semi-government (12%), respectively. Among Qataris, nearly half (47%) of
respondents are from the government sector. Compared to the first survey, the number of survey
responses from the academic sector is higher (17%). Whereas among non-Qataris, nearly 45
percent of respondents are from private sector followed by government (18%), academia (13%)
and semi-government (12%), respectively.
Figure 4.1 gives a snapshot of sociodemographics of the second survey.

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Figure 4.1 Sociodemographics of the second survey

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4.2 Knowledge of Basic Environmental Terms

Climate change is one of the most pressing global environmental issues in the world and 80% of
public know a lot or fair amount about climate change.

The second survey beings with two basic questions asking about their level of knowledge on
various environmental buzzing words and the major environmental issues the world is facing now.
The responses were measured from knowing a lot to never heard about it; and from 1 to 5, ranging
the severity of the problem (5 is highest).
Respondents were asked their level of knowledge of key environmental terms a) climate change;
b) ecological footprint; c) sustainable development; d) desertification (increased desert area); e)
ocean acidification, and f) loss of biodiversity.

The public in Qatar is more familiar with climate change and sustainable development. One-in-
four (40%) of the public say they know a lot about climate change and 32% about sustainable
development (figure 4.2). However, many other important environmental terms are less familiar;
15% say the public never heard of ocean acidification and some 10% say the same about ecological
footprint and loss of biodiversity. There are some wide differences in opinion about desertification.
More (74%) Qataris say they know a lot or fair amount about desertification compared to only
48% of non-Qataris. This shows that Qataris can relate themselves to the loss of ‘green’ in the
desert area. But the diverse group of non-Qataris can hardly able to relate to this problem,
therefore, they know very little about it.

For the sake of showing diverse opinions, we limit our detailed response for only three items:
climate change, ecological footprint and ocean acidification.

Climate Change
More than eight-in-ten (84%) public says they know about climate change, of which 40% say they
know a lot, which is considerably higher than any other environmental issue. Only 2% of the public
never heard about climate change and not a single person said they never. There is no statistically
significant difference between men and women. Men and women have roughly similar levels of
knowledge. There are no sizeable differences between Qataris and non-Qataris, however, Qataris
know a lot about climate change. Some 45% of Qataris say know a lot about climate change and
33% know a fair amount. By contrast, only 40% of non-Qataris say they know a lot. Roughly one-
in-ten (11%) of Qataris say they only heard of the name compared to less to 2% of non-Qataris.
Over 50% of Qatari women know a lot compared to 37% of Qatari men. There are wide differences
in the level of knowledge among age groups. Qatari adults of age 36-50 know a lot about climate
change compared to only 55% of young Qataris (17-24). One-third (33%) of older Qataris age
above 50 said they just heard the name ‘climate change.'
The level of knowledge varies considerably when it comes to educational groups. People higher
education tend to know a lot about climate change compared to respondents with lower education
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(48% vs 28% of the post-secondary group). Academics and non-profit employees say they know
a lot about climate change compared to any other sub groups.
This is surprisingly a positive indicator that a wider public is familiar with climate change.

Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a very familiar term in public’s view. Roughly seven-in-ten (68%)
people say they know either a lot or a fair amount about sustainable development. There is only
modest difference between men and women, however, men tend to know a lot about sustainable
development than women. Some 40% of Qataris say they know a lot compared to only 30% of
non-Qataris. There is not a single Qatari respondent is unheard of sustainable development.
Generational differences in knowledge about sustainable development are wide. 60% of middle-
aged Qatari adults (35-50) say they know a lot compared to 35% of young Qataris (25-35).
Whereas among non-Qataris, younger generation knows more than the older counterparts. Income
has nothing to do with the knowledge about sustainable development. There is no consistency in
responses. Public with postgraduate degrees is more knowledgeable than people lesser education.
A fully 51% of academic know a lot about sustainable development than any other groups. Some
19% of housewives (and men) never heard of the term.
Ecological Footprint
Only a fully one-fifth (20%) of public know a lot about ecological footprint and more than one-
third (36%) know a fair amount. This is still a positive indication that more than half of them are
aware of the concept. Men are more likely to know about ecological footprint than women,
however, there is no statistically significant difference between them. A one-third of men and
women know a fair amount about ecological footprint and 11% of women say they never heard
the term. Non-Qataris are slightly in a better position to know about ecological footprint than
Qatari public. Some 16% of Qatari men and 15% of non-Qatari women never heard the term. The
level of knowledge is clearly divided when it comes to age groups. There is no unified direction.
Nearly two-in-ten younger adults (both Qatari and non-Qatari) never heard of ecological footprint.
Education has little to do with knowing the term; only 29% of the public with postgraduate degrees
say they know a lot about ecological footprint but significantly higher when compared with
vocational degree holders (16%), and nearly 42% of them said they know just a little. Academics
are more particularly likely to be knowledgeable of the term than others.
y

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(Overall Public’s Response)

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Figure 4.2 Public’s response to their level of knowledge of basic terms

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Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification is not seen in common discourse or in media too; only a very specialized
community is aware of this term. We kept this term deliberately for respondents to test their
understanding of the various attributes of climate change. Unsurprisingly, ocean acidification is
the least familiar term of all. Only 12% say of public know a lot, roughly one-fourth (24%) say a
fair amount. Some 14% say they never heard of ocean acidification, which is by far the highest
than any other terms. Men know more about ocean acidification, however, there is no statistically
significant difference between men and women. There are very differences between Qataris and
non-Qataris. There are generational divides; younger adults are known to be more familiar with
the term than the older adults. Some 27% of younger Qatari adults (17-24) say they know a lot
compared to only 10% of Qatari adults of age group 35-50. People with higher education are more
equipped to know about this issue than lesser education group. Academics (25%) and non-profit
employees (12%) know a lot about ocean acidification, whereas other groups reported fewer than
5%.

4.3 Global Environmental Issues

The survey asked to rate their opinion about the major pressing environmental issues the world is
facing now. The survey presented with five options climate change; loss of natural resources (clean
water, arable land); urbanization; loss of biodiversity; and water and air pollution and asked the
public to rank from 1 to 5 scale (5 is highest). Collectively, the Qatar’s public view climate change
is one of the pressing environmental threats of our time. Undoubtedly, climate change topped the
Qatar public’s concern (figure 4.3). Roughly half (47%) of public say climate change is the most
pressing of all environmental threats the world is facing right now. Water and air pollution (44%)
and loss of natural resources (36%) rank equally high in public’s concern. However, issues like
loss of biodiversity (18%) and urbanization (17%) do not really rise high in public’s view.

Climate Change
Roughly half (47%) of Qatar’s public say climate change is the most pressing environmental issue
of our time. A fully 25% of public say climate change as the least pressing issue. Women (49%)
and men (46%) roughly share similar perceptions, and there is no statistically significant difference
between them. Non-Qataris view climate change as a far more serious issue than Qataris, however,
the differences are narrow (48% vs 41%). Over 50% of Qatari adults of age 17-24 and 35-50
believe climate change as a major concern. But this opinion is not equally shared among older
Qataris, some 33% considered as a least significant problem. There is no major difference when
compared with income groups and almost half of all income groups say climate change is a serious
issue. The differences among the educational groups do not follow a single direction. Academics,

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non-profit and private sector employees identify climate change as the biggest threat, whereas the
government employees are too convinced that climate change is a global environmental threat.

Water and Air Pollution


The survey finds that water and air pollution is the second (44%) most pressing environmental
issue in the world and one in four (24%) mentioned it as the least significant issue. Women (47%)
tend to rank water and air pollution as a significant environmental issued compared to men (42%),
although, there is no statistically significant difference between them. There is a narrow divide in
opinion between Qataris and non-Qataris. Some 44% of non-Qataris see water and air pollution a
major threat compared to 39% of Qataris. Younger generation is more likely than others to identify
it as a concern. Opinions vary considerably among income groups. People with lesser income see
as a major concern and this opinion is widely observed among low-income non-Qataris. Some
56% of non-Qataris earning an income less than 5,000 identify as a major concern compared to
only 38% of people earning more than 20,000. This indicates that the low income tend to suffer
disproportionately from water/air pollution and most of them come from South Asia which is
notable for acute water and air pollution. Most of the higher income groups come from
Europe/North America are less exposed to water/air pollution.

Loss of Natural Resources


Over one-third (36%) of public say that loss of natural resources like clean water, arable land is a
major global environmental issue. Women (41%) tend to prioritize loss of natural resources as an
important global concern compared to men (35%), however, there is no statistically significant
difference between them. There are some narrower differences between Qataris and non-Qataris.
A fully one-in-three (32%) Qatari men say it as a least global concern, whereas only 22% of Qatari
women believe that. Younger non-Qataris are particularly likely to believe the loss of natural
resources as a pressing global concern compared to their older counterparts. Some one-third of
Qatari adults of age 25-35 do not believe the loss of natural resources is something to be worried
about.
Urbanization
Urbanization is not something the Qatar public is very concerned about; only 17% reported as a
global environmental issue. A majority of the public (29%) placed urbanization somewhere in the
middle of the listed global concerns. Women and men share common views and the response is
fairly divided. The balance of opinion between Qataris and non-Qataris was just the opposite. Only
4% of Qataris view as a significant concern compared to 18% of non-Qataris. Opinion is divided
among the generations. There is no unified pattern. Even the younger population do not consider
urbanization as a major issue. The opinions do not vary considerably between the education levels.

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(5 is highest, 1 – lowest)
(Overall Public’s Response)

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(5 is highest, 1 – lowest)

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Figure 4.3. Public’s response to most pressing global environmental issues (5 is highest, 1 – lowest)

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4.4 Climate Change

The survey included a suite of questions aimed at public understanding of different aspects of
climate change. Six questions were asked with a likert scale ranging options from strongly agree
with strongly disagree with an extra ‘don’t know’ option. Figure 4.5 shows the snapshot of public’s
view of climate change.

Statement 1 - Does man-made actions are responsible for climate change


A startling majority (91%) of public believe that man-made actions are responsible for climate
change. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of them strongly back the statement. A fewer than 3% agree that
human actions have nothing to do with climate change. Men and women share same opinion (91%
vs 92%). There are roughly any differences between Qataris and non-Qataris, some 93% of Qataris
believe that climate change is man-made compared to 91% of non-Qataris. Generations differences
in opinion are not wide, this is common among Qataris. Middle-aged Qataris of age 35-50
overwhelmingly agree that climate change is a man-made event. There are narrow opinion divides
among non-Qatari generations. Younger Qataris (67%) are more particularly likely to agree
strongly compared to their non-Qatari (50%) counterparts. Opinion vary considerably when it
comes to education. People with higher education believed strongly that man-made actions are
responsible for climate change than people with lesser education. A fewer than 5% of all
educational groups either they disagree or strongly agree. Academics, non-profit and private sector
employees are particularly likely to agree strongly.
Statement 2 – Does climate change is responsible for most of the weather-related changes (floods,
drought)
Some believe weather-related changes are a naturally occurring event. Whereas the recent
evidence suggests otherwise. Climate change is strongly responsible for most of the weather-
related events like extreme weathers drought, floods, etc. A fully (78%) three-quarters of the public
back the statement. More than one-in-ten (13%) people are unsure and only 7% disagree whether
climate change has anything do with the weather changes. Women tend to have more strong views
on this issue than men, however, there is no statistically significant difference between them (43%
vs 39%, strongly agree). Qataris and non-Qataris broadly share a similar opinion, non-Qataris tend
to agree strongly more than their counterparts (78% vs 79%). One-in-ten (11%) Qataris remain
neutral and some 5% are skeptical if climate change is responsible for weather-related events.
Younger generation is more convinced with the statement than the older generation, this is true
among Qataris. Whereas there are narrow divides among non-Qataris. Lower income groups are
more likely to agree strongly compared to higher income groups, but when combined with agree
on option, they fair the same. Oddly, lower educational groups tend to agree more compared with
people with higher education. 95% of public just with secondary education agree (including
strongly compared) compared to only 82% of Masters/PhD degree holders. Roughly one-in-five

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(19%) academics are unsure whether climate change has anything to do with weather-related
events.

Statement 3 - Climate change is beyond control, it's too late to do anything about it?
A majority (63%) of Qatar public is optimistic that we are in reach of solving the greatest
environmental crisis. Some 20% of public remain pessimistic and 16% are skeptical and
maintained a neutral position. Men are more optimistic than women, 67% of men say climate
change can be managed compared to only 61% of women. Qataris are a lot more pessimistic than
non-Qataris (26% vs 15%) and almost one-quarter (24%) of Qataris are unsure. Qatari women are
more uncertain on this issue than Qatari men (33% vs 10%, neutral). Two-thirds of non-Qataris
say it is not too late, still there is a way to fix the problem. Young Qatari adults are optimistic than
older Qatari adults. The opinion is clearly divided among the middle-aged Qataris (35-50). More
than one-third (36%) of Qatari adults of age 24-34 remained skeptical or unsure if something could
be done to avert the climate crisis. The opinions are narrowly divided across generations among
non-Qataris, a lot of them remained optimistic. People with lesser income are slightly pessimistic
compared to higher income groups (20% vs 13%; <5,000 vs >20,000 QR). There is no pattern
when compared with educational groups. There is general optimism across all sectors. Academics
and non-profit employees are more optimistic than others.

Statement 4 - The effects of climate change too far in the future to really worry me
Worldwide, many people feel that climate change is a problem for future and it is not something
to be worried about now. We test the responses of citizens and residents. Unlike the previous
responses, the public is mildly divided on this issue. Nonetheless, nearly six-in-ten (58%) say
climate change is a problem of today not tomorrow. More than one-fourth (27%) back the
statement. There are modest differences between men and women. Men are more likely to believe
climate change is of an immediate concern than women (60% vs 52%). Qataris and non-Qataris
roughly share the same opinion, nearly one-in-three (28%) of them say climate change is a far-off
concern that needs to be worried about now. This view is predominantly (37%) shared by Qatari
women than any other groups. Some 15% of Qataris remained neutral. An overwhelming majority
of non-Qataris across all generations do not back the statement, whereas the opinion is clearly
divided among Qatari age groups. People with different educational backgrounds have starkly
different reactions. 63% of people with postgraduate degrees say climate change is an immediate
concern compared to 50% of people with secondary education. Opinions are divided at the sectoral
level. There is no unified view among non-profit and government employees.

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Figure 4.4. Public’s response to climate change related questions

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Figure 4.5 Qataris response to climate change related questions

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Statement 5 - Radical changes needed for society to tackle climate change
Every now and then, we read news articles and watch videos that our current economic system is
unsustainable and radical change is needed for the survival of the planet to minimize the impact of
climate change and reduce inequality. An overwhelming majority (83%) of public agree that we
(collectively as a society) need to make radical reforms in our production and consumption pattern
to address climate change. A fewer than 6% disagree with the statement. Men and women have
roughly similar perceptions on this issue. A vast majority (91%) of Qataris believe that radical
changes are imperative to tackle climate change. Whereas only 83% of non-Qatari public share
this view. Opinions across the generation is strongly united among Qataris. Young Qatari adults
(17-24 and 25-35) strongly agree with the statement. Whereas the opinion is slightly varied among
non-Qataris across generations. Opinions do not vary significantly among educational groups. But
people with university and postgraduate degrees are particularly likely to strongly agree.
Employees from the private sector are strong supporters of radical changes in society to tackle
climate change than any other groups.
Statement 6 - The West should take most of the blame for climate change
Ever since the climate negotiations had started two decades ago, there have been discussions that
the Northern (synonymously Western bloc – North America, Europe, Japan and Australia/New
Zealand) are responsible for climate change and they have to take most of the blame for it. We
tested the public opinion in this diverse society. Almost a quarter (24%) of public agree the
Western countries should take most of the blame for climate change. A notable share (31%) of
public remained neutral or confused, and 39% do not believe that the West should be blamed
entirely. Men are particularly likely to believe compared to women (23% vs 16%). More than four-
in-ten women do not share this view. Qatari and non-Qatari public share similar perceptions, but
a one-third of Qatari remained unsure. Non-Qatari men believe that the Western countries should
be blamed for climate change. Young Qatari adults 25-35 broadly (41%) share this view compared
to any other age groups. Two-thirds of old Qataris are unsure. Middle-income and higher-income
groups are particularly believed the Western countries are primarily responsible for climate
change. Government and semi-government employees are far more convinced that the western
countries are responsible for climate change and so they should be rightfully blamed.

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4.5 Local Awareness Campaigns

In last few years, state and corporate supported environmental campaigns were organized intended
to increase awareness of local and global environmental issues. It is very hard to say whether these
campaigns have had any positive impact on the attitude and behavior change. There is no scientific
study done on this subject. However, based on the observations these campaigns are symbolic or
just for the news byte or to add an extra activity to their corporate social responsibility portfolio.
Most of the campaigns were limited to kids for beach cleaning and painting. There were some
annual events organized by Qatar Petroleum called Annual Environmental Fair, and occasionally
Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Kahramaa organized lectures/trips. Academic
institutions within Qatar Foundation and Qatar University organized public lectures on a few
environmental issues.

There were (are) no serious and sustained environmental campaigns unless Tarsheed started.
Tarsheed is purported to reduce water and energy consumption. A series of videos and pamphlets
were distributed to citizens/residents in the public places. Again, if this campaign has made any
serious changes in the collective behavior is hard to say. One of the major shortcomings is that
there is no independent civil society addressing environmental issues. Though, there are two
organizations – Friends of the Environment and Qatar National History Group. But the activities
of these two organizations are managed by the expats and mostly expats attend the event.
The survey asked a series of questions about local environmental campaigns and other related
questions.
A sizeable majority (62%) of public never attended any environmental programs. Some 22%
attended once, and only 12% attended more than twice (figure 4.6). Men are more likely to attend
the events compared to women (39% vs 33%). Qataris participated less in environmental events
than non-Qataris (44% vs 53%). Middle-income (10,001-15,000) public is more likely to take part
in the initiatives than with low-income and high-income public (31% versus 17% versus 20%). A
notable share (70%) of people earning less than 5,000 never participated in any event. There is no
major variation among the educational subgroups. Even people with higher education did not
participate in environmental initiatives. There is a predictable pattern; students, academics, and
non-profit employees participated regularly or at least once in the environmental program.
Government/semi-government employees and housewives (men) are least likely to participate in
the environmental event.

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Figure 4.6 Public’s response to engagement in environmental events

As discussed earlier, the drive to reduce water and energy consumption, the state utility company
-Kahramaa – initiated a major campaign under the name Tarsheed. This initiative started five years
back intended to target all households to reduce their water/energy consumption through videos
televised on social media. A quick look through of their social media followers – Twitter followers
– 36,000; Facebook – 17,740. They are active on Instagram and other social media outlets.
Tarsheed also organizes an annual event to recognize initiatives and institutions that promote
sustainability.

Kahramaa’s Tarsheed seems to be a popular campaign. Roughly two-thirds (63%) say they heard
of Tarsheed campaign and only one-third not aware of it. Men tend to know about the campaign
than women (66% versus 53%) and a majority (85%) of Qataris know the Tarsheed campaign
compared to only 60% of non-Qataris. Qatari women and men and across all ages are equally
aware of the campaign. People with lesser education seem to know more about this campaign
compared to other higher educational groups. Academics and private sector employees are least
likely to know of Tarsheed campaign.

Having a campaign is one thing, whether it is informative and persuasive is another thing. The
responses are mixed. Of those (n=467) who knew about this campaign, 40% say the campaign is
effective and a fewer (8%) say it is not effective at all (figure 4.7). However, a sizeable minority
(41%) say the campaign could be better and a fully 10% say the campaign lack any relevant
information. Roughly men and women share similar perception, but more women say the
campaigns could be better. Far more (50%) Qatari public say it is effective, but a majority say it
could be better. Non-Qataris take fairly a different position on this issue. A lot of men and women

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say there is much room for improvement. Older generation does not view these campaigns in the
same light as the younger generation. People with higher income tend to give less favorable
reviews compared to lower income people (17% versus 45% of less than 5,000). Some 55% of
government employees said it was effective, whereas 80% of non-profit employees suggest
campaign could be better.

Figure 4.7 Public’ response to Kahramaa’s Tarsheed Campaigns’ effectiveness

Q4. Have you attended the Qatar Petroleum Environmental Fair?


A few years back, Qatar Petroleum hosted annual Environmental Fair in partnership with all the
major oil, gas and petrochemical companies based in Ras Laffan, Messaied and Dukhan. Some
other commercial companies joined the show. Over the last two years, the environmental fair was
stopped for unknown reasons. We asked whether they attended the environmental fair. A vast
majority (93%) of the public did not participate in the fair and those who have attended do not
share a positive opinion about the fair.

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Q6. Have you attended the lectures/site visits organized by the Friends of Environment?

Friends of the Environment (FoE) is one of the two independent environmental organizations
aimed to spread awareness about local flora and fauna. FoE organizes several lectures and trips to
ecological sites for young and adults alike.

A notable share (59%) say they never attended the lectures/site visits organized by the Friends of
Environment (FoE) (figure 4.8). Only a small minority (15%) of the public attended the event, of
which only 2% have attended all the time. Men are more likely to attend the events compared to
women. A fully two-thirds (67%) of women never know about the events at all. Those who know
about the events barely make it to it. A lot (43%) of Qatari public say they never attended the event
compared to 24% of non-Qataris. An overwhelming (61%) number of non-Qataris are unaware of
FoE and their events. Younger non-Qatari adults (17-24) have participated in the events more than
other age groups. The older adults, despite knowing the events could not able to attend. Roughly
four-in-ten Qatari adults of age groups 17-24 and 25-35 said they never know about these events.
Unfortunately, information about these events is not widely shared even very few people from the
academic community knows of it. Unemployed people are more likely to attend than others.

Figure 4.8 Public’s response to Friends of the Environment’s events engagement

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Q7. Have you attended the lectures/site visits/campaigns organized by the Ministry of
Environment?

Occasionally, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (formerly, Ministry of Environment)


organizes events either individually or in partnership with other institutions. Over 90% of public
neither attended the event or knew about the events at all (figure 4.8). Only 8% attended
sometimes, and less than 2% attended all the time. Nearly half of the Qataris knew about the events,
but never attended. Whereas a majority (60%) of non-Qataris never knew about these events in
first place. The middle-aged respondents are least likely to attend the event.

There are different reasons why many of them have not attended even a single event. The reason
could be as follows: the initiatives were not advertised well; poorly timed, the inability of working
professionals to attend; not interesting content or targeted to specialized age cohorts.

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4.6 Environmental Literacy

Environmental literacy is very important for citizens to take conscious decisions in their day to
day life. Independent and trustworthy information is needed to achieve more systematic change by
addressing the fundamental information failure impeding sustainable development. In particular,
the consumer presently has little to no idea about the environmental and social costs of the product
or service they are purchasing relative to another product or service. Apparently, in many
developed and developing countries civil societies and news agencies fill this information gap
through publishing pamphlets, reports, videos and lectures. In Qatar, this is not the case. It is vital
for the government to work with the voluntary groups or to let civil society groups function
independently in developing effective awareness campaigns and address the information failure.

Q. Is there enough environmental information available for you on the government websites to
make an effective decision?
A fewer than 10% of public say there is environmental information available for public use*. A
sizeable majority (40%) of the public has no idea and some 32% say there is partial information
on the government websites (figure 4.9). Men are more likely to say there is sufficient information
compared to women (11% vs 2%). An equal share of men and women say there is partial or no
environmental information on government websites. A fully one-quarters (26%) of Qataris say
there is not enough information at all and some 44% say they don’t know if such information exists
on the government websites. Over one-third of employees from different sectors said, ‘don’t know’
and employees from the semi-government are more likely to say (47%) and 7% of academics and
0% of non-profit respondents say yes. Oddly, even more than a third of government and 40% of
semi-government employees say they do not know if the government websites have enough
environmental information. Opinions vary considerably across generations. This indicates the
government should do a lot to publish regular information on various environmental issues and
market it through different traditional and social media tools. The information should be accessible
to all.

--------------
* The reason we asked for the government websites is because no active civil society groups are promoting ecological
literacy. I surfed through three websites that are directly or indirectly addressing environmental issues; except Ministry
of Development Planning and Statistics, there is no “publicly available” information on the Ministry of Municipality
and Environment and Ministry of Energy and Industry. The MDPS publishes Environmental Statistics chapter as a
part of the Annual Statistical Bulletin report.

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Figure 4.9 Public’s response to - Is there enough environmental information available for you on
the government websites

Q.Would you like to have more information to be more environmentally conscious?


An overwhelming majority (89%) of public say they like to have more information to help them
build a lifestyle that is within the ecological limits. Roughly men and women express a similar
opinion. Some 95% of Qatari men and 91% of non-Qatari women say they like to have information
that helps to take conscious decisions for the products and services. The opinions are strongly
united across generations, all Qatari adults of age group 35-50 and above 50 say, they need more
environmental information. There are modest differences among the income groups. People with
higher education preferred to have more information.

News, social media and newspapers are the three most preferred sources for environmental
awareness in Qatar. Options like lectures/workshops and radio are not a very popular source for
the public to know about environmental issues (figure 4.10).

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Figure 4.10 Public’s response to most preferred ways of acquiring environmental information

Information Technology and Social Media have advanced ecological literacy; there are thousands
of websites providing information related to environmental issues. But whose information is seen
as legitimate, trustworthy and reliable? Who does public trust when it comes to environmental
issues?

The survey finds that scientists are the most trustworthy source and industry is the least trustworthy
source. Dedicated environmental NGOs are favorable in public’s eyes. Whereas the government,
media is somewhere in the middle. Roughly one-in-four (38%) of the public do not trust
environmental information comes from the industry, which is highest of all. Surprisingly,
family/friends are not reliable sources of environmental information as well. Figure 4.11 shows
the distribution of trustworthiness of different sources.

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Figure 4.11 Public’s response to most and least trustworthy sources when it comes to environmental-related information

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The foremost trustworthy sources for environmental issues are Scientists. Nearly two-thirds (65%)
of respondents place a lot of trust on scientist compared to other groups. Women are more likely
to trust scientist than men, however, the difference is very modest. Qataris and non-Qataris hold
regard to information from scientists. A fully two-thirds (66%) of middle-aged adults, 36-50, trust
scientists. People with a higher education far more likely to trust scientists than people with less
education.

A sizeable majority (62%) of public believe environmental organizations and their information.
Women and men roughly hold similar views (64% vs 61%). A fully half (50%) of Qataris say they
trust a lot compared to only 36% of non-Qataris. Although, there are not many organizations in
Qatar, this indicates that a lot of Qataris would prefer to have environmental organizations. The
opinion is divided across generations. Qatari adults, age 36-50, have more trust in environmental
organizations than any other age groups.

Roughly one-in-four (38%) of people say they trust government sources and one-in-ten people
think quite the opposite. Women are more likely to find the government information suspicious
than men. Qatari men tend to trust a lot compared to Qatari women (37% vs 19%). Some 16% of
Qatari women do not trust the government information at all and roughly 47% of Qatari men trust
a little. The opinion is roughly similar among non-Qataris; a third of non-Qataris both men and
women do not trust the information comes from the government sources. There are no sizeable
differences between older people are less likely to trust the government sources compared to other
age groups. Higher income groups are least likely to trust the government sources and only a third
of educational sub groups trust a lot in the government sources.

In many countries with liberal democracy, civil society plays a major role in holding authorities
accountable, mobilize citizens for social and economic welfare, human rights, etc. In the case of
Qatar, there are no independent civil society groups; most of them are supported by the patronage
of the State. International think-tanks and intergovernmental organizations such as Brookings,
RAND, and UNESCO do operate, however, within limits.

A sizeable minority (40%) of public trust a lot of information coming from local/international
NGOs. One-third (32%) of public trust a little and some 12% do not trust that much. More than
one-in-three (38%) Qataris modestly trust local/international NGOs. There is no particular pattern
when it comes to age. People with low educational groups are not very likely to trust
local/international NGOs.

Traditional and digital media has increasingly become a source for reaching out to a large audience.
Despite many advantages of it, some news sources are not trustworthy, a propaganda machine for
interest groups. The opinion is clearly divided. One-in-five (21%) people have more trust in the
media, and nearly one-third (35%) trust a little and another one-third consider media is not to be
trusted very much. 10% of the public do not trust the media sources at all. 21% of men see media
as a trustworthy source compared to 17% of women. Over one-fourth of Qataris trust a lot in media

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sources and 40% of Qatari respondents said a little. Conversely, only 19% of Qataris said they
would trust a lot in the media sources. Young adults aged 17 to 24 years were more likely than
older adults to say they would trust the media sources (25% versus 10% of respondents of age
group above 50). Nearly one-third of all age groups indicate that they do not trust the media source
very much for any environmental-related information.

Family and friends are important sources of information, at times not. The survey finds
family/friends are the second least sources to be trusted; more than one-third of public say
information from family/friends should not be taken for granted. 10% of public say they don’t trust
whatsoever. Men view information from family/friends are less credible and trustworthy than
women (18% versus 23%). A similar share (35%) of men and women say they would trust a little.
Qataris are least likely to trust their family and friends; only 14% of them said they would trust a
lot and 42% said not very much. There is a sizeable difference across generations. Younger
generation, age 17-24, trust their family/friends a lot compared to old adults (28% versus 10%).

For very long-time corporates have a negative image among the public when it comes to consumer
safety, food safety, human rights, environmental issues, etc. In Qatar, most of the major mining,
petrochemical companies are either state-sponsored or state-supported.

The survey finds corporates/business enterprises are the least trusted sources of all. Nearly 40% of
public say they do not trust at all, and another one-fourth of them are suspicious fewer than10%
of public they trust a lot. Men and women share a similar opinion. Both find it too hard to trust
corporates for environmental information. Some 18% of Qataris trust corporates compared to 7%
of non-Qataris. A notable minority (38%) of Qataris do not trust corporates/businesses enterprises
very much. Respondents with higher income and higher educational group are least likely to trust
corporates for environmental information. Students, academics and non-profits employees are
least likely to trust the corporates/business enterprises for any information related to environmental
issues.

There is an overwhelming majority of the public expressed strong support for the independent civil
society organizations in building an environmentally conscious society in Qatar (figure 4.12). Men
and women unanimously share similar views. A vast majority (83%) of Qataris say it is crucial to
have an independent civil society and this view is predominant among young adults. Over 90% of
young Qatari adults, 17-24 and 25-35 say they need an independent civil society to address the
information failure. This sentiment is equally shared by non-Qataris. Nearly all age groups express
strong desire. Academics, non-profit employees and people with higher education show
unanimous support, whereas the government employees are not too convinced of this idea.

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Figure 4.12 Public’s response to the need of independent civil society organization in Qatar

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4.7 Government Policies

The survey included nine questions to assess the role of government in protecting the environment
-transparency/accountability of institutions tougher legislation, investment in research,
expenditure in pollution clean-up, etc. A six-point Likert scale and an extra option of ‘not enough
information to decide’ is added to the scale. Figure 4.13 public’s response to government policies
and figure 4.14 young Qataris adults’ response.

Statement 1 - The citizens have enough to say in the way the environment is managed in the
country

The public is clearly divided on this issue. Roughly one-third (32%) of public agree (including
strongly agree), and one-fourth of them were unsure whether they have enough to say the way
environment is managed in Qatar. A fully one-quarters (26%) of the public do not believe that they
have any say. Men and women broadly share the same opinion. More Qataris voice their concern
of lack of citizen engagement in managing the environment compared to non-Qataris. One-third
(33%) of Qatari public remained neutral and another one-quarter disagree completely. However,
the opinion is divided among Qatari men and women. Roughly one-in-four (38%) Qatari men
maintained a neutral position and some 24% disagree. There are stark differences in opinion across
generations. Qatari adults, aged 35-50, are more convinced that they have enough say, whereas a
notable share of Qatari adults, age 17-24 and above 50 are not so sure if they have any voice on
this matter. Non-Qataris, those who are living in Qatar for a longer time tend to agree more than
the new expats. Opinions are split across the income and education groups. Academics believe
they have very little say, whereas the government and semi-government employees convinced that
they have enough said the way environment is managed in Qatar.
Statement 2 - The government should pass laws to make industries and commercial enterprises
protect the environment
Qatar’s industrial sector is dominated by energy-and-emission intensive oil, gas and petrochemical
sector contributing nearly 90% of overall emissions. Environmental Law of 2002 stipulates all
industries should abide the regulations and new laws were proposed to minimize flaring, zero
liquid discharge, hazardous waste management, etc. But there was no mandatory requirement to
reduce GHG emissions. The survey asked whether the government should pass tougher laws and
regulations to make emission-intensive enterprises to protect the environment.
There is unanimous support (94%) for stronger laws and regulations to minimize the impact on
the environment. And, fully (70%) of the public strongly favor (agree) with the idea. Women are
particularly more likely to share this opinion; however the difference is minimal. Nearly nine-in-
ten (88%) of Qatari public back the statement compared to 95% of the non-Qatari public. A fewer
than 5% of non-Qataris disagree on this issue. There have been stark generational differences in
opinion especially among Qataris. Qatari adults, ages 24-35 and 35-50, overwhelmingly agree that
the government must enforce tough laws on industries, whereas one-third of older Qataris (above

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50) disagree. Whereas the opinions are united across generations among non-Qataris. All income
and educational groups express a strong desire for the government to enforce stronger regulations.
Surprisingly, there was a whole support from private (96%) employees, and equally academics
(94%) and unemployed (90%) share the view that the government should pass laws to make
industries and commercial enterprises protect the environment.
Statement 3 - The government should tax the industries and commercial enterprises to reduce
emissions and protect the environment
This is a common practice in many progressive societies such as Sweden, Norway, etc. But
whether taxing industries and commercial enterprises has a broader public support. The survey
asked besides stronger environmental regulations, should industries be taxed for the generated
emissions.
Some 80% of public broadly share the view that the government should tax industries to reduce
emissions. One-in-ten (11%) of public say they are uncertain on this issue. Women and men tend
to broadly similar views. Differences in opinion between Qataris and non-Qataris are not wide,
however, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Qataris remained neutral. There are divides by age. There is a
total agreement of Qatari adults of ages 24-35 and 35-50 say the government must impose taxes
on industries to curb emissions. Whereas the Qatari adults (aged 17-24 and above 50) remained
skeptical on this issue. By contrast, there is no a single disagreement of Qataris. Among non-
Qataris the generational divides are narrow. There are stark differences in opinion among
educational groups. People with postgraduate degrees are far more convinced that the government
should tax industries compared to people with secondary and post-secondary education. Non-profit
employees (100%), semi-government and private sector employees equally (83%) expresses
strong agreement compared to government employees (76%).

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Figure 4.13 Public’s response to government policies
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Figure 4.14 Young Qatari adults’ response to government policies

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Statement 4 - The government should pass laws to make ordinary citizens to protect the
environment
It is the responsibility of all actors of the society to protect the environment, not limited to State,
industries, and commercial enterprises; it also includes citizens. Though, how citizens can protect
the environment varies from each country and should customize meeting the domestic socio-
geographic and socio-cultural dimensions. The survey asked if the public opinion about citizen
role and engagement in protecting the environment and if so the government should pass laws in
facilitating it.
A vast majority (84%) of public agree that the government should pass laws to make ordinary
citizens to protect the environment. One in ten (11%) people are unsure, and fewer than 5%
disagree. Men and women roughly share same views. There is a consensus among Qataris and
non-Qataris, both agree strongly that the government should enact news laws for citizens to take
an active role in protecting the environment. More than one-in-ten (15%) of Qataris are unsure.
There are sizeable differences in opinion across generations. Qatari adults, ages 25-35 (94%) and
35-50 (90%), are much receptive of this idea compared to younger (17-24, 54%) and older (above
50, 66%) Qataris. A similar pattern emerged among non-Qataris. The opinions are hardly
distinguishable among income and educational groups. Non-profit employees take a stronger view,
all of them back the statement completely. More than one-in-ten semi-government employees
remain uncertain.

Statement 5 - Research and Development in Qatar will help solve our energy and water national
challenges
Qatar is highly dependent on hydrocarbon revenues and in the last two decades, the government
aggressively pursuing to expand its economic base by investing in economic diversification
portfolio. One of the key elements of that portfolio is investing in research and development
(R&D). In last decade, we saw a quick rise (and fall) of investment in R&D. The major
stakeholders of Qatar prioritize key research issues that will bring tangible benefits to the country.
Two of the four major areas are water and energy security. Substantial investment was dedicated
in last five years and channeled through Qatar National Research Fund and establishing dedicated
institutions such as Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute. The survey asked public
whether investing in R&D will solve the growing energy and water challenges in Qatar.
Survey finds that a fully (77%) of the public is convinced that investing in research will solve the
crisis. Some 14% are skeptical and fewer than 5% completely reject the idea of R&D investment.
Men and women tend to hold broadly similar views. Qataris express more support for R&D than
non-Qataris (85% vs 75%). Not a single Qatari reject this idea. There are stark reactions across
generations. Qatari adults, ages 25-35 and 35-50, show an overwhelming support to this idea
compared to the older generation. More than one-third (36%) of young Qatari adults (17-24)

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remained unsure. The opinion is narrowly divided among income groups. Some 47% of people
earning an income less than 5,000 strongly favour the view than high-income earners (37%). The
opinions are split and no specific direction among the educational groups. Non-profit employees
and unemployed strongly endorse the idea that R&D will solve energy and water challenges in the
country, whereas some 20% of semi-government employees are skeptical.
Statement 6- The government is spending enough to protect the environment
In many industrialized countries, after the rapid industrialization and urbanization, the government
invested in cleaning up the environment such as rivers, groundwater, air through different
legislations and technological deployment. Since the mid-1990s the Qatar government is investing
heavily in expanding the energy and general infrastructure facilities. Because of the fast-paced
growth, various negative externalities have resulted in such as uncontrolled urbanization,
pollution, the rapid growth rate of emission, and exhaustion of groundwater aquifers.
The survey asked if the government is spending enough to protect the environment. People give
mixed answers. Roughly three-in-ten (28%) people say the government is spending enough,
whereas one-fourth (24%) disagree. By contrast, more than one-fourth of them has no opinion, and
a fully one-in-five (21%) say they do not have enough information about government spending.
One-in-three (30%) of women do not believe that the government is spending enough in contrast
to only 21% of men. A sizeable majority of men and women suggest that there is not enough
information. Far more Qataris believe that the government is spending enough compared to non-
Qataris (44% vs 27%). Qatari women feel that the environmental expenditure is not enough
compared to Qatari men (16% vs 9%). There are wider opinion gaps across generations among
Qataris. A sizeable minority (44%) of young Qatari adults, aged 17-24, say they do not have
enough information to decide. On average, one-fourth of all (age groups) non-Qatari adults are
unsure of this matter. People with higher education are not too convinced that government is
spending enough to protect the environment. A sizeable miniority (25%) say there is not enough
information available to make any judgement. The opinons are split. The government employees
are far more convinced with the government spending, whereas academics, non-profit and private
sector employees think otherwise.

Statement 7 – The government should invest more to protect the environment


In our previous question, the survey asked if the government is investing enough to protect the
environment. We included another question if the government should invest more to protect the
environment and address various ecological challenges that the country is confronting.
There is an overwhelming (80%) public support the idea of the government should invest more to
protect the environment. Some 16% of the public is unsure (8%) and do not have enough
information (8%) to share their opinion. Men and women broadly share similar views. There are
modest differences in Qataris and non-Qataris. Qatari public thinks the government should invest

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more than non-Qataris (84% vs 79%). This opinion is pronounced among Qatari women than men.
One-in-ten non-Qatari women and men think they do not have enough information to decide. The
opinion differences vary considerably among Qataris about this issue by age. A whole of young
Qatari adults, ages 25-35 and 36-50, overwhelmingly endorse the idea. Equally, non-Qataris of all
age groups express strong support to this idea. People have roughly similar perceptions across
various income and educational groups. Employees from all sector are strongly united on this
issue, however, academics (84%), private sector (82%) and non-profit (89%) employees tend to
hold this view quite strongly than others.

Statement 8 - The government should release annual reports publicly about the status of the local
environment?
A majority of public strongly agrees that it is extremely difficult to have access to information on
various issues in Qatar. Most of the information is kept away from public access and at times, even
researchers, academics and policy makers find it hard to obtain. Focusing exclusively on
environmental issues, there is very limited information available on public portals, most notably,
Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. The Ministry of Municipality and Environment,
Ministry of Energy and Industry made little efforts to publish their findings for the general public.
For more information about Data Accessibility, please refer to report (Sayeed, 2016).
The survey asked whether there should be transparency in reporting of environmental issues and
accessibility to such reports. Public unanimously (90%) agree that the government should release
annual environmental reports for public use. A fully 91% of men back the statement compared to
87% of women. An overwhelming majority (94%) of Qatari public says the government should
release annual reports addressing local environmental issues. Some 90% of non-Qataris share the
view. There are very modest differences in opinion across generations. Over 90% of Qatari adults
of all age group express strong support for this idea. A similar share of non-Qatari adults of all age
group agree. Opinions are hardly indistinguishable among income and educational groups.
Academics and private sector employees’ agreement with the idea far outweighed disagreement.

Statement 9 - The companies (oil, gas, petrochemical and others) should release their annual
reports publicly about their impact on the environment?
There is an emerging trend over the last few years for companies to publish their sustainability
reports following standard reporting procedures. In 2010, Qatar Petroleum started an initiative for
companies operating within three industrial zones to participate voluntarily. This initiative
achieved reasonable success before falling apart in 2014. State companies like Qatar Petroleum,
and multi-national companies like Shell, ExxonMobil failed to publish the reports and often use
‘security’ as a reason to withhold the information. It is not only the government to release the
annual status of the environment, but the major polluting industries should publish exclusive

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reports on environmental performance annually. Although, all companies are required to submit
their bi-annual environmental reports to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the
information is kept from public use for unknown reasons. For more information, please refer
(Sayeed, 2016)
The survey asked the public if the companies (oil, gas, petrochemical and others) should release
their environmental performance report annually for public use. A vast majority (91%) of public
strongly united in supporting the idea of publishing corporate environmental reports. Men and
women equally share the same opinion. Some 92% of Qatari public agree overwhelmingly that the
corporates should be published and 96% of Qatari men endorse the idea. Nine-in-ten non-Qataris,
both men and women, believe that the companies should publish reports about their activities
impacting the environment. Except for the young Qatari adults, age 17-24, 100% of them back the
statement. On an average, 70% of non-Qatari adults of all ages strongly support the idea. The
opinions vary considerably among the educational groups, people with higher education tend to
agree strongly than people with the lower educational background. Employees from all sector, and
most notably academics (93%), private sector (91%) and government (93%) back the statement.
Responsibility and Accountability
Over the last three decades, managing environmental issues has become one of the major priorities
of many nation-states. Issues are wide ranging from construction of dams to irrigation development
and expansion, building coal, nuclear power plants, extraction of metal and hydrocarbon ores, and
regulatory/monitoring facilities just to name a few. Every country has a dedicated institution to
manage the environmental affairs, in many developing countries the institutions are weak and
corrupt, favoring big industries and state-supported projects. At the same time, there were many
successful stories where citizens challenged the institutions and halted environmentally
devastative projects. Public participation in environmental screening is an emerging trend in many
developed and developing countries through active participation in Environmental Impact
Assessments or lobbying with their local constituents or at times, protesting against the project
itself. In the case of Qatar, these options are off the table. The citizens believe that the government
should take care of the welfare of the environment, provisioning of environmental services (access
to clean water, energy) and protect their citizens from any ecological hazards.
The survey asked the public to rank responsible institutions in order that have a higher
responsibility in protecting the environment. We listed eight options which include governmental
institutions, the private sector and civil society groups (citizens, research, academia, etc.). People
rank based on their responsibility from 1 to 5 (5 as highest authority). Some of the institutional
names had changed when the surveys were conducted. Previously there were two institutions
Ministry of Environment (MoE) and Ministry of Urban Planning (MMUP). After the
administrative changes, these two institutions were merged as Ministry of Municipality and
Environment (MME). In the following paragraphs, the reader must keep in mind that both
institutions were synonymous to MME, and we keep the responses of MoE.

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Roughly three-quarters (74%) of public think Ministry of Environment is the most responsible
institution in protecting the environment (figure 4.15). A sizeable minority (46%) of public say
Ministry of Energy and Industry, oil & gas industries (43%) and MMUP (35%). More than one-
thirds (38%) of public believe households/individuals are responsible for protecting the
environment, which means that the government should give more space and policy instruments for
individuals/households. The survey finds, institutions like Ministry of Public Health (27%),
research organizations/civil society (22%) and Ministry of Interior (15%) are not entirely
responsible for protecting the environment.
We limit our detailed explanations to three main institutions: Ministry of Environment, oil and gas
industries, and households/individuals.
Ministry of Environment – Roughly three-quarters (74%) of public think Ministry of
Environment is the most responsible institution in protecting the environment. The opinion is
strongly united beween men and women; Qataris and non-Qataris. Qatari women are paritcularly
likely to think MoE is the responsible institution to protect the environment. Opinions vary across
Qatari age groups. Whereas the views are hardly indisinguishable among non-Qataris. A fully
three-fourths (76%) Qatari adults, age 25-35, believe MoE got a lot to do. Roughly one-in-eight
(78%) of private employees believe MoE as the most responsible institution.
Images of flaring in Al Khor, Messaeid and Dukhan easily got the public’s attention subsequently
leading to mark oil and gas (O&G) industries are the third (43%) most responsible institution to
protect the environment. Men and women share similar opinions. Non-Qataris are more likely to
believe oil and gas industries are responsible for protecting the environment compared to Qataris
(43% vs 32%). More than one-in-four (26%) Qataris say oil/gas institutions are least responsible.
Middle-age Qatari adults conceive O&G industry are responsible compared to younger and older
groups. 66% of Qatari employees working in the private sector marked O&G as a responsible
institution, whereas semi-governmet Qatari employees do not feel the same.
Surprisingly households/individuals remain the fourth major institution to protect the
environment. Over one-third (38%) of public say households/individuals have a major
responsibility to protect the environment. Men and women roughly share the same opinion.
Whereas the opinion varies modestly between Qataris and non-Qataris (25% vs 37%). A fully one-
in-five (21%) of Qataris say households/individuals are the least one to protect the environment.
Except for Qatari adults, age 25-35, all seem to agree with this opinion. A similar share of opinion
was expressed among non-Qataris of age groups 25-35 and 35-50.

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Figure 4.15 Public’s response to ranking of institutions in protecting the environment

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4.8 Factors Influencing to Protect the Environment

Environment means different to different people. Some see the environment as pure economic
resource needs to converted as a commodity and sold in the market. Some see it as a recreational
value, for leisure and relish the beauty of it and for some, the environment is sacred and has a
spiritual value. Based on how they conceive of the environment, the value of the environment
varies. There are several factors influence people to protect the environment.

The survey asked public what factors influences to protect the environment in a list of seven
options allowing to rank from 1 to 5 (5 is the major factor). Moral/ethical obligation and concern
for future generation are the most dominant factors for people to protect the environment (figure
4.16). Religious values, cultural norms or national policies do not play a significant role in
protecting the environment. In fact, national policies, laws and regulations are the least influencing
factor.

Figure 4.16 Public’s response to various factors influencing in protecting the environment

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Moral and Ethical Obligation – Over half (54%) of the public say moral and ethical obligation
influence people in protecting the environment. Opinions vary considerably between men and
women. Women (60%) are particularly likely to feel moral and ethical obligation drive them to
protect the environment. 53% of non-Qatari public remark that moral/ethical obligation is a major
influencing factor compared to only 44% of Qataris. A sizeable minority of Qatari men believe
moral/ethical obligation has little to do with in protection of the environment. There are narrower
divides among age generation especially among non-Qataris. Non-Qatari adult’s age above 24
believes their moral and ethical obligations encourage them to protect the environment. There is
no opinion difference among income groups. There are stark differences in opinion when it comes
to education; 62% of the public with postgraduate degrees are particularly likely to say
moral/ethical obligations influence them to conserve environment (62% of Masters/PhD compared
with 29% of secondary school groups).
Concern for Future Generations –The second (53%) most influencing factor in protecting the
environment is a concern for their future generation. Women are slightly more likely to believe
than men (57% versus 50%). The opinions starkly vary among Qatari generations. Young Qatari
adults hold strong views that concern for future generation enables them to protect the
environment. Whereas the older Qatari adults think otherwise. The view is completely opposite
among non-Qataris. Older non-Qataris hold a strong opinion on this issue. Opinions are hardly
distinguishable among income groups, but people with higher education think their concern for
future generation as the most dominant factor.
Religious Values – In a religiously conservative society, religious values play a role in influencing
the decision on various social issues and environment is one such case. There is well documented
research about environmental protection in various religious scriptures. Opinion is clearly divided
on this issue. One-quarter believe religious values help them to protect the environment, whereas
another one-fourth think quite the opposite. Men and women share roughly similar views. Whereas
the opinion varies considerably between Qataris and non-Qataris and the opinion is polarized
among non-Qataris. 50% of Qataris say religious values influence them to protect the environment
compared to only 23% of non-Qataris. There are generational differences. Non-Qataris take fairly
different positions on this issue. The young adults in both groups consider religious values
influence their decisions.
National Policies, Laws and Regulations – People are driven by economic logic. For instance, if
people are driving within the city limits they will be charged for congestion or an industry charged
for a carbon tax for polluting or discharging wastewater to the running stream, then the individuals
will save money or avoid any regulatory implications. Roughly one in five (18%) people believe
that national policies strongly influence them to protect the environment. One in three male Qataris
and one in four female Qataris are motivated to protect the environment because of the policies
and regulations. Income, education or sector has any influence on respondents to select national
policies as a key factor to protect the environment.

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4.9 Actions to reduce the impact on the Environment

As mentioned earlier, pro-environment attitude results in environment behavior/action. The


actions are determined by various reasons: convenience; cost; a lack of alternative options; and
practical considerations. Public was asked what actions would they take to minimize their impact
on the environment. The survey provided with eight options for reducing energy/water/food
consumption to participating in environmental campaigns allowing to rank the scale from less
doable to most doable (1 to 5).

The three most commonly reported activities were fixing water and energy leaks in their home
(46%), reducing electricity consumption and food consumption (41%). The three least doable
activities were reducing material consumption (24%), using public transportation, walking and
biking (22%) and the least among them is participating in environmental campaigns and initiatives
(20%) (Figure 4.17).
Fixing energy/water leaks – A sizeable majority (46%) of public say that they would fix
energy/water leaks in their homes. Men and women roughly hold similar views (45% versus 47%).
There are a sizeable difference between Qataris and non-Qataris (56% vs 45%). Qatari men (66%)
are particularly like to fix energy/water leaks as a part of their action to minimize their impact on
the environment compared to Qatari women (48%). There is no major difference among non-
Qatari groups; one in five non-Qatari men find it least doable. Over three-fourth of Qatari with the
higher educational background (Masters/PhD) tend to find this option more doable than people
with a lower educational background, though, there is no huge variation. But among non-Qataris,
there is no unique pattern. Perhaps, it is because all non-Qataris are renting their apartments and it
is not their responsibility to fix the energy/water leaks. Over half of Qataris of all age groups except
above 50 consider it as a most doable option. Nearly one-third of Qataris of age group above 50
said fixing energy/water leaks is the least doable thing.
Reducing Electricity Consumption is the second most doable option. Four in ten (41%) people
say reducing electricity is one of the things they would consider doing to minimize the impact on
the environment. Oddly, one in five (19%) people say it is the least doable option. Men and women
share a similar opinion, and same goes for Qataris and non-Qataris. Old Qatari adults, age above
50 are not willing to reduce electricity consumption. Some 40% of Qataris with higher education
degrees are reluctant to reduce electricity. On the contrary, non-Qataris with higher education
consider it as the most doable option. The similar case is observed among low-income non-Qataris
as well.
Reducing Water Consumption is the fourth most doable option; four in ten (39%) people say
they would reduce water consumption to minimize the impact on the environment. Men and
women hold roughly similar views (41% versus 35%). More than one-third of Qataris and non-
Qataris consider reducing water consumption. There are generational differences. Young adults
are more likely to consider as a doable option compared to older adults (the opinion is same among

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Qatairs and non-Qataris). There is no pattern when compared with the educational groups among
non-Qataris.
Participating in environmental awareness campaigns will reduce the impact on the
environment through education, lobbying and awareness. There is a strong divide in public opinion
on this issue. Only one-in-five (20%) people would consider doing it. Women are slightly more
likely to participate in environmental awareness campaigns compared to men. There is no
difference between Qataris and non-Qataris. Some 23% Qataris say it is least doable. There are no
sizeable differences in views about this issue by age. It is surprising to note, young Qatari and non-
Qatari adults, ages 25-35, who showed higher pro-environmental attitude and behavior consider it
as least doable. Even people with higher educational degrees are not too convinced of participating
in environmental awareness campaigns.
Public transportation or biking/cycling is not a favorable option among Qataris. Only 9% and 16%
of Qatari men and Qataris women consider as most doable compared to non-Qatari men (23%)
and women (24%) respectively. However, one in four Qataris of age group 25-35 considers of
using public transportation to mitigate the impact on the environment. Reducing plastic
consumption is very popular among non-Qataris; over one-third of non-Qataris consider reducing
plastic consumption compared to 20% of Qataris. Young Qataris remained neutral about the plastic
consumption. One in four (24%) people consider reducing overall material consumption to
mitigate the environmental impact; women are more likely to consider than men (30% versus
21%). Reducing material consumption among older non-Qataris is not a very favorable option.
One can observe that why some options are more doable compared to others, although, it does not
require any extra effort or cost involved. A comprehensive study is required to analyze the hidden
barriers or challenges. At times, misconception or lack of information on certain issues pose a
major barrier.

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Figure 4.17 Public’s response to most and least doable activities to protect the environment

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5. Survey 3
5.1 Summary of Socio-demographics of Survey 3

The total number of survey respondents in the third survey was 963, of which 94 percent of
respondents were non-Qataris. There is a gradual decline in respondents of Qataris.

The number of male respondents was higher compared to previous all surveys (71%). There is a
significant difference between males and female respondents compared with the nationalities.
Among Qataris, 68% of respondents were females, and in non-Qataris, male respondents were
71%. The gender compostion among non-Qataris has been consistent throughout all three surveys.
The average age of the survey respondents was 35, similar to our previous surveys. There is
statisically significant difference between the age groups of men and women. Respondents
between the age group (25-35) were the highest recording 47%, followed by 33% (36-50) and only
11% among the young cohorts (17-24). Qataris with an age group of 17-24 are highest (42%)
compared to non-Qataris (9%). There is a major difference in other age groups among Qataris and
non-Qataris.
Among the non-Qatari respondents, nearly half (48%) of the population were living in Qatar for
less than five years; one-fourth (25%) between 5-10 years; and 18% more than 10 years. The
number of respondents who were born and raised here is 8%. Respondents are similar to previous
surveys.
People with higher income are more responsive to the surveys. Nearly 35% of the total respondents
have income greater than 20,000, followed by 21% between 5000-10000, 30% between two
income groups (10001-15000; 15001-20000). People with income less than 5000 are recorded
lowest of 13 percent respectively. There is statistically significant difference in income among
Qataris and non-Qataris as well as between gender. Nearly 60% of Qataris have income over
20,000 compared to 35% among non-Qataris, and 30% of them fall into the income category of
(10001-15000 and 15001-20000). Females with income group (less than 5000) are 20% compared
to males (10%). There is no major difference among other income groups between males and
females.
Respondents of this survey are highly educated. Over half (55%) of respondents have a university
degree and 30% with a postgraduate degree. Respondents with post-secondary (and lower)
combined only 8.6%, with a vocational education of 3.5%. There is no statistically significant
difference between the educational background and gender and nationality. Nearly 17% of the
Qatari respondents have educational attainment less than university degree compared to 11%
among non-Qataris. Nearly 82 and 86% of Qataris and non-Qatari respondents have university and
postgraduate degrees.
Over half (59%) of the survey respondents are professionals, and nearly 20% are marked as
“Other” in the profession, followed by students of only 8% respectively. Among Qataris, 34% of

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respondents are from the government sector, followed by students (36%), whereas 61% of non-
Qataris marked their profession as professionals.
Nearly 48% of respondents were from private companies followed by government/semi-
government (30%), and academia (13%), respectively. Among Qataris, 34% of respondents are
from the government sector which is considerably less from our previous surveys. One-fourth of
the Qatari respondents are from an academic sector, which is highest compared to previous
surveys. Whereas among non-Qataris, half of the respondents are from private sector followed by
government/semigovernment (29%), and academia (13%), respectively.
Figure 5.1 provides a snapshot of sociodemographics of the third survey.

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Figure 5.1 Sociodemographics of the third survey

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5.2 Transport

Over three-fourth (78%) of respondents have a car, of which 34% has a sedan, and 38% has a four-
wheel drive car (figure 5.2). One-in-three (29%) of women do not have a car compared to 20% of
men. Qatari women are less likely to have a car than non-Qatari women (33% vs 28%). Women
are more likely to have a four-wheel drive than men; and 59% of Qatari men have a four-wheel
drive compared to 36% of non-Qatari men. Roughly one-in-five (19%) of non-Qatari men do not
have a car compared to 5% of Qatari men.

Income determines car ownership and the kind of car one owns. Roughly 60% of the public with
income less than 5,000 do not have a car compared to only 13% of whose income above 20,000.
A sizeable minority of public with income less than 15,000 have a sedan car. Half of the public
with income above 15,000 have a four-wheel drive. There is no particular direction related to
ownership of SUV and number of household members. Households with more children is likely
to have a four-wheel drive. Also, unemployed people are the least to have a car (39%).

Figure 5.2 Type of car ownership

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More than half (59%) of the public have at least one car in their households (figure 5.3).
Undoubtedly, Qataris have more cars in their households than non-Qataris. Roughly one-fourth of
Qataris say they have three cars and some 18% of them have four cars. One-in-ten Qataris say they
have six cars. A majority (61%) of non-Qataris have only one car and 32% have two cars. Bigger
households have more cars. Some 14% of households with more than seven members have six
cars and more.

Figure 5.3 Public’s car ownership share

The average distance traveled per day is 46 km and the maximum distance traveled is 300 km. The
average distance travelled by Qatari and non-Qataris is almost the same, whereas the non-Qataris
are more likely to travel a lot per day as shown in the box plot. When compared with different age
groups, the median distance traveled by people with age group 36-50 travel more than other age
groups. Figure 5.4 and 5.5 provides the frequency distribution and box plot of distance traveled
between Qataris and non-Qataris and different age cohorts.

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Figure 5.4 Frequency distribution of average distance traveled by public (values above 150 km
were excluded)

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Figure 5.5 Box plot of distance traveled by Qataris and non-Qataris and different age groups

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Carpooling is not a very common practice in Qatar. Just a little over one in ten people say do it
often. Qatari women are more likely to carpool (23%) and 41% of Qatari men never car pooled
(figure 5.6). Younger Qataris (17-24) are more likely to carpool for both men and women (66%
versus 44%). Cultural, safety concerns and lack of access to license might be major reasons for
carpooling. There is no major difference between non-Qatari men and women.

Figure 5.6 Public’s response to carpooling

5.2.1 Public Transport


The survey finds that public transport is the least preferred mode of transit in Qatar. Six-in-ten
(61%) people say they never used public transport and another one-fourth seldom use public
transport. Only 5% use public transport daily. There are wider differences between men and
women. Women are least likely to use public transport compared to men (72% vs 57%). Some
29% of men seldom use and only 5% of men use public transport regularly. A vast majority (90%)
of Qatari public never used public transport compared to 59% of non-Qataris. There are sizeable
differences among income groups. Low-income non-Qataris are more likely to use public
transport. Some 14% of earning less than 5,000 QR and 11% of the public with income between
5,000 and 10,000 use public transport regularly. And fully three-fourths (76%) of the non-Qatari
public with income greater than 15,000 never used public transport.
Since public transportation is not a usual mode of the transport system in Qatar, we asked the
public what is stopping them from using the public transport (buses) more often. Figure 5.7 shows
the ranking of different barriers in using public transport. Most prominent are inconvenient
schedule (27%) and unsuitable routes (22%). Some 13% cite environmental factors such as high
temperature, humidity and air pollution prevent people from using public transport. Many see
gender and other sociocultural factors hinder people to use public transport regularly, this is very

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true for Qataris. Nearly 40% of overall Qatari public say social/cultural factors prevent them from
using it, whereas the balance of opinion was just the opposite of non-Qataris. A sizeable majority
(42%) of non-Qataris consider it as the least barrier.

Figure 5.7 Public’s ranking of different barriers in using public transportation regularly
The survey asked what would encourage public from using public transport regularly. We listed
six options, including ‘I’ll never take public transport.’ Public say if there are frequent services,
then it is highly likely to use public transport and some 70% of the public ranked it as an important
factor. The second most important factor is suitable routes, whereas other factors (gender specific
buses, air-conditioned bus stations) do not influence people to use public transport system. When
compared with nationality and gender, there are interesting observations. Roughly half (47%) and
26% of Qatari men say frequent bus services and air-conditioned bus stops will encourage them to
use regularly. And, one-third of Qatari women prefer to have gender-specific buses. Among non-
Qataris, 76% of men assert that frequent service will encourage public transport use regularly.
There are generational differences among non-Qataris. Surprisingly, no one ever mentioned that
they would never take a public transport even among Qataris.

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Figure 5.8 Factors encouraging regular use of public transportation

After winning the bid to host FIFA world cup in 2022, the government decided to build metro
infrastructure to cater thousands of visitors and to mitigate ever-growing traffic congestion. The
total cost of the project exceeded $35 billion and expected to open for operation in 2020 (Doha
Metro Phase 1) and the completion of long rail by 2030.
The survey asked the public whether they will use the Metro regularly if there is a frequent service
and good connectivity and covers all densely populated residential areas. More than half of public
say that they would take the Metro every day and another 40% mentioned sometimes. Less than
3% said they would never take the Metro. Men will take Metro more frequently than women (58%
versus 45%), and more than 50% of women say they would travel in Metro sometimes. Non-
Qataris are in strong favour of using Metro regularly than non-Qataris (17% vs 57%). Whereas,
more than 60% of Qataris across generation say they would sometimes and roughly one-in-five
young Qatari adults, age 17-24, will never use Metro. Younger generations are more likely to use
Metro regularly than older generations among non-Qataris. There are very modest differences
among income groups. Lower-income and middle-income groups express their keen desire in
using public transport regularly.

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5.3 Urbanization

In last two decades, Qatar experienced dramatic urban growth because of its infrastructure
modernization and population growth. The survey included a suite of questions to gauge the
understanding of rapid urban growth in Qatar. Nearly one-thirds (32%) are fully aware of
urbanization in Qatar and a sizeable majority (63%) say they are partially aware of the
consequences of urbanization. A fewer than 10% say they do not have any knowledge of it (figure
5.9).

Figure 5.9 Public’s response to the knowledge of urbanization


The survey asked to share their opinion of rapid urbanization in a list of five options – two positive
and three negative consequences of rapid urban development. Generally, the public has a positive
opinion about the urban development in Qatar. More than two-thirds (68%) of public agree Qatar
benefitted a lot from urban development. Roughly one-third (32%) of public say it is good for the
economy in the long-run and another over one-third (36%) ascertained that this development
projects Qatar as a modern, vibrant and dynamic place to live and work.
Little over one-in-ten (15%) people say that rapid development led to increase in consumption of
energy, water, materials and growing accumulation of waste. A similar share (12%) declared that
it is bad for the environment, as it puts pressure on the local ecosystem through increased pollution,
destruction of biodiversity, resource depletion. Fewer than 5% of public say it threatens the
traditional way of life and disappearance of local cultural identity.
When compared with nationalities and gender, Qatari women take fairly positive view than Qatari
men (74% vs 53%, combining two positive responses). Three-in-ten (29%) Qatari men paint a

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negative picture of the rapid development citing environmental concerns (pollution and resource
depletion). Only a small minority (14%) of Qatari women hold this view. A very insignificant
number (6%) of Qataris agree that urbanization threatens local heritage and culture. Qatari adults
of age group, 25-34 and 35-50, are more likely to highlight the negative consequences of rapid
development. There is an optimistic outlook on Qatar’s rapid development among older Qataris
(age above 50). The opinion is quite the opposite among younger non-Qatari adults. Young non-
Qataris tend to have a positive outlook towards compared to their older counterpart (age above
50). Old non-Qatari adults are more likely to raise concerns of rise in consumption of energy,
water, and resource depletion.
The survey asked the public to rank specific negative consequences of rapid development on a
scale from 1 to 5 (5 is highest). The survey finds the adverse consequences of rapid development
are increasing in traffic congestion (56%), rising cost of housing (49%) and increase in air pollution
(41%) (see figure 5.10). The least of all is an increase in crime (9%) which is very positive outlook
for Qatar. Non-Qataris feel a lot safer in Qatar.
We will highlight each consequence briefly compared with the gender, nationality and age group.
Traffic Congestion has been consistently the most pressing issue in Qatar. A sizeable majority
(56%) of public say traffic congestion is one of the many consequences of rapid urbanization. Men
and women hold a similar opinion on this issue. There are modest differences between Qataris and
non-Qataris (65% vs 55%). A vast majority (82%) of Qatari men reported as a major problem
compared to 57% of Qatari women. People of age group 25-35 and 35-50 are more likely to report
traffic congestion as the negative consequence of the development.
Rising cost of housing is the second most concern in Qatar. Men and women roughly hold similar
views (50% vs 45%). A notable share (44%) of non-Qataris believe the rapid development make
housing unaffordable. One-fourth (26%) of Qataris place rising cost of housing somewhere in the
middle. This is a major concern among lower income people compared to higher income groups.
People with lower income are more likely to consider as a bigger problem than higher income
groups. Non-Qataris of age group 25-35 considers rising cost of housing is a byproduct of rapid
development.
Over one-fourth of public say lack of recreational places such as parks, open spaces, green
corridors are the direct result of rapid development in Qatar. The response is mixed among men
and women. Men are particularly likely to believe that lack of recreational places is the
consequence of rapid urbanization.

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Figure 5.10 Public’s response to negative consequences of rapid urban development

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Urgent Actions Tackling Urbanization
The survey asked to rate the importance of various issues related to urbanization in Qatar in a list
of five options on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 is highest). Surprisingly, there is no major variation in
responses. A sizeable minority (43%) of public say low-cost housing is the need of the hour. Over
one-third of a public express similar share of opinions for other issues as shown in figure 5.11.

Figure 5.11 Public’s response to immediate action needed on issues related to urbanization

Based on the 2010 Census, 58% of the households live in rented homes, only 21% are owned.
Except the small proportion of expats who are provided with company accommodation, rest of
expatriate community rent the apartment. This is reflected in the survey. The 2013 Household
Income and Expenditure Survey reports the rental value of dwellings owned by the household
represents around 15% of the total Qatari household income and non-Qatari household expenditure
on dwellings represent more than one-third of their expenditures (34.2 %).
Affordable housing is a major problem in Qatar; and over 43% of people believe that government
should pay more attention to low cost housing, which was a consequence of rapid urbanization.
Men and women express a similar opinion (44% versus 41%). Non-Qataris are more likely (44%)
to report as a major concern compared to Qataris. In fact, even one-third of Qataris (34%) report
low-cost housing is a concern, although the Qataris pay considerable only 15% of the household

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income. Low-income housing is a major concern among low-income non-Qataris. Over 50% of
non-Qataris earning less than 10,000 reports low-cost housing as most important compared to only
37% of income above 15,000. We observed a similar pattern among younger groups (both Qataris
and non-Qataris).
Public Transport is the second important (38%) concern that the government should pay attention
to. Men are more likely to prefer public transport. Over one-in-four (29%) Qatari men report that
public transport is where the government must pay attention compared to 20% of Qatari women.
Both non-Qatari men and women believe public transportation need immediate attention (40% vs
38%). Surprisingly, young Qatari adults are not too fond of public transportation.
Air pollution is considered as a second most important environmental problem in Qatar (see
above). Surprisingly, air pollution received the least importance here in terms of government’s
attention. Over one-third (34%) of public rated that government should pay attention to reduce air
pollution in Qatar. Women believe air pollution is a bigger concern and needs immediate attention
from the government (33% vs 36%). Qataris are more likely to believe that government should
pay more attention to air pollution compared to non-Qataris (42% versus 33%). This sentiment is
much common younger Qatari adults; 25-35 (66%).
Overall, the public has a positive opinion about the rapid urbanization of Qatar (see above). The
survey asked whether the government is taking enough measures in mitigating the negative
consequences of it. Roughly one-in-four (23%) of public say not adequate at all. A very small
share (16%) say the opposite (figure 5.12). Whereas a sizeable minority (44%) say the government
actions are partial and need additional effort. Some 17% of the public does not have enough
information to process and express their opinion. An equal share (33%) of the Qatari and non-
Qatari public do not believe the government’s actions are adequate in addressing above concerns.
This opinion is common among Qatari adults of age group 25-35 (53%) and 36-50 (42%). Young
Qatari adults, 17-24, fairly agree that the government’s actions are somewhat adequate. A sizeable
share of non-Qataris of all age group mentioned somewhat adequate.

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Figure 5.12 Public’s response to government’s action in addressing rapid urbanization

5.4 Waste

As the population grows the amount of domestic solid waste grows and especially in affluent
societies the per capita waste generation is much higher. In the last two decades, the municipal
solid waste (MSW) had increased 350% from 0.24 million tonnes in 1995 to 1.1 million tonnes in
2015. However, per capita waste has declined from 1.49 kg/day in 2006 to 1.24 kg/day in 2015.
This is mainly due to an increase in the low-income population contributing less waste compared
to the high-income households. Besides household waste, commercial waste (not industrial waste)
is increasing at an alarming rate. The recycling rate is very low. The organic waste from
landscapes, slaughterhouses, food waste from hotels and sludge from wastewater treatment plants
are converted into compost and sold to local farmers as organic fertilizers (Sayeed, 2016).

The survey asked to rank the volume of daily waste generated of different categories on a daily
basis with a scale ranging from 1 to 5 (5 is highest). Figure 5.13 shows that plastic is the most
common waste generated in a typical household. One-third of overall respondents say that of all
products, the volume of the plastic waste generated is higher, followed by food waste (19%) and
paper (12%). Metal, electronic waste and glass are the least amounts of waste generated in Qatar.

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Figure 5.13 Public’s ranking of volume of household waste

Overall, half of the surveyed people recycle either at home (11%), work (16%) or both (23%).
Another half never recycled. Women are more likely to recycle than men, however, the different
is not significant (57% vs 48%). There is a sizeable difference between Qataris and non-Qataris.
Non-Qataris are particularly more likely to recycle compared to non-Qataris (51% versus 38%).
Women recycle more than men. A vast majority (71%) of Qatari men do not recycle compared to
58% of Qatari women. There is no notable difference among income groups, however, low-income
non-Qataris tend to recycle more than higher-income groups. There have been generational
differences when it comes to recycling. 80% of young non-Qatari adults, 25-35, do not recycle and
same goes for Qatari adults. Education has no influence in recycling, over half of the respondents
with an education above university do not recycle. This shows that the attitude may not necessarily
reflect in behavior.

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Figure 5.14 Public’s response to recycling

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Since half of the people who surveyed reported that they do not recycle, we asked what is
preventing from recycling. An overwhelming majority (82%) of public say there are not enough
recycling facilities close to their home or office and another one-in-ten say it is too time consuming
(figure 5.15). Roughly three-fourths (72%) of Qataris claim there are not enough recycling
facilities and 13% recycling is time consuming. There is a prominent generational divide. Young
Qatari adults, 17-24, say a little over half say there are not enough recycling facilities, 14% of
young adults say recycling takes too much time, and an equal share lack faith in the facilities.
Whereas the response for other age group is not so divided; 93% of Qataris of age group 36-50
said there were not enough recycling facilities. A vast majority (90%) public earning more than
20,000 complain that recycling facilities are not sufficient.

Figure 5.15 Public’s response to factors hinder recycling

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A sizeable share (57%) of public say regular collection directly from their home would encourage
recycling. Some 25% believe multiple collection points within walking distance from home and
another 10% in various locations would encourage people to recycle more (figure 5.16). A notable
share (53%) of Qataris prefer the recycled materials to be collected directly from home, 19% and
17% of Qatari public say if there are collection points within walking distance and from various
locations will encourage recycling household waste. Younger Qatari adults prefer a regular
collection directly from their home and collection point within walking distance from home.

Figure 5.16 Public’s response to factors encourage recycling

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The survey asked to report their actions they undertake to reduce household waste. The actions
include from avoiding food waste to time consuming activities such as mending broken appliances.
Overall, people are willing to take simpler actions to avoid household waste. Eighty percent of
public say they would buy exactly what is required (be it food and other products), 10% said
avoiding over-packaged goods, and 6% report donate/sell items for reuse (figure 5.17). Only a 3%
of public say they would make an effort to get broken appliances and other items repaired before
buying new ones.
Men and women roughly share the same opinion. A vast majority (87%) of Qataris buy exactly
what is required and not a single Qatari willing to mend their appliances and reuse them. A fewer
than 10% of Qataris donate or sell their items. A small share (10%) of non-Qataris say they avoid
over packaged food. Even younger generation among Qataris and non-Qataris prefer easy option
– buying exactly what is required. Factors like income and education are hardly relevant in
influencing people to mend their appliances and reuse them.

Figure 5.17 Actions public take to minimize waste

In last few years, there is a global surge in electronic waste. Electronic waste is hazardous.
Therefore, special treatment and reuse facilities were established in many countries to make use
of all precious metals and minimize contamination of natural resources. We asked public how they
dispose of their old electronic goods. A sizeable minority (46%) of public dispose of electronic
waste with the general waste and over one-fourth (29%) give old goods to charity. Some 15% say

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landlords deal with the disposal. Fewer than 3% recycle electronic products. Women tend to be
more generous with their electronic goods; some 40% of women give away the old goods to charity
compared to 25% of men. Qataris are far more generous and charitable, 41% of them give away
the goods to charity compared to 28% of non-Qataris. Education has no influence in people to
recycle their waste or give away to the charity.

The survey asked public’s opinion about having segregated recycling bins in public places. There
was an overwhelmingly positive opinion of having segregated recycling bins. A sizeable minority
(45%) of public say it makes recycling easier, 42% say it promotes awareness (figure 5.18). Only
13% of public remained skeptical; people do not care and will put everything in one bin and also
a waste of money. Both men and women are optimistic about recycling bins in public places.
Roughly half of women and 44% of men claim that segregated recycling bins in places makes
recycling easier and promotes awareness. A fewer than 10% of men and women are pessimistic of
this idea. An overwhelming number (87%) of Qataris strongly support this idea claiming it will
help in promoting awareness and facilitating recycling.

Figure 5.18 Public’s opinion of segregated recycling bins in public places

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We asked people if they try to purchase products that are second-hand or made from recycled
products. Fifteen percent of overall respondents say ‘always,' nearly two-thirds (62%) said
purchase second-hand and recycled good sometimes. One in ten (9%) people said never and
another 15% report that they are not aware of any such products (figure 5.19). There is no major
difference in response among males and females. When compared with the nationalities, Qataris
are less likely to purchase second-hand and recycled products. Only 9% said they purchase always
and one-third of Qataris said sometimes. Whereas more than one-fifth of Qataris report they never
purchased and one-third of them said they were not aware of any recycled or second-hand goods.
Non-Qataris are more likely to buy recycled and second-hand goods. There is no major difference
among income groups, however, people with higher income group are more likely to not to
purchase second-hand and recycled products.

Figure 5.19 Public’s response to usage of recycling products

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5.5 Food

The survey included a question to know public’s food shopping choice. The survey finds that the
public give more preference to freshness and taste (65%) than anything else, followed by health
implications (54%) and the least important factors were animal welfare (18%) and environmental
issues (16%), respectively. Over one-third (39%) of public say price and some 24% say seasonal
and locally produced commodities are important factors in their food shopping choice (figure
5.20). Whether the food choice varies among the gender and nationality, we test with three factors
– price, seasonal and locally produced and environmental aspects.

Price is the third most important factor in food shopping choice. There is no major difference
between men and women. Non-Qataris are more concerned about food prices than Qataris (39%
vs 26%). It is obvious people with lower income would be more concerned with the price. More
than half (57%) of non-Qataris earning less than 5,000 say price plays a crucial role in food
shopping compared only 27% of people earning above 20000. This opinion is common among the
younger generation.
Seasonal and locally produced foods lie somewhere in the middle of food shopping choice. The
Qatari government is promoting local produce by subsidizing the price and exclusive markets for
greater accessibility. One-in-four people ranked seasonal and locally produced food as a significant
factor in their shopping choice. Men and women roughly share the same opinion. Far more Qataris
consider seasonal and locally produced foods as a part of their food shopping choice (49% vs 29%
of non-Qataris). This opinion is popular among Qatar adults of age group 36-50 and above 50.
Environmental factor is the least important criteria in food shopping choice. Only 16% of public
say environmental factors such as the long distance travelled, pesticides used as a significant factor
in influencing their food shopping behavior. Women tend to consider more about the
environmental factors in their food shopping choice compared to men, however the difference is
modest (20% versus 15%). Qataris and non-Qataris roughly share a similar view. However, the
number of Qataris who ranked the lowest range of the scale is highest (19% compared to 7% for
non-Qataris).

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Figure 5.20 Public’s opinion of important factors in food shopping choice

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Supermarkets are the most popular choice to purchase food and vegetable markets are the least
one. Some 85% of public buy their food markets in supermarket chains, followed by 12% in small
grocery stores (or bakhala) and only 2% purchase in specialized vegetable markets (figure 5.21).
An overwhelming majority (95%) of Qataris buy food in supermarkets compared to 85% of non-
Qataris. Over one-in-ten non-Qataris purchase in small grocery stores. The generational divides
are modest. Low-income groups are more likely to purchase in bakhalas than higher income
groups. A 27% of non-Qataris earning an income less than 5,000 purchase their food products in
bakhalas compared to only 6% of income group above 20,000.

Figure 5.21 Public’s choice of place to buy food

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The public was asked to report their level of agreement with a variety of statements related to food
choices and its environmental consequences (figure 5.22).
Meat production involves a huge amount of land, water and energy resulting in emissions. The
amount of emission varies with the type of meat production (industrial/organic). According to the
recent research, production of 1 kg of pork resulted in 3.9–10 kg CO2-e and production of 1 kg of
chicken in 3.7–6.9 kg CO2-e, whereas production of 1 kg beef resulted in 14 to 32 kg CO2-e [33].
Public gives a mixed answer when it comes to consuming meat and other animal products and
its negative consequence to the environment. The responses are evenly split, one-third agree, one-
third remained unsure and the rest one-third disagree with the statement. Women back the
statement strongly compared to men. A sizeable minority (one-thirds) of men and women
remained uncertain on this issue. Qatari men tend to disagree a lot compared to Qatari women
(50% versus 17%). There are stark differences in opinion across generations, especially among
Qataris. Young Qatari adults, 17-24 and 25-50 are more likely to disagree that meat consumption
contributes negatively to the environment. Many non-Qataris across generations could not able to
relate the impact of meat consumption on the environment. Overall, one-thirds of non-Qataris of
all age groups are uncertain.
A sizeable majority (67%) of public back the statement that food waste contributes negatively to
the environment. One-in-five people disagree and 11% are not entirely sure about the food waste
and its impact on the environment. Men and women roughly hold similar views. There are modest
differences between Qataris and non-Qataris. Non-Qataris are particularly likely to agree with the
statement compared to Qataris (68% versus 61%). 25% of Qataris do not back the statement. There
are stark differences by age. Younger Qataris strongly agree compared to other age groups. Nearly
two-thirds of Qatari adults, ages 25-35 and 36-50, strongly back the statement.
Qatar imports over 90% of the food, part of it from the neighbouring countries while a majority of
the food comes from far and wide countries. Shipping food through the air and sea routes result in
emissions. The survey asked public their opinion about importing food from distant areas and its
impact on the environment. The survey finds that nearly half (47%) of public agree that importing
food from distant areas impacts the environment. Over three-in-ten (30%) people could not able
to relate food import and its impact. Roughly one-in-four (24%) do not back the statement. There
are modest differences between men and women, however, women are slightly more likely to
agree (50% vs 44%). There is no major difference between Qataris and non-Qataris, however, 40%
of Qataris remain unsure whether importing food from long distance has a negative impact on the
environment. There is no unified pattern among age groups. Over one-fourth of Qataris of age
group 25-35 disagree that importing food from distant lands has any impact on the environment.
x

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Figure 5.22 Public’s response to environmental consequences related to food choices

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The survey asked to know what are the possible actions public is in favour of reducing food-related
impacts on the environment. Public is willing to take steps that are convenient and consumes less
time. More than one-thirds of public say that they would use reusable shopping bags for food
shopping (figure 5.23 and 5.24). Women are more likely to use reusable shopping bags than men,
and non-Qataris are more likely to do so. Nearly 60% of Qatari men said they never used reusable
shopping bags and this is very common among Qataris of age group 25-34 and 35-50. Low-income
groups are more likely to use every time, whereas middle-income and higher-income groups are
less likely to use regularly.
Meat consumption is very common in Qatar; nearly 27% and 18% of food budget is spent on meat,
poultry and fish by Qataris and non-Qataris. In a Qatari household, 38 kg of meat, 33 kg of poultry
is consumed monthly. We asked people if they reduce meat consumption to minimize the food-
related impacts on the environment. More than one-third of people say they limit meat
consumption sometimes, but 28% reported they never limited or avoid meat consumption. More
than half of Qataris and one-fourth of non-Qataris say they never limited or avoided meat
consumption. Nearly three-fourths of Qataris of age group 25-34 reduced or avoided meat
consumption. There is no major variation among different income groups.
There are very few charity organizations that provide service of distributing leftover food to the
needy people. Only 13% said they ‘yes,' one-fourth reported they do it sometimes whereas 43%
did not give the leftover food to the charity organizations. Nearly half of Qataris give leftover food
to charity sometimes. Whereas 45% of non-Qataris never gave leftover to charity organizations.

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Figure 5.23 Public’s response in reducing food-related impacts on the environment

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Figure 5.24 Qataris’ response in reducing food-related impacts on the environment

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The survey asked the public to provide a rough estimate of food waste. An overwhelming majority
(83%) of public say less than 15% of their food goes to waste and 10% of them said 16-30% of
food goes to waste (figure 5.25). Men are less likely to generate food waste compared to women
(85% versus 78%). Some 15% of women generate 16-30% of food waste. Qataris are more likely
to generate food waste than non-Qataris. Two-thirds of Qataris generate less than 15% of
household food waste and 17% generate 16-30% and 10% report that 30-50% of food goes to
waste in their household. Non-Qatari men are least likely to generate food waste compared to any
other sub groups. There are generational divides; older people are more conscious of food waste
than the younger generation. 87% of non-Qatari adults of age group 36-50 say they generate food
waste less than 15% compared to 70% of non-Qatari adults 17-24.

Figure 5.25 Amount of food waste generated by public

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5.6 Overall Satisfaction

The second survey asked the public to rate their satisfaction with Qatar’s environmental quality,
with options ranging from very satisfied to very dissatisfied with extra options of don’t know and
not enough information to decide. There is a strong divide in public opinion. A sizeable minority
(40%) are satisfied and only 7% are very satisfied with Qatar’s environment. A fully one-third
(33%) of the public is dissatisfied with the environment. Roughly one in five (17%) people neither
satisfied nor dissatisfied (figure 6).

Men are more likely to be satisfied compared to women (42% vs 35%). Some 40% of women are
dissatisfied with the environment. A sizeable minority (40%) of Qataris and non-Qataris are
satisfied with the local environment, and 25% of Qataris are dissatisfied and almost one-tenth of
them are very dissatisfied. There are stark differences in opinion by age. A sizeable number of
young people are dissatisfied with the environment. One-third of Qatari adults, age 17-24, is not
too happy with the quality of the environment. Qatari men of age above 50 are very satisfied.
Government employees (both Qatari and non-Qataris) are more likely to be satisfied with Qatar’s
environment that other groups. 50% of Qatari housewives (and men) hold a completely opposite
view on this; they are dissatisfied with the local quality of the environment.

Figure 6. Public response to the satisfaction of Qatar’s environmental quality

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5.7 Rating of the Survey

At the end of all three surveys, we asked the public to rate the quality of the survey with a scale
from 1 to 9 (9 is excellent). A large number of people expressed favorable views. One-in-five
people marked excellent, 27% marked ‘8’ and 26% marked ‘7’ and the remaining 16% marked
less than average (‘5’).

Figure 7. Public’s response to overall satisfaction of all three surveys

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5.8 Open Feedback

In all three surveys, we asked closed-questions to share their opinions, attitudes and ratings on
different global and local environmental issues. In our final survey, we include one open-ended
question allowing people to share their views about the local environment. We shared some of the
unedited important statements. Some are in Arabic; we translated using Google translator (the
translation may not be accurate. Therefore we keep the original content for Arabic readers). Also,
we grouped the unique comments and feedback comments in respective themes, at times people
combined all possible opinions in one statement.

Public Transportation
“Awareness Programs, Pedestrian & Bicycle ways.”

“Bus transit system should be more advanced with more number of routes, trip timing and
mobile app to get information of route for origin and destination. So that all the community
should consider of using these and travel with peace of mind rather than a fraction of population
who generally don't have other feasible option. Although provision of metro will contribute but
would never be able to as alternative of buses.”

“Please improve public transport system. install good and shaded bus stops for people to use the
buses even in broad daylight or else they are to stand in the sunlight during the day directly in the
sun”

“Reduce number of cars by promoting public transport. Create safe cycling tracks usable more
than 6 months per year. Create bicycle hire system like all capitals next to metro point. Develop
recycling for all waste next to home. Develop green bus (gas) with private tracks improving
schedule accuracy. Improve house isolation. Develop sun energy for house. Use car users to
report hazardous infrastructures roads and improve safety signalization. Improve local food
importations and discriminate foods coming from far countries.”

Two important points coming to mind at present are (1) Establish strong and efficient public
transport system as that of Singapore; (2) Plant and protect millions of trees all over Qatar no
matter how costly it may prove, just like what Qatar spends on upcoming WC football event.

“Please increase the public transport bus facility in qatar , The frequency is very very less as
compared to any other country.”

“Road safety more pedestrian flyover.”

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“In developing/upgrading of existing roads, the contractor should always provide pedestrian
lanes specially in crowded areas.
Pedestrian crossings/bridges may be constructed to allow to cross the road safely.”

please make an mobile phone app to update the bus status real time (like the one used in
Dubai)... It can be done with a minimum cost and it will promote public transport as you don't
have to wait looking for a bus... I have used that in Dubai and it is very convenient!

Government need to concentrate middle class people's like workers and Labour's who don't have
own car's.. so they are using public transport and by walk. For this they don't have frequent bus
services to there designated location and by walk they don't have proper road cross bridges any
were in Qatar. Specially during summer they need to walk a long distance to just cross the
road.m sometimes it' goes around 1km. Walking during summer is like a hell. Please take this
consideration. Thanks for your survay. We hope this survey make some changes

Recycling
‫ وأوراق )الخضار والفواكه وما سابه(توعية الناس بضرورة وفائدة تجميع بقايا المواد العضوية‬،‫ وكذلك بقايا القهوة والشاي‬،
‫الشجر واألزهار وغيرها‬... ‫ إذ تتحول إلى أسمدة وتخفف من النفايات‬،‫“(في حديقة المنزل‬To make people aware of
the necessity and usefulness of compiling the remains of organic matter (vegetables, fruits, etc.),
as well as the remains of coffee and tea, leaves, flowers and more ... in the garden of the house”)

The main issues for recycling here in Qatar is that there are no facilities to do so in the
accommodation buildings. In Europe you must separate you waste into coloured bins and
everyone does it. You bring your own shopping bags to the supermarket and you drive low sized
cars (not 5.0 ltr petrol 4x4's) that are run on diesel or hybrid technologies. Yes individuals have a
responsibility to minimise their waste and carbon footprint but what are government doing to
incentivize environmentally conscience choices . . . I don not see any initiatives to tackle these
huge issues ?

The questions were relevant but it remains to be seen what will be the resultant consequences of
this survey. It is clear that we should not waste food and only buy / utilize what we actually need.
We should avoid excessive usage / dependence on processed foods as it is eventually not good
for health reasons. We should also look at alternatives to daily food (like milk etc.) as they do
prove healthy sometimes, like substituting soya milk for regular milk. Finally, there needs to be
more infrastructure with respect to the overall health of citizens on the whole, maybe something
like Joggers Park concept (circular park with a 400m ring shaped jogging/walking track). Qatar
is an excellent place to be and live in, of course there are pros and cons but it is to be understood
that Qatar is on the cusp of a lot of development. The only thing is that development should be

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extremely well planned keeping in mind the environmental consequences for our future
generations.

Have laws for recycle , teach people to recycle and have collection done based on segregated
items. allow people to sell the recyclable material to recycling facilities

Questionnaire is trying level best to address so many environmental factors that suppose to
identify and address with priority. As a resident, it is important to reduce excess use of plastics in
Qatar. In addition, it is important to arrange recycling facilities for electronic waste in Qatar.
Electronic wast especially from mobiles, PCs, chargers, used batteries are now thrown in to
general waste now. This devices includes harmful chemicals and it can be so hazardous if not
treated carefully at the final disposal place. So, please raise the importance of electronic
recycling facilities in order to reduce electronic wast e in the future.

Housing
“More affordable housings and improved road infrastructure to minimize traffic blocks.”

“As Qatar is developing and still in construction, All construction done should be Certified
Green buildings so that wastage and pollution would be low and Usage of self vehicles should be
minimized by strictly implementing the usage od public transport systems available.Even though
tough to maintain greenery every one should take care of some plantation in their houses.”

“promote campaigns on car pooling, car sharing, avoid/reduce food wastage. live updates on
traffic, more measures to reduce traffic congestion. one way to reduce our carbon footprint is to
reduce material usage, but invariably all hypermarkets give massive offers and promote people to
buy more than what they want. i.e. buy 2 get 1. Actually, all products should be reasonably
priced, so that a single person as well as a big family can buy what they want without any
difference in price.
Awareness
‫توعية في المدارس و الجامعات وأماكن العمل عن أهمية التدوير والحد من االستهالك و ايضا ايجاد حلول سهله للناس‬
‫“(لمساعدتهم للمساهمه في التدوير والحفاظ على البيئه‬Raising awareness in schools, universities and
workplaces about the importance of recycling and reducing consumption and also find easy
solutions for people to help them to contribute to recycling and environmental conservation”).

“Though there are a lot of awareness campaigns in Qatar, kindly provide additional materials
that would further influence the citizens especially the youth in making a difference in line with
environment issues.”

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“Just like famous brands, they have very good marketing strategies to sell their products. I think,
if there will be a good information, guidelines, some catchy slogans or incentives to the
individuals who will participate to the governments effort then I think people will greatly react
on it (negative or positive). making improvements to address some shortcomings.”

Recycling is the better way to save environment. Proper use of fuel/Gas as most people misuse
due to cheap availability. Make it a point to switch of a/c when not in room.

There is an acute lack of awareness of Environmental issues in Qatar, If the government is


serious about reducing the environmental impact of living in Qatar the number 1 priority should
be to introduce a compulsory house hold waste recycling system, introduce electric vehicles for
all government agencies together with E-charging points. The Air quality situation is diabolical,
more measures for dust control, ensuring all construction sites introduce measures to control
dust. Finally a comprehensive tree planting program should be rolled-out, starting on
pedestrianized areas to encourage walking in the city, to do this the authorities also need to make
sure pavements are accessible and safe to walk on.

Legislations
“Limiting government subsidies for water/electricity, recycling facilities, control food waste
through campaigns/legislation/incentives”

“I think policy making and implementation should be part of the survey.”

Labour Law
“In my opinion wages for labor should be increased.”

Feedback on Survey
“This survey is good. It promotes awareness to the people with regards to preserving our
environment, safe and healthy living. I hope that the government will seek all measures to
protect our environment and taking care of the people not only the locals but the entire
community including all expatriates. Thank you”

“The rating order should be maintained. For example, in some questions 5 is highest and in
others 1 is highest.”

“Survey should use a consistent grading scale and should always - on each question - provide a
clear indication of what the scale means... “

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“You can add on your questionare questions with regards health issues that correlates in your
topic on environmental awareness. Like have you experience any lung disease or asthmatic
conditions through your years of living here in qatar? If experienced, site a possible reasons
which or why do you think you have experienced it. Options idle can be
1. Because of weather/climate conditions
2. Because of ambient air pollutions
3. Because of less recreational parks which limits you to have a regular routine for exercise.

Just an opinion. Otherwise these whole survey is an eye opener for your organization to knew
and estimate the actual situation from each actual and current correspondents concern.So your
organization can put a mitigation plans for future. Kudos. And good job.”

“I think its good that the Qatari Government are taking an interest in the environment and
making efforts to improve it.”
“What do you mean by "comments to improve the local improvement"? One of the issues I
found with this survey is that some of the questions force the respondent to select only one
choice where there are clearly several applicable answers that come to mind, and therefore by
restricting the choice to only one selection you are failing to capture the multi-level complicity of
a given issue…”

“I really hope that the results obtained from this survey will not merely end up in a publication,
but lead to actual policy change. Also, as someone who works in research and is highly
interested in sustainable living, I can immediately tell that the responses you'll get for this survey
(for all 3 of them) will be nowhere near representative of the entire population. The mode of this
survey (web-based) will disproportionately attract those with an interest in the topic, who are
better informed than the average resident and will therefore surely bias the data and the findings.
In any case, this is a first such effort to survey the general population of Qatar on the issues of
climate change, food and water security, consumption, pollution, etc., so I look forward to
reading the final report. If you decide to approach the issue from a more scientifically rigorous
and nation-wide representative angle, perhaps you could contact the Social and Economic
Survey Research Institute (SESRI) at QU to help you out with data collection.”

“I think policy making and implementation should be part of the survey.”

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[4] UNFCCC, ADOPTION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT. Proposal by the President. 2015.
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[7] MoE, “Studying & developing the natural and artificial recharge of the groundwater in teh
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[8] Kahramaa, “Statistics Report,” Doha, 2017.
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Available: http://www.motc.gov.qa/en/news-events/news/qatar-ranks-first-two-
significant-internet-penetration-indicators-state-broadband. [Accessed: 06-Nov-2017].
[10] R. Guha, Environmentalism - A Global History. Penguin Books India, 2014.
[11] L. Mumford, The City in History- Its Origins, Itrs Transofrmations and Its Prospects.
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1961.
[12] Rachel Carson, Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
[13] E.F.Schumacher, Small is Beautiful - Economics as if People Mattered. Harper Perennial,
2010.
[14] D. L. M. Donella H. Meadows, J. Randers, and W. W. Behrens, The Limits to Growth.
Universe Books, 1972.
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[16] J. Diamond, Collapse - How Socieites Choose to Fail or Succeed. Penguin Books, 2011.
[17] T. Freidman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Picador, 2008.
[18] T. Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth. Routledge, 2016.
[19] J. Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia. Basic Books, 2010.
[20] T. Banuri, “Noah’s Ark or Jesus’s Cross? UNCED as a Tale of Two Cities,” 1992.

193
[21] S. Kreft, D. Eckstein, and I. Melchior, “Global Climate Risk Index 2017,” Bonn, 2017.
[22] R. Fulop, D. Tancrede, and B. Lajoie, “Energy Perspective - Consequences of COP21 for
the Oil and Gas Industry,” 2017.
[23] R. Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press,
2011.
[24] S. Narula, “The Story of Narmada Bachao Andolan: Human Rights in the Global
Economy and the Struggle Against the World Bank,” 2008.
[25] A. Roy, “The Greater Common Good,” Outlook, May-1999.
[26] E. Courson, “Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND),” 2009.
[27] “OGONI BILL OF RIGHTS.” 1990.
[28] World Bank, “Theories of Behavior Change Defining Theories of Behavior Change,”
Washington D.C.
[29] I. Ajzen, “The theory of planned behavior,” Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process., vol. 50,
no. 2, pp. 179–211, Dec. 1991.
[30] R. Gifford, C. Kormos, and A. McIntyre, “Behavioral dimensions of climate change:
drivers, responses, barriers, and interventions,” Wiley Interdiscip. Rev. Clim. Chang., vol.
2, no. 6, pp. 801–827, Nov. 2011.
[31] B. R. Newell, R. I. McDonald, M. Brewer, and B. K. Hayes, “The Psychology of
Environmental Decisions,” Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 443–467, Oct.
2014.
[32] QMIC, “QMIC Launches the Qatar Traffic Report for 2016 : QMIC Website.” [Online].
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[33] M. de Vries and I. J. M. de Boer, “Comparing environmental impacts for livestock
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194
Recommended Readings

Books
1. Nasr, Hossein. Man and Nature – The Spiritual Crisis in Modern Man, George Allen and
Unwin Ltd. 1968
2. Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring, Houghton Mifflin Company; Anniversary edition, 2002
3. Naess, Arne. Ecology of Wisdom, Penguin Books, 2008
4. Capra, Fritjof. The Web of Life, Anchor Books, 1996
5. McIntosh, Alastair. Soil and Soul – People Versus Corporate Power, Aurum Press, 2004
6. McIntosh, Alastair. Hell and High Water – Climate Change, Hope and the Human
Condition, Birlinn Limited, 2011.
7. Odum, Howard. Environment, Power, and Society – The Hierarchy of Energy, Columbia
University Press, 2007
8. Shiva, Vandana. Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis, North
Atlantic Books, 2015
9. Shiva, Vandana. Who Really Feeds the World?: The Failures of Agribusiness and the
Promise of Agroecology, North Atlantic Books, 2016
10. Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything – Capitalism Vs. The Climate, Simon &
Schuster, 2015

Documentaries
1. The Race for What’s Left - The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources (2013)
– Media Education Foundation
2. ToxiCity: life at Agbobloshie, the world's largest e-waste dump in Ghana (2016), RT
Documentary
3. Earth Pilgrim - A Year on Dartmoor. Satish Kumar 2008
4. Conflict Minerals, Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo (2012), VICE
5. A survey of climate change impact in Bangladesh,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMcEF-6A0f0
6. DIRT! The Movie, 2009

195
Appendix
Methodology
The questionnaire was designed by Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)
based on the intense discussion with various members within QEERI and beyond. The topics were
selected based on the priorities listed in the National Development Strategy 2011-2016, Qatar
National Development Framework and consultation with the local experts. The questionnaires
were prepared and tested in multiple rounds with the participants from the Ministry of
Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) and QEERI. The feedback was reviewed; taken into
consideration and alterations were made to questionnaire ensuring easy understanding for the
public by avoiding technical jargons and confused statements. It was very difficult to select the
questions that go into the survey. Many other important questions were removed for the sake of
length and time. We hope in our future surveys, we will have surveys for each theme where we
can incorporate all relevant questions. With few exceptions, we designed the questionnaire in such
a way that promotes truthful response and minimize social desirability bias. However, there may
be significant social desirability effect how the public responds to survey questions about the
environment.

196
The surveys were divided into three parts and published online during February – November 2016.
The survey listed ten strategic perspectives (see below) and assembled over 90 questions (Survey
1 -25; Survey 2 - 33; Survey 3 – 33) with extra ten sociodemographic questions in all three surveys.
The sociodemographic variables used in the survey are similar to national census questionnaire
except for the age category.

197
Margin of Error#
Survey
Data* Survey 1 2 Survey 3 Survey 1 Survey 2 Survey 3
Total Population 2,617,634 1093 753 963 3 4
Males 1,975,536 698 500 680 4 4
Females 642,098 395 253 275 5 6
Qataris - 135 128 53 8 9 1
Non-Qataris 2,303,518 958 625 902 3 4
17-24 331,545 121 72 106 9 12 1
Age 25-35 979,804 492 324 451 4 5
group 36-50 701,644 381 209 322 5 7
Above 50 215,043 99 59 76 10 13 1

*Data are taken from the updated reports published in the Ministry of Development Planning and
Statistics Report. All data are from 2016
# The margins of error are reported at the 95% level of confidence

198
Survey 1
Section 1: General Information (This section remains for all three surveys)

1. Email Id
Male Female
2. Sex
3. Age : ________(This survey target individual 17 years and above)
Qatari Non-Qatari
4. Nationality
5. If non-Qatari, How many years you have been in Qatar

Born and brought up here


Less than 5 years

Between 5- 10 years More than 10 years


6. Monthly income (salary in QR)
Less than 5000
5000-10000 10001-15000 15001-20000
Greater than 20000

7. Number of persons in household

1 2-4 5-7 More than 7

8. Educational Attainment
Primary or lower
Secondary Post-secondary Vocational University

Masters/PhD Other
9. Profession
Student Legislators/Senior Professionals
Officials/Managers
Technicians/Associate Professionals Clerks
Service/craft workers
Other

199
10. Sector
Academia Non-profit organization Government

Semi-government Private companies Household

Unemployed

Section 2: Knowledge and Perception

Q1. What are the primary environment concerns in Qatar?

(Rank according to significance from 1=very significant, 5= least significant) (Select at least 7
options)

1 2 3 4 5
Air Pollution

Oil spills

Seawater pollution

Groundwater Pollution

Desertification

Loss of fish stock

Destruction of species

Depletion of natural
resources like water

Oil and Gas Depletion

Poor waste management

Traffic/congestion

200
Q2. Based on your knowledge, which of your daily activities contributes negatively to the
environment? (select from highest to lowest - 1 is highest, 5 is lowest)

1 2 3 4 5
Using ACs and Lights

Water consumption

Driving a big car

Having a big residence


(more lighting and
cooling required)

Waste (normal)
generated

Food waste generated


Paper consumption

What is your evaluation of the following:

Neither
Strongly Strongly Don’t
Agree Agree or Disagree
Agree Disagree Know
Disagree
Q3 The earth has very
limited resources
(like freshwater,
land) and we cannot
continue the way we
are living
Q4 The quality of life
depends on the
quality of the
environment

Q5 Humans are severely


abusing the
environment

Q6 It is acceptable to
deplete the natural
resources or
sacrifice
environmental

201
quality for economic
growth

Q7 The environment is a
low priority
compared with other
things in my life

Q8 We all need to make


sacrifices in our
lifestyles to reduce
environmental
problems

Section 3: Behavioral Change and the environment


Q9. How willing would you be to accept cuts in your standard of living in order to protect the
environment?

Fairly Neither willing nor


Very willing Fairly unwilling Very unwilling
willing unwilling

Water
Q10. Considering recent rates of water withdrawal, it is estimated that Qatar’s aquifers will be
exhausted in:

Less than 20
20 – 30 years 30 – 60 years 60 – 90 years More than 100 years
years

Q11. The fresh water reserves in Qatar are enough for:

Don’t
2 days 8 days 2 weeks 8 weeks
Know

202
Q12. Where do you think most of your water is consumed in your daily life?
(rank from highest to lowest - 1 is highest, 5 is lowest)

1 2 3 4 5
Toilet

Bathing (shower)

Washing utensils

Cooking

Drinking

Washing clothes
Cleaning your home

Washing the car

Watering your garden

If you were asked to conserve water, how likely you be to adopt the following measures

Neither
I
I do it Very Fairl likely Fairly Very Not
woul
alread likel y or unlikel unlikel Applicabl
d not
y y likely unlikel y y e
do
y
Q13 Ensuring
washing
machine and
dishwater
are fully
loaded
before use

Q14 Installing
water-
efficient
showerheads
and taps

Q15 Installing a
dual

203
flush/low
flush toilet

Q16 Watering the


garden with
a watering
can

Q17 Washing the


car with a
bucket and
not a hose
Q18 Installing a
grey-water
recycling
system

Q19 Would you


consider
reusing the
best quality
treated
wastewater
(from your
kitchen,
washing
machine) for
toilet
flushing?

Q20 Would you


consider
reusing the
best quality
treated
wastewater
(from your
bathtub) for
landscaping
?

204
Which of the following measures would encourage you to conserve water?

Neither
Very Very Not
Likely likely or Unlikely
likely unlikely Applicable
unlikely
Q21 Charging and/or
increasing my water
bills

Q22 Installing a water


meter, and notifying
the water
consumption in
your mobile for
every month?
Q23 Putting a limit on
the water I can use
at low/free cost
Q24 Information on
water scarcity and
water conservation
options (e.g.
Publicity
campaigns)

Q25 Faith-based
encouragement
(scripture,
traditions, sermons)

205
Energy
Q26. Where do you think most of your electricity is consumed in your daily life? (rank from highest to
lowest - 1 is highest, 5 is lowest)

1 2 3 4 5
Air Conditioning

Lighting

Water heating

Electric cooker

Extra appliances (TV,


Ironing clothes, etc.)

Q27. Which AC you have in your home

☐ Centralized

☐ Split (if so how many)

☐ Windows (if so how many)

Q28. When do you keep your AC on?

All the time in Summer and Winter All the time in Summer On only when I use it

☐ ☐ ☐

Q29. In average, what is the temperature of your AC (enter in numbers)

Q30. Instead of AC, would you be willing to use Fan when it is not too hot?

Never thought
Yes No May be
about it

206
Q31. When do you keep the water heater on?

All the time in Summer and Winter All the time in Winter Only when I need it

Q32. Would you be willing to install solar panels (for electricity) and solar water heaters (water
heating)?

I am renting this
Yes No
place, if I can, I would

207
Survey II
Climate Change
Q1. What is the level of knowledge of the terms below?

A fair Only heard Never


A lot Just a little
amount of the name heard of it
a. Climate Change
b. Ecological Footprint
c. Sustainable
Development
d. Desertification
(Increased Desert
area)
e. Ocean Acidification
f. Loss of biodiversity

Q2. According to you which are the major environmental issues the world is facing? (1 is lowest and
5 is highest)

1 2 3 4 5
a. Climate Change
b. Loss of natural
resources (clean
water, arable land,
etc.)
c. Urbanization
d. Loss of biodiversity
e. Water and Air
Pollution
f. Ocean Acidification

Your perception of the following questions

208
Neither
Strongly Strongly Don’t
Agree Agree or Disagree
Agree Disagree Know
Disagree
Q3 Man-made actions
are responsible for
climate change

Q4 Climate change is
responsible for most
of the weather-
related changes
(floods, drought)

Q5
Climate change is
beyond control, it's
too late to do
anything about it?

Q6 The effects of
climate change too
far in the future to
really worry me

Q7 Radical changes
needed for society to
tackle climate
change

Q8 The West should


take most of the
blame for climate
change

Local Awareness Campaigns


209
Q9. Have you taken part in any of the environmental initiatives in Qatar?

Yes (Once) Twice More than Twice No

Q10. Have you heard about the Kahramaa’s Tarsheed campaign

If Yes, how do you find it?

No relevant Could be Not effective


Effective
information better at all

Q11. Have you attended the Qatar Petroleum Environmental Fair?


Yes

No
If Yes, how do you find it?

No relevant Could be Not effective


Effective
information better at all

Q12. Have you attended the lectures/site visits organized by the Friends of Environment?

Yes – Sometimes Yes – All the time Never attended Never know about it

Q13. Have you attended the lectures/site visits/campaigns organized by the Ministry of Environment?

210
Yes – Sometimes Yes – All the time Never attended Never know about it

Q14. Is there enough environmental information available for you on the government websites to make
effective decision?

Yes No Partially Don’t know

Q15. Would you like to have more information to be more environmentally conscious?
Yes

No

Q16. Where do you hear more about local environmental issues?

a. News ☐

b. Newspapers ☐

c. Radio ☐

d. Social Media ☐

e. Leaflets ☐

f. Word of mouth ☐

g. Others – specify ☐

Q17. Do you like to hear more about local and global environmental issues, if so which the favorite media
is?

a. News ☐

b. Newspapers ☐

c. Radio ☐

d. Social Media ☐

211
e. Leaflets/Books ☐

f. Others – specify ☐

Q18. In your opinion, Qatar should have a strong civil society to build environmental awareness among
the citizens?

Yes- the current


Yes – It is
awareness
essential to have
campaigns by the Not necessary Don’t know
an unbiased
government is
knowledge
enough

Q19. Whom do you trust more about the environmental issues?

Not very Can’t


A lot A little Not at all
much choose
a. A family member or
friend
b. Scientist
c. Government
d. Media
(news/newspapers/social
media)
e. Environmental
organizations
f. Local NGOs/
International NGOs
g. Industries/Business

Government Policies and Actions:

212
Your perception of the following questions

Neither Not enough


Strongly Strongly
Agree Agree or Disagree information
Agree Disagree
Disagree to Decide
The citizens have
enough to say in
the way the
Q20
environment is
managed in the
country

The government
should pass laws
to make industries
Q21
and commercial
enterprises protect
the environment

The government
should tax the
industries and
commercial
Q22
enterprises to
reduce emissions
and protect the
environment

The government
should pass laws
Q23 to make ordinary
citizens to protect
the environment

Research and
Development in
Qatar will help
Q24
solve our energy
and water national
challenges

The government is
spending enough
Q25
to protect the
environment

Q26 Government
should invest

213
more to protect
the environment

The government
should release
annual reports
Q27
publicly about the
status of the local
environment?

The companies
(oil, gas,
petrochemical and
others) should
Q28 release their
annual reports
publicly about
their impact on
the environment?

Q29. Who are the responsible authorities to protect the environment? 1 – Highest authority 5 – least
authority

1 2 3 4 5
a. Ministry of
Environment
b. Ministry of Energy and
Industry
c. Ministry of Urban
Planning and
Municipality
d. Oil and Gas Industries
e. Kahramaa
f. Universities
g. Research
Organizations/Civil
Society
h. Supreme Education
Council

Q30. Who are responsible for tackling environmental issues (rank in order?)

214
a. Government ☐

b. Oil and Gas Industries ☐

c. Construction companies ☐

d. Other companies ☐

e. Individuals ☐

Q31. What factors influence you to protect the environment (rank from highest to lowest – 1 highest and
5 lowest)

1 2 3 4 5
a. Moral and Ethical
Obligation
b. Cultural and social
norms
c. Religious values
d. Concern for my future
generation
e. Because of national
policies, laws and
regulations
f. Awareness and
advocacy campaigns
g. Living sustainably is a
trend

Q32. What are the actions you are willing to reduce your impact on the environment?
(rank from most doable to less doable – pick 5 options)

1 2 3 4 5
a. Reduce your electricity
consumption
b. Reduce your water
consumption
c. Fix energy and water
leaks in your home

215
d. Use public
transportation or walk
or bicycle
e. Reduce your
consumption of plastic
products
f. Reduce food waste
g. Participate effectively in
environmental
campaigns and
initiatives
h. Reducing overall
material consumption

Q32. Overall, how satisfied are you with the environment in the State of Qatar

Not enough
Very Very Don't
Satisfied Neither Dissatisfied information
Satisfied Dissatisfied Know
to decide

216
Survey III
Transport

Q1.What car do you have? (if you do not have a car, please go directly to question 4)

Sedan 4-wheel drive Other I don’t have a car

Q2. How many cars do you have in your household?

Q3.What is the average distance you drive per day? (enter whole number)

(kilometer)

Q4. Do you share your car – i.e. give lifts to friends/ colleagues to work or to leisure activities? (select
one answer)

All the time Very often Rarely Never

Q5. How often do you use public transport in Qatar?

Daily Twice a week Once a week Seldom Never

Q6. What is currently preventing you from using the public transport (buses) in Qatar more often? (check
all that apply and rank in order of importance with 1 being the most important)

Inconvenient schedule ☐

217
High cost ☐

Unsuitable routes ☐

Safety concerns ☐


Increased travel time

Lack of safe pedestrian walkways ☐


to bus stops

High temperature, humidity, air ☐


pollution

Social (Cultural?) / Gender reasons ☐


and concerns

Q7. What will encourage you to use public transport (buses) more frequently? (tick all that apply)

Frequent service ☐

Suitable routes ☐

Gender specific buses ☐

Air conditioned / Covered bus ☐


stations
Safe pedestrian walkways to bus ☐
stops

Cheaper fares ☐

I’ll never take public transport ☐

Q8. Will you use the Metro system (currently under construction) – assuming it is frequent and covers all
arears?

Yes- Yes -
Never
Everyday Sometimes

Urban Expansion

218
Q9. How would you rate your level of knowledge of the issues and concerns around the rapid urban
growth (expansion) in Qatar? (select one answer)

Have some
Fully aware Don’t have any knowledge
knowledge

Q10. What is your opinion about the rapid urban development in Qatar?

a. It is good for the economy and


society in the long-run

b. It is helpful in placing Qatar on the map


as a modern, vibrant and dynamic place
to live and work.
c. It is bad for the environment, as it puts
pressure on the local ecosystem
through increased pollution, destruction
of biodiversity, resource depletion.

d. It causes an unhelpful increase in


consumption of energy, water,
materials, etc.

e. It threatens the traditional way of life


with the local cultural identity
disappearing.

Q11. In you view, what are the main negative consequences of the rapid urban growth in Qatar? (rate
from the lowest 1 to highest 5)

1 2 3 4 5
Lack of recreational
places (parks, open
spaces)
Increase in air pollution
Deteriorating public
health
Increase in traffic
congestion

219
Rising cost of housing

Increase in crime

Loss of unique historic


areas and traditional
cultural heritage

Q12. Do you feel that the government agencies are taking adequate measures to manage the pace of urban
growth? (select one answer)

Not enough
Not adequate information
Adequate to decide
Somewhat at all
adequate

Q13. Please rate the importance of the following issues in Qatar (rate from the highest 5 to the lowest 1)

1 2 3 4 5
Street Safety

Air Pollution
Road Infrastructure

Low-cost housing

Public transport

Resource (oil/gas) dependence /


insufficient diversification of
economy

Waste

220
Q14. Thinking of the types of waste is generated by your household in your daily life, please assess the
volume of it using the scale (rate from the lowest 1 to highest 5)

1 2 3 4 5
Plastic

Food (vegetables, fruits,


leftover food)

Electronic Waste
(batteries, etc.)

Paper/cardboards

Metal

Glass

Q15. Do you recycle? (if they say No, skip question 16)

Yes- at work Yes- Only at Yes- Only at


No, I don’t
and home home work

Q16. What materials do you recycle? (tick all that apply)

Paper / Cardboard ☐

Plastics (incl. plastic bottles) ☐

Metals (incl. drinking cans) ☐

Glass (incl. bottles, jars) ☐

Organic waste (kitchen waste, ☐


vegetables, fruits)

Electronic Waste ☐

Q17. What is preventing you from recycling more?

221
It is too time consuming ☐

There are not enough recycling ☐


facilities close to my home or office

Lack of faith that the recycled ☐


materials don’t just end up in
landfill sites
There are no incentives for me to ☐
recycle
It doesn’t make much difference to ☐
the environment

Q18. What would encourage you to recycle more household waste?

Regular collection directly from my ☐


home

Collection points within walking ☐


distance from home

Collection points within driving ☐


distance from home

Recycling bins at various locations ☐

More information about recycling ☐


and what happens to the recycled
materials

Q19. Which of the following actions are you undertaking to reduce the amount of household waste you
generate?

Avoid food and other types of


waste by buying exactly what you ☐
need

Avoid buying ‘over-packaged’



goods

Donate/sell items for reuse ☐

Make an effort to get broken


appliances and other items repaired ☐
before buying new ones

222
Q20. In general, how do you dispose of old electronic equipment?

Dispose of Landlord
with Use specialized Give old goods They are deals with
general disposal service to charity recycled disposal
waste

Q21.What do you think about segregated recycling bins in public places?

People do not
It promotes It makes recycling care and will put
It is a waste of money
awareness easier everything in one
bin, anyway

Q22. Do you make an effort to purchase products that are second-hand or made from recycled materials?
(select one answer)

Not aware of
Yes-
Yes- always Never recycled
sometimes
products

Food
Q23. How important are the following factors in your food shopping choices? (rate from the highest 5 to
the lowest 1)

223
1 2 3 4 5
Price

Health Implications

Environmental Aspects

Seasonal and locally-


produced

Freshness and Taste


Animal Welfare

Familiarity and Preferred


Brands

Q24. On a normal week, where do you shop for food?

Large supermarkets

Local grocery stores (bakhala)

Specialized market (Vegetable/fish


market)
Other

The following actions factors have significant negative environmental consequences – rate your
attitude to this statement in relation to the below

Neither
Strongly Strongly
Agree Agree or Disagree
Agree Disagree
Disagree
Q25 Consuming meat
and other animal
products
Q26 Importing food from
distant areas

Q27 Food waste

Does your household usually

224
Rarely
Yes No Sometimes
Q28

Limit or avoid consumption of meat

Q29
Use reusable shopping bags for food
shopping

Q30
Give the leftover food to the Charity
organizations

Q31. Can you please estimate what percentage of the food goes to waste in your household?

15% or less 16-30% 30-50%

More than 50% No idea, never gave a thought about it

Q32. Please rate this questionnaire overall (on a scale of 1 to 9 where 1 means the questionnaire was
‘Poor’ and 9 means the questionnaire was ‘Excellent’) ?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Q33. Please provide any specific comments to improve the local environment (optional).

225