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Rashid and Nora the Recyclers prepare touring Arabia

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO launched "Rashid the Recycler", an educational guideline into resources recycling, with a poster, a CD-Rom, a quiz, a photographic contest, and an environment prize for young people between 12 and 18 years of age. The activity was carried out in schools via Qatar's Ministry of Education.

The Qatar-Experience was highly successful, and it received massive attention by the local newspapers. As a result of this activity, a National Recycling Coordination Committee was established, and a number of activities are now being planned.

The environment prize winners will visit UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves in France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, and the UNESCO Office in Venice.

Rashid was asked to consider gender equality. Jointly with his sister Nora, they prepare now to visit Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauretania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunesia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, in order to collect data from these countries, which are essential for the production of a PanArab recycling guide. The guide will be based on the motto "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", and it will provide statistics, relevant addresses, and country specific information.

The project aims to raise awareness and capacity-building based on education into the importance of waste management. Students will learn how to actively contribute reducing, reusing, and recycling waste products. The rationale is to contribute to better management of valuable resources, better waste management, cleaner environment, and to allow the students to learn that there is an international market, and an increasingly more important career path in the recycling and waste management industry. In Arabia the recycling industry is in its beginnings, and, for example in Qatar, only 3% versus 80% potentially recyclable waste products are being recycled.

The UNESCO Office in Doha calls on the private sector to join hands and sponsor this highly important activity, which will contribute for the generation of jobs and income, and for a cleaner environment.

Rashid displayed the Qatar Experience during Oman's Environment Exhibition GULF ECO, which was held from 12-14th of October in Muscat, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment, and Water Resources.

Interested parties are welcome to contact the UNESCO Office at b.boer@unesco.org

by Dr. Benno Böer, UNESCO Office Doha, 14 October 2004

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