December 22, 2016

MSc ETIA students discussed sustainability at youth forum in Doha, Qatar

From 4- 9 December 2016 the students Sarah König, Valerie Hengl and Ansgar Fellendorf from the 10th MSc ETIA cohort joined a delegation of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna to participate at the 4th Arab-European Young Leaders Forum (AEYLF) in Doha, Qatar. The event gathered more than seventy young people from all over the Arab world and Europe and provided the opportunity to get to know each other, dispose of misconceptions and make new friends.

The students engaged in discussions in the thematic working group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection. They talked about the many aspects of development and that we cannot address one part such as ending poverty without recognizing other issues such as education. The participants also agreed that countries, including within the Arab world, face different challenges, but that climate change is an issue everywhere, including Austria. Other thematic issues discussed were population growth in the Middle East, environmental pollution and efficient and responsible management of water resources. The concluding recommendations contained for instance to raise awareness for environmental problems at schools, universities and public events and to include the resources of young people, especially in universities, for sustainable urban planning.

Moreover, there was an interesting presentation by the Qatari authorities on the sustainability plan for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Many of the stadiums will be disassembled after the event and shipped to developing countries to provide sports facilities, one aspect of sustainable development. Moreover, there are plans to construct greenhouses out of some of the infrastructure. This would allow Qatar to produce some own food and not to have to import as much.

Other than that, the intercultural aspects of the AEYLF were very important as well. The ETIA students learnt among others about the natural beauty of Qatar through a desert trip, religion and Islam through personal discussions with young Muslims and more generally the life in the Arab world.


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