Winter camping registration starts on Sunday

 29 Sep 2016 - 1:49

Winter camping registration starts on Sunday
Salem Al Safran, Director of Environmental Protection, Reserves & Wildlife Department (right) and Saad Ibraheem Al Kaabi, General Coordinator for Winter Camping, speaking at a press conference at the Ministry headquarters yesterday.

By Sidi Mohamed / The Peninsula

DOHA: The Ministry of Municipality and Environment will be receiving registration for winter camping season from Sunday to November 17 through the Ministry’s website or registration centres in Al Mazrouah, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah , and Al Doha, among others.
Speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the Ministry’s headquarters, Salem Al Safran, Director of Environmental Protection, Reserves & Wildlife Department, said that the camping season will start on November 1 and continue until April 15/2017 and for the first time campers are allowed to plant a maximum of five local trees such as Sidra, Al Ghaf, Al Gharat.
He said: “Last year winter camping season was successful and the number of violations decreased to ten and 60 warnings. The number of campers totaled 2,058 in more than 23 sites.”
“A total of 128 campers were included in the blacklist during the last two winter seasons for violating camping rules - 43 campers last season and 85 in the previous season - and now all those are barred from obtaining licence”, he added.
The campers who are in the blacklist for violating camping rules threaten Qatari environment and wildlife, like cutting trees, and using the camp for other purposes.
To register, an applicant must be a citizen with age not less than 25, and should pay QR10,000 as a guarantee, which is refundable in case there is no violation registered against him.
Ministry inspectors have the right to enter the camps if needed, and in case the campers object, their licence will be cancelled, and the QR10,000 guarantee will not be refunded. 
Saad Ibraheem Al Kaabi, General Coordinator for winter camping season, said they expect the number of campers to reach 2,500, adding that last seasons didn’t witness any case of people hiring camps. Campers can report about violations by calling 998, and the Ministry will take necessary procedures.
He said that the priority will be given to those who register early.