Hundreds of people marched on the Corniche this morning in a coordinated public demonstration on the sidelines of the COP18 UN Climate Change conference being held in Doha.

Wielding signs promoting varied agendas, local and international participants chanted slogans together like “one world, one march” and “we are building our future.”

Local environmental group Doha Oasis co-organized the demonstration with the Climate Action Network as a government-sanctioned way for activists in town for the conference to have their concerns heard.

Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, the Chairman of the Organising Sub-Committee of COP18/CMP8 Doha, told the crowd he was “very proud” of the march and that “history had been made.”

Speaking to journalists after, he defended the environmental record of Qatar, which has the world’s highest per capita carbon foot print:

“That’s because of a small population compared to the amount of industry [we have]. That isn’t because we consume that.”

 ”[But] of course it has to change, there is no choice.”

Those marching included solar energy promoters, anti-nuclear power advocates, and members of the World Wildlife Fund. Participants marched from Sheraton Park to Post Office Roundabout and back.

Amongst them was also a sizable contingent wearing masks of a migrant laborer named Bide and marching under the banner “Qatar Do The Right Thing: No World Cup Without Workers’ Rights.”

Credit: Photos by Omar Chatriwala

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