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

April 2018
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Green Lessons from Singapore
NAJIB SAAB
Listening to the Minister of Environment and Water of Singapore Masagos Zulkifli talking about the work of his ministry, I was sadly reminded of
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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
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
 
Cow may be biggest mammal if humans keep up extinctions: study 20/4/2018
The spread of humans around the world from Africa thousands of years ago wiped out big mammals in a shrinking trend that could make the cow the biggest mammal on Earth in a few centuries’ time, a scientific study said on Thursday. ...more
 
‘Magical' mushroom mix to boost regrowth of lost Scottish forests 20/4/2018
The return of the Great Caledonian forest that once covered much of Scotland’s highlands is being boosted with a special mix of mushroom spores that should help saplings survive better on the hills. ...more
 
UK drives into e-vehicle fast lane with 11% sales rise 20/4/2018
Sales of electric cars in the UK have risen 11% on last year, putting the country in the premier league of those ditching petrol and diesel engines, though it is still miles behind Norway and China. ...more
 
Academy of Finland Flagship funding for Aalto University and VTT to develop new biomaterials 20/4/2018
Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd will set up a competence center for materials bioeconomy called CERES to develop new materials for securing a sustainable future. ...more
 
German minister calls for diesel software upgrades by year-end: Sueddeutsche 20/4/2018
German transport minister Andreas Scheuer is asking carmakers to tell him how they plan to complete by the end of the year outstanding software upgrades on diesel vehicles to reduce emissions, he told a newspaper. ...more
 
Etihad Cargo and conservation fund transport endangered birds 19/4/2018
Etihad Cargo and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), one of the world’s leading conservation programmes, have recently transported a shipment of more than 100 vulnerable Houbara bustards for release into their natural habitats. ...more
 
China environment ministry warns of 'stalemate' in war on smog 19/4/2018
China’s war on pollution is at risk of reaching a “stalemate”, with poor weather conditions undermining the country’s efforts to reduce smog, an environment ministry spokesman said on Thursday. ...more
 
Britain to ban sale of plastic straws in bid to fight waste 19/4/2018
Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single use products and is pressing Commonwealth allies to also take action to tackle marine waste, the office of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said. ...more
 
Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day – equal to a pound per person 19/4/2018
Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, with people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables the most wasteful, research has found. ...more
 
A giant, air-purifying “cloud” just popped up in the middle of Milan 19/4/2018
If you’re tired of breathing less-than-clean city air, Milan has a temporary respite for you. “Transitions,” a giant, cloud-like pod, has landed in the heart of the Brera Design District for Milan Design Week 2018. ...more
 
Zayed Future Energy prize is now Zayed Sustainability Prize 18/4/2018
The Zayed Future Energy Prize has been renamed the Zayed Sustainability Prize to expand the focus and impact of the prestigious international award. ...more
 
Spending on European wind projects seen rising to $28.7 billion in 2018 18/4/2018
Investment in new European wind farms and equipment is expected to increase this year after a sharp drop in 2017, helped by several large project auctions, according to a major industry body. ...more
 
Britain's Costa promises to recycle half a billion coffee cups by 2020 18/4/2018
Britain’s Costa Coffee pledged on Wednesday to recycling half a billion coffee cups a year by 2020 and said it seeks to become the first chain to guarantee it recycles the same number of cups as it puts onto the market. ...more
 
Poland loses forest battle with EU, pushes for broader thaw 18/4/2018
The European Union’s highest court said on Tuesday that Poland broke environmental laws with large-scale logging in an ancient forest, a ruling that comes as its nationalist government seeks to ease tensions with the bloc. ...more
 
Lucky for some: Chinese city launches wind power lottery to ease grid strains 18/4/2018
The city of Yanan, a major wind power base in northwest China’s Shaanxi province, has introduced a lottery system to decide which wind projects will go ahead this year, a sign that grid constraints are forcing local governments to restrict capacity. ...more
 
Pledge against plastic: Emirates turns bottles into blankets 17/4/2018
The next time you board a long-haul Emirates flight and feel warm in a comforter, remember that what you are covering up with is not a blanket made of cotton, but from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles. ...more
 
Plastic-eating enzyme holds promise in fighting pollution - scientists 17/4/2018
Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could in future help in the fight against pollution. ...more
 
More than 95% of world's population breathe dangerous air, major study finds 17/4/2018
More than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found. ...more
 
China cuts smog but health damage already done: study 17/4/2018
While China has made progress cutting smog, the damage to the health of millions of people may already have been done, especially as the population ages, the head of a U.S.-based research agency said. ...more
 
BP aims to keep carbon emissions flat into 2025 17/4/2018
BP said on Monday it will keep carbon emissions flat over the decade to 2025 even as its oil and gas ouput is set to grow, responding to rising investor pressure to help tackle climate change. ...more
 
Dubai to launch first environment-monitoring satellite in 2019 16/4/2018
The environment-monitoring satellite of Dubai Municipality, DMSAT1, will be completed by the end of this year and will be launched in the second quarter of 2019, the civic body announced on Thursday. ...more
 
U.N. shipping agency reaches deal to cut CO2 emissions 16/4/2018
The United Nations shipping agency reached an agreement on Friday to cut carbon emissions, following years of slow progress. ...more
 
World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden 16/4/2018
The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden. ...more
 
Britain says new biofuel targets will reduce diesel reliance 16/4/2018
British biofuel targets coming into force this weekend will double the use of renewable fuels in the UK transport sector in 15 years and reduce reliance on imported diesel, the government said on Friday. ...more
 
Australia's 'punk turtle' risks being last of the Mohicans 16/4/2018
Australia’s Mary River Turtle - with its green Mohican-style hair and ability to breathe through its genitals - is one of the world’s most distinctive reptiles. ...more
 
 
Poll of the month
Are incinerators a safe solution for solid wastes management in the Arab region

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