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AFED Survey 2017
Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

March 2017 - 228
Baher Kamal
New Evidence Confirms Risk That Mideast May Become Uninhabitable
Baher Kamal
New evidence is deepening scientific fears, advanced few years ago, that the Middle East and North Africa risk becoming uninhabitable in a few decades

Climate change, natural resources and conflicts in Arab countries
Was the chaos in the Arab region instigated by the early impacts of climate change

Tom Delay
What happened at COP22 in Marrakech? Four key themes
Tom Delay
COP22 in Marrakech was never going to hit the headlines in the same way that the climate talks in Paris did last year

How Switzerland made history with green economy vote
This weekend, Switzerland made world history, even though not as much as we would have liked

Mey Sayegh
Inspiring stories from the MENA region: Women & Water Integrity
Mey Sayegh
Refraining from paying water bills pushed Fardous Al Shabbar, the chairperson of the Jordanian Women's Un

Ashok Khosla
Tolba, a great world leader, transformer and mentor
Ashok Khosla
Although we had met several times in places like Stockholm, Geneva and Paris, I first properly got to kno
Meet the
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
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
Tunisia bans disposable plastic shopping bags 24/3/2017
In an effort to reduce plastic waste, shoppers in Tunisia will no longer be able to get single-use bags at supermarkets. ...more
Halve carbon emissions each decade to combat warming: study 24/3/2017
Scientists proposed on Thursday a legislative and economic framework to halve the world's carbon dioxide emissions every decade from 2020 and combat climate change, by issuing hefty penalties on carbon emitters. ...more
Smog-hit Beijing plans 'green necklace' to block pollution 24/3/2017
Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei will plant trees, establish green belts and make use of rivers and wetlands to create a "green necklace" to protect China's smog-hit capital from pollution, the Hebei government said on Thursday. ...more
World’s largest artificial sun switches on in Germany 24/3/2017
German scientists are hoping to shine new light on ways to generate environmentally friendly fuels. At the German Aerospace Center (DLR)’s Institute for Solar Research, they have flipped on a system called Synlight, which they describe as the largest artificial sun on the planet. ...more
Google Street View cars are helping scientists spot methane leaks 24/3/2017
The Google fleet has been mapping cities around the world for years, making navigation easier for travelers. Now they have an important new responsibility: Google Street View cars will seek out natural gas leaks in urban areas. ...more
Mexico-sized algae bloom in the Arabian Sea connected to climate change 23/3/2017
Talk of climate change probably evokes images of rising sea levels or hotter temperatures, but what about algae blooms? Scientists have made a direct connection between an algae bloom in the Arabian Sea, which has blown up to the size of Mexico, and climate change. ...more
China blames climate change for record sea levels 23/3/2017
Chinese coastal sea levels hit record highs in 2016, driven by climate change as well as El Nino and La Nina events, the country's sea administration said. ...more
Arctic ice sets new record low for winter: scientists 23/3/2017
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has set a new record low for the wintertime in a region strongly affected by long-term trends of global warming, U.S. and European scientists said on Wednesday. ...more
Swedish researchers develop low-cost wood filter to purify water in refugee camps 23/3/2017
At least 780 million people in the world lack access to clean water, a dire problem exacerbated by the increasing number of people living in poorly-equipped refugee camps. ...more
German coal mine set to become “giant battery” for storing renewable energy 23/3/2017
A German coal mine is about to become a massive battery for storing electricity from renewable energy sources. ...more
Free water for farmers under new support project 22/3/2017
UAE-based private utility firm Utico has unveiled a new sustainable farm support programme that includes free water supply to UAE farmers, guaranteed buy-back of their produce and scientific advisory services. ...more
Plans for coal-fired power plants drop by almost half in 2016 22/3/2017
Twenty-sixteen saw a "dramatic" decline in the number of coal-fired power stations in pre-construction globally. ...more
Trump administration not considering a carbon tax: White House official 22/3/2017
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is not considering a carbon tax, a White House official said on Tuesday. ...more
Business leaders urge G20 to put climate change back on agenda 22/3/2017
Business executives and scientists on Tuesday urged the world's leading economies to put global warming back on the G20 agenda after finance ministers and central bankers failed to reaffirm their readiness to finance measures against climate change. ...more
French prosecutor opens Fiat Chrysler emissions investigation 22/3/2017
French prosecutors have opened a formal investigation into Fiat Chrysler over allegations that the carmaker cheated in diesel emission tests, a judicial source said on Tuesday. ...more
Solar park to power 50,000 homes unveiled 21/3/2017
The second phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was inaugurated Monday by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. ...more
Artisanal clay pots from Egypt can water your plants for up to a month 21/3/2017
Gardeners who travel will love these absorbent clay pots from Egypt. Modeled after the Olla, an ancient ceramic pot prevalent throughout North Africa, the small vessels are designed to water plants for weeks at a time–using nothing but gravity. ...more
Austria joins up charging points to boost electric car usage 21/3/2017
Austria is creating a nationwide network of charging stations for electric cars, making it easier for drivers to charge up as part of the country's efforts to promote the vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions. ...more
New biofuel from wastewater slashes vehicle CO2 emissions by 80% 21/3/2017
An innovative new project called LIFE+Methamorphosis is pioneering a new sustainable biofuel for cars. Car company SEAT and water management company Aqualia have transformed wastewater into the alternative fuel. ...more
San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater 21/3/2017
San Diego is aiming to become the most environmentally sustainable city in the United States. As part of its ambitious Climate Action Plan, last year the city council unanimously approved a $3 billion initiative to recycle wastewater for drinking. ...more
Abu Dhabi to phase out paper utility bills in green drive 20/3/2017
Abu Dhabi residents will no longer receive hard copies of water and electricity bills as part of efforts to protect the environment. ...more
Global energy CO2 emissions could be cut by 70 percent by 2050: IRENA 20/3/2017
Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be reduced by 70 percent by 2050 and completely phased out by 2060, research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed on Monday. ...more
Climate change financing dropped from G20 draft statement 20/3/2017
Opposition from the United States, Saudi Arabia and others has forced Germany to drop a reference to financing programs to combat climate change from the draft communique at a G20 finance and central bankers meeting. ...more
British tampons and nappies set to fuel power stations 20/3/2017
One of the UK’s trickiest waste problems is being tackled by turning the undesirable into the combustible – tampons and incontinence pads are being converted into dry, burnable bales. The new initiative, from a major waste company, compresses the waste into fuel for power stations. ...more
First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America 20/3/2017
Scientists found the first fluorescent frog in the world – by accident – in South America. Researchers at Buenos Aires’ Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum stumbled across the discovery while studying pigment in polka dot tree frogs, which are common in the continent. ...more
Poll of the month
Do you prefer the environmental policy adopted by Trump or the one adopted by Obama?

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Boghos Ghougassian
Recent Publications
Arab Environment 9: sustainable Development in a Changing Arab Climate
ان جميع مقالات ونصوص "البيئة والتنمية" تخضع لرخصة الحقوق الفكرية الخاصة بـ "المنشورات التقنية". يتوجب نسب المقال الى "البيئة والتنمية" . يحظر استخدام النصوص لأية غايات تجارية . يُحظر القيام بأي تعديل أو تحوير أو تغيير في النص الأصلي. لمزيد من المعلومات عن حقوق النشر يرجى الاتصال بادارة المجلة
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