Forty-year-old tree the first to be rescued for a 2022 FIFA World Cup™ site
Thousands of trees from public spaces under construction and private owners will be given a new life at 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ sites in the coming years, with a partnership between the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) allowing residents to donate those trees which they are looking to remove.
The first tree to be donated was a 40-year-old tree received from Qatar resident Abdulaziz Al-Taleb, which has already been planted at the site for Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City, and will form part of an extensive green park area around the stadium.
Fans arriving at the proposed semi-final host venue will learn about the tree's history thanks to a plaque with the name of the family that donated the tree.
Over the coming years, thousands of trees from construction and private owners will be given a new life at 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ sites, as residents that contact the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to have their tree cut are offered the chance to donate those trees for the green areas surrounding 2022 stadiums.
"Our motto is give one, take one," explained Yasser Al Mulla, SC Landscape & Sport Turf Management Senior Manager. "When we receive a tree from a private home, we give a young Sidra tree in return," he added.
Currently, Al Mulla works closely with public authorities and is informed whenever a local family needs a tree removed from their home via the website. "We will then make the journey to the location in question, rescue the tree and give it a new life at one of our sites," he explained. "This is part of our sustainability commitment to making this tournament environmentally friendly and leaving a legacy of green spaces for resident families to enjoy post 2022."
He continued: "Whenever the Ministry of Municipality and Environment have the request from private houses to cut their trees they call us and we go to them and we suggest to them to transplant their trees and keep them under their names in our sites."
For residents across Qatar, the programme is a welcome way to contribute to the country's preparations.
"When I heard about the programme, I welcomed the idea because the tree can be of benefit to the community, and not just discarded," said Ahmed Al-Obaidan. He got in touch with MME to have a tree removed due to plans to renovate his Dafna home. He was soon contacted by the SC, and Al Mulla visited his home to inspect the tree. "I bought a small seedling for one Qatari Riyal from a nursery in 1990, and I planted it. Now, it's big and it endured a lot in 26 years," Al-Obadian explained.
Almost 5,000 replanted trees are already flourishing at the tree nursery, which will house up to 8,000, and another 16,000 new arrivals brought from Asia and Europe in the coming weeks, as well as 440,000 square meters of landscape grass.
Works at the tree and landscape grass nursery are progressing quickly with completion of the entire facility expected in June 2017. The main line of irrigation for the trees and landscape grass is almost finished, with 3.5 kilometres of pipes installed, and another 42 kilometres of lateral and secondary lines of irrigation also laid.
The nursery will supply grass, trees and shrubs to the contractors building the surrounding areas for the different sites, ensuring that the communities around the stadiums have a green space for recreational activities.
"We have already started building the station where the trees and grass will be picked up by contractors. It's sort of like a drive-thru, but for trees and grass," said Al Mulla. "All trees that are taken from our nursery will have a tag with all the information about their origin, name and life cycle that will be part of our database."
"We have many migratory birds that are stopping by our nursery, which is a sign of how the landscape is already changing. This project will be a real legacy for Qatar, as in the future it can also be used as a park," concluded Al Mulla.