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AFED Report 2018
 
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Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

March 2019
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Environment action urgent, stop being complacent
NAJIB SAAB
Stop being complacent, show some urgency, and get real about implementing the goals you set in 2015 for achieving sustainable development
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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
 
England could run short of water within 25 years 19/3/2019
England is set to run short of water within 25 years, the chief executive of the Environment Agency has warned. ...more
 
U.S. youth plan Washington rally to protest climate inaction 19/3/2019
Hundreds of youngsters are planning to skip school to join a rally in Washington on Friday as part of what organizers are calling an international Youth Climate Strike to seek action on climate change. ...more
 
Volleyball: FIVB launches campaign to recycle discarded fishing nets 19/3/2019
The World Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and marine conservation group Ghost Fishing Foundation have teamed up to collect discarded fishing nets from the oceans and recycle them into volleyball nets for local communities, the sport’s governing body said. ...more
 
UK scientists join race for lab-grown meat 19/3/2019
British scientists have joined the race to produce meat grown in the lab rather than reared on the hoof. ...more
 
Activists trying to prevent the vaquita porpoise from extinction 19/3/2019
Researchers just confirmed the sad news that only around 10 vaquita porpoises remain in the wild. Unless immediate steps are taken, these sea creatures will undoubtedly become extinct over the next few years. ...more
 
Air pollution is killing Europeans at an alarming rate 18/3/2019
New research reveals that 800,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in Europe each year. A previous study also confirms that dirty air kills 8.8 million people per year globally. ...more
 
Malaysia threatens WTO challenge to EU's move to drop palm biofuel 18/3/2019
Malaysia on Saturday threatened to bring a World Trade Organization challenge if the European Union goes ahead with recommendations to phase out palm oil from transport fuel used in the bloc. ...more
 
Climate strikes spread worldwide as students call for action 18/3/2019
Thousands of school pupils worldwide have abandoned classrooms for a day of protest against climate change. ...more
 
Finland plans to complete its coal ban one year early 18/3/2019
Finland is following through with its coal ban initiative and making it a top priority over the next 10 years. The country promised to eliminate its reliance on coal by 2030, and Finnish Parliament just pushed through a motion to complete the ban a year earlier than the previous goal. ...more
 
Dead whale washed up in Philippines had 40kg of plastic bags in its stomach 18/3/2019
A young whale that washed up in the Philippines died from “gastric shock” after ingesting 40kg of plastic bags. ...more
 
California declared totally drought free for first time in seven years 15/3/2019
California was declared totally drought free for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday, following unusually abundant winter rains and snowfall statewide, according to the government’s weekly report on U.S. drought conditions. ...more
 
Batteries included: Sweden's emissions-free ferries lead the charge 15/3/2019
A quiet revolution has taken place in the Oresund Strait between Sweden and Denmark where two of the world’s largest battery-powered ferries ply the waters after being converted from polluting diesel power. ...more
 
World Bank, AfDB commit $47 billion to African climate finance 15/3/2019
The World Bank and the African Development Bank will together commit more than $47 billion by 2025 to help African countries tackle the effects of climate change, the banks said on Thursday. ...more
 
German parliament approves exemptions from diesel bans to incentivise retrofits 15/3/2019
The German lower house of parliament on Thursday passed a law exempting certain vehicles from driving bans for older diesel vehicles, and giving cities leeway to skip bans if their nitrogen oxide levels were close to meeting European limits. ...more
 
Low-carbon heating to replace gas in new UK homes after 2025 15/3/2019
Gas boilers will be replaced by low-carbon heating systems in all new homes built after 2025 in an attempt to tackle the escalating climate crisis, Philip Hammond has said. ...more
 
Human health in dire straits if urgent actions are not made to protect the environment, warns landmark UN report 15/3/2019
The most comprehensive and rigorous assessment on the state of the environment completed by the UN in the last five years was published yesterday, warning that damage to the planet is so dire that people’s health will be increasingly threatened unless urgent action is taken. ...more
 
Endangered hawksbill turtles lay eggs on Dubai beach 14/3/2019
A bale of endangered hawksbill turtles has nested at Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time. ...more
 
Large-scale solar power set for double-digit growth: Goldman Sachs 14/3/2019
Utility-scale solar power capacity is expected to grow by double digits globally in 2019 and 2020, driven by expansions in the United States, Europe, Middle East and China, U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said on Thursday. ...more
 
EU singles out palm oil for removal from transport fuel 14/3/2019
The European Commission has concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out, setting the bloc on a collision course with major palm oil producers Malaysia and Indonesia. ...more
 
Dutch to introduce corporate CO2 tax as climate plans fall short 14/3/2019
The Dutch government announced on Wednesday a carbon tax for companies after a top advisory body said current plans to cut emissions will fall short of targets. ...more
 
Paris region to boost cycle commuting with bike parks and e-bikes 14/3/2019
The Paris region wants to boost the number of people who cycle to work by investing in new cycle lanes and infrastructure and a subsidized electric bike rental scheme. ...more
 
MoU signed to offset Game’s carbon footprint 13/3/2019
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 on Tuesday, to launch a joint initiative to cultivate local plants to offset the Games’ carbon footprint. ...more
 
Norway wealth fund's watchdog turns spotlight on India shipbreaking 13/3/2019
The ethics watchdog for Norway’s $1-trillion wealth fund will focus this year on shipbreaking on India’s beaches, which endangers workers and pollutes the sea and sand, and will also look into pollution caused by pharmaceutical companies. ...more
 
New Zealand PM Ardern backs students striking for climate action 13/3/2019
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave her support on Wednesday to a youth movement urging government action to tackle climate change ahead of protests by students across the world later this week. ...more
 
South Korea steps up fight against pollution, says problem is 'social disaster' 13/3/2019
South Korea on Wednesday ramped up its firepower as its battles pollution, passing a set of bills that designate the problem a ‘social disaster’ and which could unlock emergency funds to tackle the issue. ...more
 
U.S. solar installations to rebound in 2019 as prices plummet: Woodmac 13/3/2019
New U.S. solar installations will grow by 14 percent this year thanks to lower equipment prices that helped to revive a slew of delayed projects, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in its latest outlook released on Wednesday. ...more
 
 
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