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

June 2019
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Trump is transient coincidence, climate change is lasting reality
NAJIB SAAB
When I first met him 20 years ago, I did not notice that the veteran international banker had a particular interest in environment and climate change
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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
Wastewater Treatment: Overview, Types, Energy Consumption & Actual State in Lebanon with Proposal of Using Renewable Energy 3/7/2019
This paper provides an overview of Wastewater Treatment issue in Lebanon, past, present, and Future. The paper briefs the status of wastewater types adopted in the general study approved by Lebanese Government to cover the country at the level of design and implementation along with the relevant energy consumption. Accordingly, we shall consider that paper as a recapitulation on exerted efforts by both Government and Council of Development and Reconstruction (CDR) to reach reliable and sustainable wastewater network and wastewater treatment plants. The perspective that we intend as a conclusion is the potential of renewable energy exploitation and treated wastewater reuse assisting the path of autonomy of WWTP’s and improvement of the energy management in wastewater treatment based on the integration of renewable energy and biogas. ...more
 
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
 
City of Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings and homes 24/7/2019
The Californian city of Berkeley has become the first in the country to pass a ban on natural gas piping in new buildings, including private homes. ...more
 
Animals failing to adapt to speed of climate crisis, study finds 24/7/2019
The speed of climate disruption is outstripping many animals’ capacity to adapt, according to a study that warns of a growing threat to even common species such as sparrows, magpies and deer. ...more
 
BHP makes $400 million climate-change emissions pledge 24/7/2019
Leading resources company BHP will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions, it said on Tuesday, becoming the first miner to pledge to tackle pollution caused when customers use its products. ...more
 
London becomes the world’s first National Park City 24/7/2019
When you think of a national park, images of sweeping landscapes and rolling hills likely spring to mind. ...more
 
Indonesia to close island in bid to save Komodo dragons 24/7/2019
Indonesia plans to close its eastern island of Komodo to the public next year in a bid to conserve rare Komodo dragons, the largest living species of lizard, a provincial official said on Tuesday. ...more
 
Floating solar panels for rain water drainage lakes 23/7/2019
As part of their joint efforts to transition to renewable energy, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) are studying the installation of a floating photovoltaic solar panel system on the deep tunnel rainwater drainage lakes implemented by the Municipality, which is 50 percent in completion. ...more
 
Scotland generating enough wind energy to power two Scotlands 23/7/2019
Wind turbines in Scotland generated almost twice the entire country’s domestic power requirements In the first six months of the year. ...more
 
Singapore seizes ivory from nearly 300 elephants in record haul 23/7/2019
Singapore said on Tuesday it had seized 8.8 tonnes of elephant ivory, a record haul by authorities in the city-state, which conservation groups say is a transit point for the illegal wildlife trade. ...more
 
£680m of UK foreign aid spent on fossil fuel projects – study 23/7/2019
The British government has spent £680m of its foreign aid budget on fossil fuel projects since 2010, according to analysis that highlights the UK’s failure to align diplomatic, trade and aid policies with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. ...more
 
Cigarette butts, the No. 1 most-littered item, are impacting plant growth 23/7/2019
In the frenzy to ban plastic utensils, foam containers, straws and single-use bags, the world’s No. 1 most-littered item has been mostly ignored: cigarette butts. ...more
 
Earth Overshoot Day 2019 is July 29, the earliest date ever 23/7/2019
On July 29, humanity will have used nature’s resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability organization that has pioneered the Ecological Footprint. It is Earth Overshoot Day. Its date has moved up two months over the past 20 years to the 29th of July this year, the earliest date ever. ...more
 
Camel dung fuels cement production in northern UAE 22/7/2019
Thousands of tonnes of camel dung are being used to fuel cement production in the northern United Arab Emirates, cutting emissions and keeping animal waste out of landfill. ...more
 
Panama becomes first Central American nation to ban plastic bags 22/7/2019
Panama on Saturday became the first Central American nation to ban single-use plastic bags to try to curb pollution on its beaches and help tackle what the United Nations has identified as one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. ...more
 
World's longest electric road trip ends in New Zealand 22/7/2019
A Dutch sustainability advocate completed the longest ever journey in an electric vehicle in New Zealand on Friday after a three-year drive that took him through more than 30 countries. ...more
 
Air travellers may have to pay carbon charge to offset emissions 22/7/2019
Air passengers may have to pay an extra “carbon charge” on flights as part of a government initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle the climate crisis. ...more
 
Zara pledges 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025 22/7/2019
Last week, major fashion brand Zara announced a pledge to use 100 percent sustainable fabrics by 2025. The company also upped the ante for large-scale sustainable fashion by promising to use 80 percent renewable energy for its headquarters, factories and stores by the same deadline. ...more
 
Car parts from weeds: The future of green motoring? 19/7/2019
Cars are responsible for a lot of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, but so is their manufacture. Could plastic made from weeds, modular designs and other innovations help the motor industry reduce its carbon footprint? ...more
 
Giant totems in Poland warn against climate change catastrophe 19/7/2019
In the heart of Poznań, Poland, artist Alicja Biała and architect Iwo Borkowicz have installed Totemy, a series of giant sculptures designed to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues. ...more
 
June 2019 was the hottest June on record across the globe - NOAA 19/7/2019
June 2019 was the hottest June in 140 years, setting a global record, according to the latest monthly global climate report released on Thursday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ...more
 
Brazil deforestation soars in July, threatening EU trade deal 19/7/2019
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest accelerated in the first half of July, outstripping the full month last year and raising red flags for a regional trade deal with the European Union. ...more
 
Climate fears lift Greens' chances of running Germany 19/7/2019
A former trampolinist and a children’s author have led the Greens to a spectacular comeback in Germany, raising the once-unthinkable prospect of a Green chancellor succeeding Angela Merkel. ...more
 
Lionfish invasion in Cyprus? If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em 18/7/2019
“Wanted”, says the poster of a lionfish on the quay side in Larnaca marina. Dead, or fried. ...more
 
As Trump touts U.S. air quality, EPA data shows some areas worsening 18/7/2019
The number of unhealthy air days in major cities across the United States has risen sharply over the last two years, even as emissions of key pollutants continue to slip, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. ...more
 
'Artificial snow' could save stricken Antarctic ice sheet - study 18/7/2019
Governments could stop the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from sliding into the ocean and submerging coastal cities by launching a last-ditch engineering project to blanket its surface with “artificial snow”, according to a study released on Wednesday. ...more
 
Plastic cups runneth over at Cambodia's Rubbish Cafe 18/7/2019
As Southeast Asia grapples with massive tides of rubbish hitting its beaches, a Cambodian coffee shop owner is looking to build a business out of some of this waste as a way to promote sustainability. ...more
 
Orangutan numbers drop as much as 30% in Malaysian palm oil estate forests - WWF 18/7/2019
Orangutan populations in forest patches found in oil palm estates in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah fell as much as 30% in 15 years, but the overall population of the species in the area is stable, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said. ...more
 
 
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