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

May 2017 - 230
Editorial
Forum
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
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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
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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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Jake Rice
Development is about fair distribution of wealth
Jake Rice
The first two Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 are to end poverty and hunger
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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
 
Abu Dhabi to build world’s largest solar power plant 25/5/2017
Abu Dhabi will build the world’s largest solar power plant in its push towards cleaner energy. ...more
 
France's Macron to try to convince Trump to back Paris accords: diplomats 25/5/2017
French President Emmanuel Macron will seek to convince his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Thursday to stick to a global deal to combat climate change ahead of a Group of Seven leaders where there is currently no consensus on the matter, diplomats said. ...more
 
Trump budget proposes 31% cut to EPA funding 25/5/2017
President Donald Trump is still trying to take a swing at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The White House’s most recent budget proposal, released yesterday, would cut money for environmental cleanup, clean air, and water programs. And thousands of people could lose their jobs as the number of full-time employees drops from 15,416 to 11,611. ...more
 
Sea levels are rising three times faster than previously thought 25/5/2017
New scientific analysis has found that the Earth's ocean levels are rising nearly three times faster than they were before 1990, a strong indication that sea level rise is accelerating. ...more
 
New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device 25/5/2017
Your entire home could be powered, heated, and cooled with one system in the near future – thanks to scientists at the University of Newcastle and Infratech Industries. They’ve designed a Chemical Looping Energy-on-Demand System (CLES) that eliminates the need for a battery to store energy, instead generating and storing power in just one device. The university described the CLES as a Swiss army knife for energy. ...more
 
60 million households use off-grid electricity 24/5/2017
Nearly 60 million households across the world are now powered by off-grid electricity generation sources, a top renewable energy expert said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. ...more
 
Indonesia president approves two-year extension of forest moratorium 24/5/2017
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has approved a two-year extension to a moratorium on issuing new licenses to use land designated as primary forest and peatland, the environment and forestry minister said on Wednesday. ...more
 
Merkel calls for unity in climate talks before G7 as U.S. holds out 24/5/2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged world nations on Tuesday to work together to fight global warming and, in a bid to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to drop any plans to ditch the Paris climate deal, argued there would be economic benefits. ...more
 
Britain installs world’s biggest wind turbines near Liverpool 24/5/2017
It’s official: Britain is now the world’s leader in wind turbine technology. Last Thursday, Danish company Dong Energy finished installing 32 of the world’s biggest turbines in Liverpool Bay as part of the Burbo Bank extension. ...more
 
Architectural Dutch firm MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a “plant village” in the sky (PHOTOS) 24/5/2017
Architectural superstars MVRDV have transformed an abandoned highway in Seoul into a 983-meter-long elevated Skygarden. The “plant village” is located high above traffic, and it welcomes visitors to stroll through 24,000 indigenous trees and shrubs. ...more
 
Illegal catches of banned fish in UAE to be donated to needy during Ramadan 23/5/2017
Fish illegally caught by local fishermen and confiscated by authorities will be re-distributed to the needy this Ramadan as part of the country’s push to curb food waste. ...more
 
Switzerland votes to ban nuclear power and invest in renewable energy 23/5/2017
Switzerland just passed a new energy law that promotes renewable energy and bans nuclear power plants. The landmark vote brings the nation closer to meeting its goal of generating 4,400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy by 2020, and 11,400 GWh by 2035. ...more
 
Trump can't stop American progress on climate, Al Gore tells Cannes 23/5/2017
U.S. President Donald Trump cannot stop momentum to tackle climate change, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said on Monday as he promoted his latest film on global warming at the Cannes Film Festival. ...more
 
Tax plastic drinking straws, firm says 23/5/2017
A waste disposal firm has stepped into the row over hard-to-recycle products by demanding a tax on plastic drinking straws. ...more
 
Retro electric motorbike with 40-mile range fits in the trunk of a car 23/5/2017
Urban mobility is seeing something of a renaissance. As cars congest and pollute cities, people are rethinking how to get around. One company based in Singapore, seeks to inject a little fun and imagination into urban travel. ...more
 
Rare butterfly could show link between UAE and Socotra 22/5/2017
A rare butterfly subspecies that reveals a mysterious link between the UAE and the Yemeni island of Socotra — 1,300 kilometres away — has been observed hatching by a wildlife expert. ...more
 
White House moving ahead with stiff EPA budget cuts: group, citing document 22/5/2017
President Donald Trump's administration plans deep cuts to state environmental programs, a summary of the Environmental Protection Agency's 2018 budget showed on Friday, even after some Republicans in affected states raised concerns when the agency released an initial outline of the budget in March. ...more
 
'Doomsday' seed vault entrance repaired after thaw of Arctic ice 22/5/2017
Norway is repairing the entrance of a "doomsday" seed vault on an Arctic island after an unexpected thaw of permafrost let water into a building meant as a deep freeze to safeguard the world's food supplies. ...more
 
Climate change is turning Antarctica green, say researchers 22/5/2017
Antarctica may conjure up an image of a pristine white landscape, but researchers say climate change is turning the continent green. ...more
 
Paris launches electric scooter sharing program with Coup and Gogoro 22/5/2017
Getting to and fro in Paris is about to get easier than ever. Gogoro, in collaboration with Bosch subsidiary Coup, just announced plans to bring 600 Smartscooters to Paris this summer for their first electric scooting-sharing program in France. ...more
 
50 turtles released after rehabilitation 19/5/2017
A group of 50 sea turtles that have successfully been rehabilitated were released into the waters of Abu Dhabi on Thursday. ...more
 
Canada ready to impose pollution caps, fuel tax on provinces 19/5/2017
Canada said on Thursday it planned to impose a cap on pollution in provinces that refuse to adopt a national price on carbon, setting up a potential fight with the country's powerful energy-rich west. ...more
 
EU to back developing nations on climate with $890 million package 19/5/2017
The European Union will provide 800 million euros ($891 million) to help 79 African, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) nations implement a global deal to combat climate change. ...more
 
Pests and pathogens could cost agriculture billions: report 19/5/2017
The spread of pests and pathogens that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report published on Thursday. ...more
 
Belgium extends commuter benefits to all electric bicycles 19/5/2017
Belgium on Thursday extended commuter tax benefits for cyclists traveling to work on any electric bicycles. ...more
 
 
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