World Cup organizers in Qatar are urging businesses and residents to donate any trees they remove from their homes and workplaces instead of throwing them out.
The rescued trees will then be used to green stadium sites ahead of the 2022 tournament, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy announced in a statement.
The process works like this: A resident contacts the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) for help in removing a tree.
Officials there get in touch with the SCDL, who asks the resident if they’d like to donate the plant instead.
The goal is to rescue thousands of trees in the coming years.
Qatari resident Abdulaziz Al-Taleb has donated the very first tree, which now lives at the site for the upcoming Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
It, like all other transplanted trees that go up on World Cup sites, will sport a plaque with the name of the family who made the donation.
Since all the stadiums are not slated for completion until 2020, many of the rescued trees are being taken to the SCDL’s nursery in Al Shamal.
So far, some 5,000 trees have been granted a new lease on life there.
Another 16,000 trees are being imported from Asia and Europe in the coming weeks, the SCDL added.
Yasser Al Mulla, senior manager of the committee’s Landscape & Sport Turf Management, said:
“Our motto is give one, take one. When we receive a tree from a private home, we give a young Sidra tree in return.”
In keeping with the green theme, the nursery will also grow and harvest swathes of grass. They will be equivalent in size to around 168 football pitches each year.
These will be used by contractors on the precincts of the World Cup sites, the SCDL said last year.