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AFED report 2020
 
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Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

June 2020 - 267
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
The environmentalist minister of energy
NAJIB SAAB
Amid news about the increasing number of coronavirus deaths, confirmed cases, and the fear for new waves of the virus, other positive news has gone
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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
 
Climate battles are moving into the courtroom, and lawyers are getting creative 3/7/2020
Climate change may be having its day in court. ...more
 
World's e-waste 'unsustainable', says UN report citing China, India and U.S 3/7/2020
Across the river from Delhi’s Red Fort, the grim neighbourhood of Seelampur lives off what consumers in the modern world throw away - their broken or obsolete electronic and electrical goods. ...more
 
Backpack volunteers gather data showing pollution rising after lockdowns 3/7/2020
Alex George walks to work in southeast London with a pack of sensors strapped to his back, one of an army of volunteers gathering data that experts say suggest pollution levels may be bouncing back as coronavirus lockdowns ease. ...more
 
Confusion, resistance as Indonesian capital starts single-use plastics ban 3/7/2020
Confusion reigned in malls and markets in Indonesia’s capital on Thursday as a new ban on single-use plastics in one of the world’s biggest ocean-polluting nations failed to gain much traction. ...more
 
60% of fish species could be unable to survive in current areas by 2100 – study 3/7/2020
Sixty per cent of studied fish species will be unable to survive in their current ranges by 2100 if climate warming reaches a worst-case scenario of 4-5C (7.2-9F) above pre-industrial temperatures, researchers have found. ...more
 
Huge acceleration of clean energy innovation needed to meet net zero target: IEA 2/7/2020
A global goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will not be met without a huge acceleration in clean energy innovation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. ...more
 
Fires in Brazil's Amazon jump in June, stoking fears for dry season 2/7/2020
The number of fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose 20% in June to a 13-year-high for the month, government data showed on Wednesday, as researchers worry that it could signal a repeat of last year’s surge in forest fires. ...more
 
House Democrats lay out new roadmap for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 2/7/2020
House Democrats on Tuesday will unveil a plan to cut nearly 90% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including mandating sales of zero-emission cars by 2035 and decarbonizing the power grid by 2040. ...more
 
Is the hydrogen tech 'revolution' hope or hype? 2/7/2020
In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype? ...more
 
Hundreds of elephants found dead in Botswana 2/7/2020
Mystery surrounds the "completely unprecedented" deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana over the last two months. ...more
 
Abu Dhabi wildlife thrives during Stay Home measures 1/7/2020
Abu Dhabi’s natural habitats have thrived during the coronavirus-related Stay Home measures, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced on Tuesday. ...more
 
EU hopes to strike deal on climate change law this year 1/7/2020
The European Union hopes to reach a deal this year on a law to make its climate targets irreversible, the bloc’s energy chief said on Tuesday, amid concerns that talks between countries could drag into 2021. ...more
 
Global oil demand, CO2 emissions likely peaked in 2019: energy consultancy 1/7/2020
Global oil demand and carbon dioxide emissions probably peaked in 2019 as the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on both, energy consultancy DNV GL said on Wednesday. ...more
 
U.N. backs changes to aviation emissions scheme in boost for airlines 1/7/2020
A UN agency agreed on Tuesday to change a landmark aviation emissions scheme, in a boost for airlines that said they could face billions of dollars in costs under the current deal when air travel recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. ...more
 
BMW to source battery cells produced using renewable energy 1/7/2020
German carmaker BMW on Tuesday said its electric cars will use battery cells produced using renewable energy, a step which will compel the biggest suppliers to source more non-coal generated electricity. ...more
 
Amazon deforestation is linked to lower corn yields in Brazil, study says 30/6/2020
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon and neighboring savannah may be hurting regional corn yields, according to a new study released on Monday. ...more
 
South Pole warmed three times the global rate in last 30 years: study 30/6/2020
At the South Pole, considered the coldest point on Earth, temperatures are rising fast. ...more
 
France's Macron pledges 15-billion-euro green push after vote rout 30/6/2020
French President Emmanuel Macron promised 15 billion euros ($16.9 billion) of new funding on Monday to speed up moves to a greener economy, a day after the Greens trounced his party and took control of big cities in local elections. ...more
 
Bank of England tells banks to push on with climate risk analysis 30/6/2020
The Bank of England (BoE) has told banks and insurers to press ahead with analysing the impact of climate change on their operations, saying that guidance published on Monday would be followed by targets next year. ...more
 
Austria increases incentives to buy electric cars 30/6/2020
Austria will boost financial incentives for buying battery-powered cars and bicycles, and triple grants for charging points from July in its efforts to fight global warming, the economy minister said on Monday. ...more
 
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan hope for Nile dam deal in weeks 29/6/2020
Leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt said they were hopeful that the African Union (AU) could help them broker a deal to end a decade-long dispute over water supplies within two or three weeks. ...more
 
Carmakers slip further from compliance with upcoming EU CO2 goals 29/6/2020
Carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in Europe rose for a third year running in 2019, provisional data from the European Union’s environment agency (EEA) showed on Friday, with carmakers further lagging the bloc’s upcoming climate goals. ...more
 
Most EU countries not doing enough to tackle air pollution, Commission says 29/6/2020
Most European Union countries are at risk of missing their targets for reducing health-damaging air pollution for both 2020 and 2030, the European Commission said on Friday. ...more
 
How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life 29/6/2020
A teaspoon of soil from the Amazon contains as many as 1,800 microscopic life forms, of which 400 are fungi. ...more
 
Washing machines' microplastic filters 'untested' 29/6/2020
Filters can cut the volume of ocean-bound microplastic fibres released by washing machines, a study has shown. ...more
 
 
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