The word “COP18” is probably the most spoken or written word in the media during the last few weeks and another two weeks as Qatar is hosting the largest conference it ever hosts. I am trying not to be bothered, but like or not, small or big, it starts affecting my (our) life in Doha, at least for several weeks.
One is additional traffic and overcrowding at popular areas. Luckily I am working in Ras Laffan and living in North Doha, still tough, when there is a need to go to downtown or to city center, additional minutes due to traffic or longer commute is a certainty. During this time, small Doha experiences large influx of visitors to already crowded tourist puller areas: Souq Waqif, MIA, Corniche, Katara, and malls. Probably it’s the best time to venture out of Doha…
Second, the theme is no stranger to me. GHG, Kyoto Protocol, climate change, CDM, carbon footprint, flaring, emissions, CO2, and all sort of things. I was Head of Student Nature Lover Group in the university. I participated in two-week long Nature Conservation Camp. I organized environment seminar.I made countless national park/mountain/outdoor expedition. And I am environmentalist by principle although I am working as a process safety engineer. At work, I got involved in environmental impact assessment for the project and delivered some environmental program. Recently, I am involved in flare purge gas reduction and jetty boil-off gas project. So, I can’t make myself blind and ignorant.
Third, Doha is what I call it home now. What happens to Doha, again, I can’t put myself blind and pretend not to be bothered. At least I should learn to practice the renown Arabian hospitality. Guest is to be served. So, those 17,000 or more visitors are our honored guests. How to serve? Hmm…let me think 🙂
Fourth, here and there I must have met with one of those 17,000 (Doha is small, isn’t it). COP18 may be the chance to see a mini UN somehow.Didn’t I mention that Ban Ki Moon the Secretary General of the United Nations will come to Doha during COP18? I just hope that I get flash of him 🙂
Fifth, I must drive (I’d rather take bus) to Ras Laffan a bit earlier, as minutes later, I may be caught in the very long queue line to enter Ras Laffan City. Security is made tougher and more stringent with more frequent checks.
Sixth, many events organized as sidelines to the conference. From Qatar Sustainability Expo, to DFI screening to march. At least it offers a variety to our Qatar life.
Seventh, Indonesia sends its delegates to COP18 and has arranged Indonesian Climate Change Day on the 1st and 2nd December 2012, La Cigale Hotel. I am thinking if I can support this by attending the event. Also, let me (I mean us) know if Indonesian delegates need our escort to go to dune or Inland Sea :). Free.
Welcome our COP18 delegates. Welcome to Doha. Enjoy!