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

April 2019
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Electricity is a prerequisite for electric cars
NAJIB SAAB
In an attempt to reduce pollution caused by the transport sector, the Lebanese government recently announced incentives to promote electric and hybrid
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PADDY PADMANATHAN
Ten Years of ACWA Power and Corporate Responsibility
PADDY PADMANATHAN
Since 2007 the Arab region has undergone a number of changes because of economic cycles
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Yihui Wang
AFED Synthesizes Decade of Arab State of the Environment Reports
Yihui Wang
The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) has published a report titled, ‘Arab Environment in 10 Years’, which
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Meet the
 Editor-in-Chief
Najib Saab
 
 
Selected articles News
Climate change, conflict: Strategic risks for 2019 11/2/2019
Climate-fueled security risks will overwhelm the Middle East in 2019, while enmity and hostility rather than unity will characterize Europe; the U.S. will tumble in its war on terrorism, and an unsustainable future will daunt Russia. These are some of the global security challenges anticipated in a report entitled “Strategic Outlook 2019,” carrying the theme “Towards a Zero-Sum World ...more
 
Environmental Conservation in the UAE: An Authentic Cultural Heritage and Experience 8/1/2018
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has prioritized the conservation of the environment and natural resources, both being integral to its national heritage, almost since the establishment of the federation in 1971. The founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, considered the environment and sustainable development to be cornerstones of the nation’s progress. ...more
 
PREVENTING DISEASE THROUGH HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: ASSESSMENT OF THE BURDEN OF DISEASE FROM ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS IN ARAB COUNTRIES 1/6/2017
The realization of how many diseases and illnesses can be prevented by focusing on the management of environmental risks adds impetus to efforts to encourage preventive health measures through all available policies, strategies, interventions, technologies and knowledge. This is generally true to sustain development in most countries of the world, but is more significant in Arab countries where environmental risks are higher and rates of development slower. ...more
 
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
 
Tadweer opens region’s first battery solar system at landfill 18/4/2019
Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre (Tadweer) opened the first battery solar system in the region at its Al Dhafra Landfill on Wednesday. ...more
 
Climate change: Central banks warn of financial risks in open letter 18/4/2019
The heads of two major central banks have written a stark warning about the financial risks of climate change. ...more
 
Preaching to the converted: Swedish teen climate activist gets pope's blessing 18/4/2019
Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg brought her campaign to the Vatican on Wednesday and met Pope Francis, who sees eye-to-eye with her on the dangers of climate change. ...more
 
New York is curbing food waste and helping people in need with a new initiative 18/4/2019
New York is making important strides toward reducing food waste and greenhouse gas emissions. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, recently agreed to a new food waste initiative with the state legislature that will recycle scraps and send wholesome food to people in need. ...more
 
London becomes the first city to have an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) 18/4/2019
London is officially the first city to have an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The zone, which is active all hours of the day and night, will improve air quality in the city by cutting down on pollution caused by vehicle emissions. ...more
 
Renewables industry urges France to raise wind project targets 17/4/2019
France needs to raise the minimum for wind power projects to 1,000 megawatts (MW) per year to boost the development of the sector, two industry lobbies said on Tuesday, if the country wants to reach its targets for renewable energy use. ...more
 
Early ocean plastic litter traced to 1960s 17/4/2019
Old-fashioned metal boxes that have been dragged around the ocean since 1931 have accidentally created a record of the history of ocean plastic. ...more
 
Deforestation in tropical countries linked to European diets in new study 17/4/2019
New research shows that European diets are linked to deforestation in tropical countries. Scientists from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology tracked carbon emissions that are produced from tropical deforestation and found that one-sixth of the harmful emissions are related to European diets. ...more
 
States say half of wetlands would lose protection under EPA proposal 17/4/2019
Fourteen states, including New York and California, and the District of Columbia said the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to replace an Obama-era water regulation would end federal protection for half of wetlands and 15 percent of streams across the country. ...more
 
Light pollution not improving, says CPRE 17/4/2019
Just one in 50 people in England experiences nights that are free from light pollution, according to the results of a survey. ...more
 
Dubai Police unveil new fleet of electric cars 16/4/2019
Police in Dubai are going green with their new eco-friendly fleet of electric patrol cars to support the emirate's sustainability drive. ...more
 
Japan's 2017/18 CO2 emissions drop to 8-year low 16/4/2019
Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 1.2 percent to an eight-year low in the financial year ended March 31, 2018, government figures showed on Tuesday, due to an increased use of renewable energy and higher utilization of nuclear plants. ...more
 
Record-early Alaska river thaw follows high winter temperatures 16/4/2019
Key Alaska rivers that are usually frozen at this time of year are now free-flowing, with record-early thaws following record-high winter and spring temperatures. ...more
 
Thousands block roads in Extinction Rebellion protests across London 16/4/2019
Thousands of people have blocked well-known landmarks including Waterloo Bridge in central London, bringing widespread disruption to the capital in a “climate rebellion” that organisers say could last several days. ...more
 
Alarm as study shows how microplastics are blown across the world 16/4/2019
Microplastic is raining down on even remote mountaintops, a new study has revealed, with winds having the capacity to carry the pollution “anywhere and everywhere”. ...more
 
Coral reef gardens launched in Fujairah 15/4/2019
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on Saturday launched ‘Fujairah Cultured Coral Reef Gardens’, the largest project of its kind in the UAE, in collaboration with Fujairah Municipality, Dibba Fujairah Municipality and the Fujairah Adventures. ...more
 
Iran leader approves tapping sovereign fund for flood relief 15/4/2019
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved drawing up to $2 billion from the country’s sovereign wealth fund for relief and reconstruction after devastating floods, state media reported on Monday. ...more
 
German motor authority probes more Mercedes emissions software: Bild 15/4/2019
Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA is investigating Daimler on suspicion that 60,000 Mercedes cars were fitted with software aimed at tricking emissions tests, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday. ...more
 
Bolsonaro says Brazil rainforest reserve may be opened to mining 15/4/2019
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday the country could open a vast reserve in the Amazon rainforest to mining, a move that his predecessor attempted before backtracking due to an international outcry by environmentalists. ...more
 
“Sustainable Buzz” at NDU 15/4/2019
The Sustainability Task Force at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) held the first Sustainability Buzz event, an innovative mix of panel debate, case study, and game show. A highly interactive format brought together the various elements in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. ...more
 
Thousands expected in London for Extinction Rebellion protest 15/4/2019
Thousands of people are expected to take the streets of London on Monday, blocking traffic and causing widespread disruption, to demand action over the escalating ecological crisis. ...more
 
Greenpeace launches ambitious pole to pole expedition in bid for a Global Ocean Treaty 12/4/2019
Greenpeace launched yesterday one of its biggest ever expeditions – an almost year-long pole to pole voyage from the Arctic to the Antarctic – to highlight the many threats facing the oceans and to campaign for a Global Ocean Treaty covering all seas outside of national waters. ...more
 
U.S. EPA chief defends big energy projects, says climate not top priority 12/4/2019
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposal to speed state-level permitting decisions for energy infrastructure projects soon, the agency’s chief told Reuters on Thursday, blasting states that have blocked coal terminals and gas pipelines on environmental grounds. ...more
 
Vehicle pollution 'results in 4m child asthma cases a year' 12/4/2019
Four million children develop asthma every year as a result of air pollution from cars and trucks, equivalent to 11,000 new cases a day, a landmark study has found. ...more
 
Copenhagen Zoo welcomes two pandas from China 12/4/2019
Chinese pandas Xing Er and Mao Sun are settling into their new home at Copenhagen Zoo. ...more
 
Water pollution is rampant in streams across Europe 12/4/2019
Europe is facing a large-scale water pollution crisis. A new study from Greenpeace revealed that pesticides and antibiotics are contaminating European waterways at an alarming rate, endangering the lives of wildlife and making microorganisms more resistant to drugs. ...more
 
 
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