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

February 2021 - 275
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Carbon Tax on Consumption?
NAJIB SAAB
While the Chinese deputy prime minister was addressing the Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by the Netherlands last week
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Andrew Steer
The Paris Deal at Five. Is it Working?
Andrew Steer
The 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement was on 12 December
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Marco Lambertini, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Maria Neira
Coronavirus is a warning to us to mend our broken relationship with nature
Marco Lambertini, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Maria Neira
The world must embrace a recovery that involves sustainable farming and clean energy. Anything else is a false economy
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Meet the
 Editor-in-Chief
Najib Saab
 
 
Selected articles News
Earth Resurrection Day 22/4/2020
Najib Saab - 22/4/2020 - On 22 April half a century ago, 20 million Americans took to the streets, demanding serious action to protect the environment and preserve nature. This uprising, which remains the largest mass event in the world, triggered changes far beyond the United States borders. Earth Day, as it has been named, became an annual event across 192 countries. Its launch in 1970 coincided with other initiatives that prompted the birth of the modern global environmental movement. After the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created, and it still leads international environmental work to this date. In the same year, the Club of Rome published its milestone report, "The Limits to Growth," which warned that the earth's ability to provide sustainable resources and absorb waste for the increasing billions of people is dwindling, and is in fact on the way to reach its limits. ...more
 
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
 
Britain to introduce greener gasoline at petrol stations by September 26/2/2021
Britain is set to introduce E10 gasoline, a motor fuel blended with 10% renewable fuels, by September this year, a move that could cut annual CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes, the government announced on Thursday. ...more
 
In Kenya, electric fences protect forests from human destruction 26/2/2021
What can stop wandering elephants, illegal logging and protect sources of water? Kenyan environmental group Rhino Ark Trust says: electric fences. Lots of them. ...more
 
China vows five-year plan dedicated to climate, but growth, security concerns weigh 26/2/2021
China has promised to dedicate its new “five-year plan” to tackling climate change, but concerns about economic growth and energy security are expected to temper the country’s green ambitions. ...more
 
Microplastics could affect the healing process for COVID-19 patients 26/2/2021
A new study reveals that microplastics from textiles could make it harder for lungs of those impacted by health conditions like COVID-19 to mend. ...more
 
How 30,000 elephant 'selfies' will help in conservation 26/2/2021
Zoo keepers have compiled the world's largest collection of thermal images of elephants. ...more
 
EU bets on data to prepare for climate change impacts 25/2/2021
The European Commission on Wednesday said it would create an arsenal of data tools to anticipate and adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change. ...more
 
Fire, drought, beetles ravage German forests, study finds 25/2/2021
The condition of German forests has deteriorated to record levels due to fire, drought and a bark beetle infestation, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday, prompting calls from environmental groups for greener policies. ...more
 
Reuters Exclusive: U.S. airline CEOs to meet with White House on cutting carbon footprint 25/2/2021
The chief executives of major U.S. airlines are set to meet virtually with two key White House advisers on Friday about efforts to reduce carbon emissions and use renewable fuels, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. ...more
 
Singapore port authority backs project to use ammonia as marine fuel 25/2/2021
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has joined an industry-led project to advance the use of ammonia as a marine fuel to reduce carbon emissions, it said on Wednesday. ...more
 
Alaska thunderstorms could triple if climate trends continue, scientists warn 25/2/2021
Alaska may need to brace for more thunderstorms — along with the landslides, floods and wildfires they can bring — if current climate trends continue, a team of scientists warns. ...more
 
Biden says U.S., Canada to work toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050 24/2/2021
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to work toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050. ...more
 
David Attenborough to U.N.: 'Climate change a threat to global security, I don't envy you' 24/2/2021
British naturalist David Attenborough warned on Tuesday that climate change is the biggest security threat that modern humans have ever faced, telling the U.N. Security Council: “I don’t envy you the responsibility that this places on all of you.” ...more
 
France's Macron proposes appointment of UN climate security envoy 24/2/2021
The United Nations Security Council should consider appointing a special envoy for climate security to coordinate the council’s efforts in this area, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. ...more
 
UN forum told meatless diets and farming innovations can help conquer global hunger 24/2/2021
A return to nature and traditional forms of farming will help to increase crop yields in regions starved of water and fertile soil, agricultural experts said. ...more
 
Freshwater fish in 'catastrophic' decline 24/2/2021
A report has warned of a "catastrophic" decline in freshwater fish, with nearly a third threatened by extinction. ...more
 
Oil spill off Israel reaches south Lebanese beaches 23/2/2021
Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab said on Monday he was following up on an oil spill that may have originated from a ship passing near the Israeli coast and has now reached the southern shores of Lebanon. ...more
 
IRENA Report Identifies Policy Measures to Advance Jordan’s Transition to Renewables 23/2/2021
A new report published today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has identified a series of policy measures that can help advance the energy transition towards renewable energy in Jordan. ...more
 
Indonesia’s pulp sector has achieved an 85% reduction of deforestation, but remains dependent on carbon-intensive peatland plantations 23/2/2021
New Trase data shows Indonesia’s success in reducing deforestation rates is undermined by the impact of developing pulpwood plantations on peatlands – associated with greenhouse gas emissions, fire risk and haze. ...more
 
U.S. energy regulator to examine climate change's threat to power reliability 23/2/2021
U.S. federal energy regulators said on Monday they will examine threats that climate change and extreme weather events pose to the country’s electric reliability in the wake of last week’s deadly Texas freeze that left millions of people without power. ...more
 
China urges to strengthen recycling of renewable resources 23/2/2021
China will speed up recycling and utilisation of renewable resources such as metals scrap in an effort to build low-carbon development and meet its carbon neutrality goal, the State Council said on Monday. ...more
 
It's official: U.S. back in the Paris climate club 22/2/2021
The United States officially rejoined the Paris climate agreement on Friday, reinvigorating the global fight against climate change as the Biden administration plans drastic emissions cuts over the next three decades. ...more
 
World Bank, IMF to consider climate change in debt reduction talks 22/2/2021
The World Bank is working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on ways to factor climate change into the negotiations about reducing the debt burdens of some poor countries, World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters in a Friday interview. ...more
 
EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 22/2/2021
Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said. ...more
 
Texas freeze led to release of tons of air pollutants as refineries shut 22/2/2021
The largest U.S. oil refiners released tons of air pollutants into the skies over Texas this past week, according to figures provided to the state, as refineries and petrochemical plants in the region scrambled to shut production during frigid weather. ...more
 
EU plans eco ranking for planes, flights: Welt am Sonntag 22/2/2021
The European Union is planning to create a new system to rank flights and aircraft according to their carbon footprint, German weekly Welt am Sonntag reported. ...more
 
 
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