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Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

July-August 2017 - 232-233
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Development and environment: Who is responsible?
NAJIB SAAB
The League of Arab States (LAS) did well when it recently established a special unit for Sustainable Development
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Akram Miknas
From the dust we came and to the dust we shall return
Akram Miknas
In too many parts of the Arab world, we are so busy killing each other that we’re hardly aware of the most serious threats our region faces
more...

Najib Saab
AFED Founding Trustee Maroun Semaan Passes Away
Najib Saab
Secretary General of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) Najib Saab announced to AFED community the passing of founding trustee Maro
more...

MOHAMED EL-ASHRY
White House Denies Greenhouse: Why Arabs Shouldn’t Follow Trump
MOHAMED EL-ASHRY
On March 28, President Trump signed an executive order that would roll back much of the United States Government efforts to curb greenhouse gas
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Meet the
 Editor-in-Chief
Najib Saab
 
 
Selected articles News
FactCheck: The facts on Trump's EPA nominee 15/12/2016
Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has made some questionable claims related to global warming, fracking and the Clean Power Plan. ...more
 
AFED Secretariat Annual Work Report 2016 10/11/2016
Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) is closing its most challenging year, in a region overwhelmed by security and economic turmoil. Although we continue to believe that, after all sorts of conflicts and wars, people will still need to preserve and develop their natural capital that they need for survival, AFED is being stripped of minimum resources to execute its mission ...more
 
Waste trade: exporting countries responsible to return refused waste. Interview with Rolph Payet. 2/3/2016
As part of its cover story about Waste trade, in the March-April 2016 issue, Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia magazine conducted this interview with Rolph Payet, executive secretary of the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. ...more
 
Strong climate deal good for Arab countries 4/12/2015
Climate change, once considered an issue for the future, has now moved firmly into the present. Few days before a new climate change deal is due to be agreed in Paris, the question is no longer whether there will be an agreement but what shape and how strong it will be. ...more
 
Sustainable consumption: AFED’s 2015 report and public opinion survey 19/11/2015
In 2009, an Arab Regional Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was adopted by the League of Arab States. This was one of the first such regional strategies to be developed before the RIO+20 summit, which had adopted the 10 Year Framework of Programs (10YFP) on SCP. Consequently, the Arab Region moved forward and became the first region to develop and adopt a Roadmap for Implementation of the 10YFP on SCP at the regional level in June 2013. However, as is the case in most Arab regional strategies, both the roadmap and the SCP regional strategy are far from being implemented at the national levels. Development and implementation of SCP strategies in most Arab countries are still lagging. ...more
 
ACWA Power Develops 200 MW Solar PV Plant in Dubai: 5.84 Cents per kWh Sets New Global Pricing Benchmark 19/11/2015
In March 2015, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with a consortium of ACWA Power and TSK for a 200 MW net solar photo-voltaic (PV), under Phase II of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the Middle East’s largest renewable energy park. The bid tariff set a new global pricing benchmark for renewable energy generated from utility scale PV panels at USD 5.84 cents/kWh without subsidies. The second phase is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model and is intended to be operational by April 2017. The project, which occupies 4.5 Km2, will help to achieve a reduction of 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. ...more
 
Impact of phasing out water subsidies in Tunisia and Morocco on consumption: a general equilibrium approach 19/11/2015
Morocco and Tunisia are considered among the countries where the scarcity of water resources may cause a serious constraint to the development of their economies. The agricultural sector is the most important consumer of water with more than 80% of the total. Moreover, both countries have shown an increase in the share of GDP accounted for by the nonfarm sectors, which imply an increase in residential water demand as well as manufacturing and service sectors. Consequently, if production growth in the non-farm sectors requires a proportional increase of water demand factor , then water can be a major constraint to economic growth in both countries. ...more
 
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CLIMATE-RESILIENT SEEDS AS A POSSIBLE RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE-INDUCED FOOD SHORTAGES 4/9/2015
Climate change is predicted to have dramatic impacts on agricultural production globally. Although food production in some regions of the world may benefit from increasing average temperatures, most of the world will face severe challenges in adapting agricultural systems to the predicted climatic changes. ...more
 
Food Security and Climate Change: the UAE Experience 15/5/2015
The Arab world faces critical challenges in ensuring its food security. Our region is already the world’s largest net importer of essentials such as cereals and sugar, low water supplies in the region mean that expanding agricultural production is difficult, and population growth means that more people must be fed each year. In many ways, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presents an exemplary case of this challenge. ...more
 
The UNDP-CEDRO Program’s Solar Power Initiatives 5/3/2015
The CEDRO project, a UNDP executed program, has been established since 2007, originally through a generous grant from the Government of Spain, through the Lebanon Recovery Fund, of approximately $10 million. At that time, renewable energy at large, and solar power in specific (with the exception of residential solar hot water systems), have not yet begun to be well propagated and/established. ...more
 
Conflict, refugees and food insecurity in the Arab region 5/3/2015
Conflict has a direct and indirect effect on food security, undermining it through various channels. Its direct effects are numerous – the destruction of infrastructure and machinery; death of livestock; razing of farm land,; and blocked access to markets for producers, distributors, and consumers. Indirectly, conflict discourages productive investment in agriculture, thereby reducing the availability of food. It strips government of tax revenues that prevent the establishment of social safety nets which promote food security. ...more
 
Virtual Water Trade as a Policy Instrument Contributing to the Achievement of Food Security in the GCC Countries 5/3/2015
The concept of ‘virtual water’ has been introduced by Tony Allan in the early nineties (Allan, 1993; 1994). However, it took nearly a decade to get global recognition for the importance of the concept of achieving regional and global water security. The "virtual water" content of a product, as often defined, is the volume of water used to produce the product, measured at the place where the product was actually produced (i.e., a production site specific definition). ...more
 
Review of the likely impact of climate change on agriculture in selected Arab countries 5/3/2015
Climate change is expected to impact agriculture in the region in one way or another. Below is a short review of the anticipated impact of climate change on agricultural in selected Arab countries. ...more
 
How should we tackle natural conservation of Lebanon?: Japanese Ambassador `s observation 5/3/2015
The East Mediterranean, a cradle of the civilizations, is blessed with a diverse and plentiful nature. But this nature is endangered. Nowadays we can observe that the growth range of the Lebanese Cedars has diminished quite drastically. ...more
 
Developing Fish Resources in the Arab World 7/1/2015
The Arab World is rich with large fish resources providing health and cheap proteins to Arabs, compared to animal proteins from other resources. Since the Arab World suffers a shortage in grazing and animal feed resources, which limits the capability to expand meat production, it is very important to sustain the contribution of fish resources in providing animal proteins to the Arab food basket; actually, this sector must be developed to sustainably increase its contribution to the Arab food security system. ...more
 
Climate change might prevent airlines from flying full planes 26/7/2017
This summer America has experienced some of the most intense heatwaves in decades. In parts of southern Arizona the mercury has climbed to a sweltering 48°C. That has had an impact on the state’s infrastructure. ...more
 
Summer sea ice melt in the Arctic 25/7/2017
Earlier this year Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year. Now NASA is flying a set of instruments north of Greenland to observe the impact of the melt season on the Arctic's oldest and thickest sea ice. ...more
 
Indonesia environment minister wants permanent ban on licenses to use forest land 24/7/2017
Indonesia's environment minister said on Monday she wants to make permanent a moratorium on issuing new licenses to use land designated as primary forest and peatland. ...more
 
China seen making 25 percent more solar panels in 2017 21/7/2017
China's solar industry is expected to produce 25 percent more panels in 2017 than last year, supported by domestic sales and demand from the United States and emerging markets, the head of a Chinese industry association said. ...more
 
India to phase out 5.5 GW of coal-fired power plants 21/7/2017
India has identified 5.5 gigawatts (GW) of inefficient coal-fired power plants to be retired, Power Minister Piyush Goyal told lawmakers on Thursday, as the country looks to cut emissions and make better use of its coal reserves. ...more
 
EU examines emissions collusion by German car makers: Handelsblatt 21/7/2017
The European Commission is examining whether German automakers colluded in systems they used to clean exhaust emissions as part of investigations triggered by the Volkswagen scandal, the Handelsblatt daily reported on Thursday. ...more
 
Mexico launches pioneering scheme to insure its coral reef 21/7/2017
A stretch of coral reef off Mexico is the testing ground for a new idea that could protect fragile environments around the world: insurance. ...more
 
UK zoo donates white rhino eggs in IVF bid to save species 21/7/2017
A British zoo is using IVF technology to help the three remaining northern white rhinos procreate and save the species from extinction. ...more
 
Organic insecticide to be sprayed on 26,000 palm trees in the UAE 20/7/2017
Up to 26,000 palm trees across the country will be sprayed with an organic insecticide by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to preserve the date-producing groves. ...more
 
China's air quality deteriorates due to winter pollution: official 20/7/2017
Air quality in China worsened in the first half of 2017, with 338 cities including the capital Beijing on average reporting fewer clean air days due to winter pollution in January and February, an official at the Ministry of Environmental Protection said. ...more
 
France launches field-to-fork food debates 20/7/2017
France, widely seen as a country synonymous with good food, will launch on Thursday a wide set of debates on the sector ranging from field to fork and aimed at improving farm incomes and the industry's environmental record. ...more
 
Climate change could transform one of Africa’s driest regions into a wet one 20/7/2017
Climate change is often connected to heat waves and hot temperatures. But researchers recently found very different weather patterns could arise in a dry region of Africa: the Sahel. ...more
 
Earth is becoming 'Planet Plastic' 20/7/2017
US scientists have calculated the total amount of plastic ever made and put the number at 8.3 billion tonnes. ...more
 
Bangladeshi pupils in Abu Dhabi set for traditional Arab wind towers 19/7/2017
Not content with being one of the most sustainable of its kind in Abu Dhabi, a Bangladeshi school is now aiming to be one of the coolest, as it builds traditional wind towers to keep its pupils comfortable as they study. ...more
 
MH370 search data unveils fishing hotspots, ancient geological movements 19/7/2017
Detailed sea-floor maps made during the unsuccessful search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, released by Australia on Wednesday, could help increase the knowledge of rich fisheries and the prehistoric movement of the earth's southern continents. ...more
 
China says it won't take any more foreign garbage 19/7/2017
China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday that it would stop accepting shipments of rubbish such as waste plastic and paper as part of a campaign against "foreign garbage". ...more
 
Insurers paid out $19.5 billion for natural disasters in first half: Munich Re 19/7/2017
Insurers paid out around $19.5 billion for natural disaster claims in the first half of 2017, almost 40 percent less than the year-earlier payout of $32 billion, reinsurer Munich Re said on Tuesday. ...more
 
Beijing aims to curb city's use of coal by 2020 19/7/2017
China's capital city Beijing is aiming to cut its coal consumption to below 5 million tonnes by 2020 and limit the use of coal in smog-prone areas, a document issued by the Beijing Municipal Government showed on Tuesday. ...more
 
Masdar Institute develops high performance solar absorber 18/7/2017
In a continued drive towards harnessing the sun as a source of energy, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology on Monday announced that they have developed a high performance solar absorber, making the use of solar thermal applications more efficient. ...more
 
Pace of progress must accelerate to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, finds latest UN progress report 18/7/2017
If the world is to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build peaceful, inclusive societies for all by 2030, key stakeholders, including governments, must drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a faster rate, says the latest progress report on the SDGs launched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres yesterday. ...more
 
China urges quicker launch of pollution source survey 18/7/2017
China is urging local authorities to speed up the launch of the country's second nationwide general survey of pollution source by establishing local investigation institutes by the end of July, showed a document published by Ministry of Environmental Protection on Monday. ...more
 
Indian Railways launches first train with solar-powered coaches 18/7/2017
Train travel in India just got a little greener. Last week Indian Railways rolled out their first train outfitted with rooftop solar panels – in the Delhi area notorious for its pollution. ...more
 
Self-sufficient hydrogen boat embarks on 6-year journey around the world 18/7/2017
The world watched in anticipation as the groundbreaking Solar Impulse 2 plane circumnavigated the globe last year. Now, the “Solar Impulse of the Seas” has set sail, aiming to demonstrate in a fresh way that clean energy can power our world. Dubbed Energy Observer, the solar-, wind-, and hydrogen-powered catamaran will sail to 50 countries over the course of six years. ...more
 
Yas Island gets 16 car charging points 17/7/2017
Sixteen new Tesla chargers have been installed at Yas Mall and Yas Island theme parks, following the February announcement of Tesla Model S and X vehicles in the UAE. ...more
 
Trump may reverse decision on climate accord, France's Macron says: JDD 17/7/2017
French President Emmanuel Macron said he was hopeful that U.S. President Donald Trump would reverse his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, according to weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) on Sunday. ...more
 
Germany eyes effective emission control from diesel cars 17/7/2017
Germany is considering "effective measures" to cut pollution from diesel engines, the transport ministry said on Saturday, reacting to a media report saying planned goals were unambitious. ...more
 
World's large carnivores being pushed off the map 17/7/2017
Six of the world's large carnivores have lost more than 90% of their historic range, according to a study. ...more
 
China approves two new GMO crops for import: agriculture ministry 17/7/2017
China has approved two new genetically modified (GMO) crops for import, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on its website, following two earlier approvals last month. ...more
 
 
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