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

April 2020 - 265
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Education on environment creates prosperity and stability
NAJIB SAAB
When discussing environmental changes and challenges, and their relation to sustainable development, the role of education cannot be underestimated
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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
 
UK using 1.2 billion tonnes of material a year 3/4/2020
The UK is using 1.2 billion tonnes of materials a year – that’s the equivalent of 18.5 tonnes of material for every person in the country. ...more
 
Trump's industry-friendly rollback could kill billions of birds, warns ex-wildlife chief 3/4/2020
The Trump administration intends to end the long-established practice of threatening criminal penalties to pressure companies into taking action to prevent unintentional bird deaths. ...more
 
Frozen and desolate Antarctica once boasted warm, swampy rainforests 3/4/2020
Antarctica is now a harsh land of ice and snow, but has not always been that way. ...more
 
California sets goal to double clean energy by 2030 3/4/2020
California on Thursday adopted a new emissions target for its electric sector that would double the state’s clean energy capacity over the next decade and close the door to development of new natural gas plants, but green groups said the goal was not aggressive enough. ...more
 
Singapore, Japanese companies join to explore hydrogen as energy source 3/4/2020
Five companies from Singapore and two from Japan have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative to power Singapore’s energy future, the companies said in a statement on Monday. ...more
 
Climate summit in Glasgow postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic 2/4/2020
A climate summit that had been due to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Wednesday, throwing new uncertainty into talks to tackle global warming. ...more
 
Challengers rev their engines to fight Trump's auto emissions weakening 2/4/2020
Just two months after taking office, President Donald Trump in March 2017 traveled to Michigan to announce that he would undo ambitious vehicle emissions standards mandated under his predecessor Barack Obama, portraying the reversal as a boost to the U.S. auto industry centered in the Midwestern state. ...more
 
Oceans can be restored to former glory within 30 years, say scientists 2/4/2020
The glory of the world’s oceans could be restored within a generation, according to a major new scientific review. It reports rebounding sea life, from humpback whales off Australia to elephant seals in the US and green turtles in Japan. ...more
 
Climate change: Warming clips the nightingale's wings 2/4/2020
Rising temperatures may be having a profound physical impact on one of the world's favourite songbirds. ...more
 
Coronavirus comes to rescue of Sierra Leone's plundered rosewood 2/4/2020
The unpaved road leading to Sierra Leone’s Outamba-Kilimi national park was busy last month with men loading rosewood logs into trucks for export to China, an illegal trade that has devastated some West African forests. ...more
 
Trump finalizes rollback of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency standards 1/4/2020
President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday completed a rollback of U.S. vehicle emissions standards adopted under his predecessor Barack Obama and will require 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026 - far weaker than the 5% increases in the discarded rules. ...more
 
EU presses on with tighter 2030 climate target despite pandemic 1/4/2020
The EU executive kick-started its plan to set a tougher 2030 emissions target on Tuesday, a move that could help maintain the bloc’s focus on climate change despite pressure to soften its green ambitions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. ...more
 
Report reveals ‘massive plastic pollution footprint’ of drinks firms 1/4/2020
Four global drinks giants are responsible for more than half a million tonnes of plastic pollution in six developing countries each year, enough to cover 83 football pitches every day, according to a report. ...more
 
Climate-killing products should come with smoking-style warnings 1/4/2020
Cigarette packets with grisly warnings of the consequences of smoking are intended to deter smokers. Now a group of public health experts says similar warnings should appear on high-carbon products, from airline tickets and energy bills to petrol pumps, to show consumers the health impacts of the climate crisis. ...more
 
Climate crisis may have pushed world's tropical coral reefs to tipping point of 'near-annual' bleaching 1/4/2020
Rising ocean temperatures could have pushed the world’s tropical coral reefs over a tipping point where they are hit by bleaching on a “near-annual” basis, according to the head of a US government agency program that monitors the globe’s coral reefs. ...more
 
Carbon-free hydrogen production needs multi-billion dollar subsidies to make it cost effective: research 31/3/2020
The falling cost of producing hydrogen from renewable power offers a promising route to cutting emissions, but governments need to step in and provide $150 billion of subsidies over the next decade to scale up the technology, according to research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). ...more
 
Global coal plant development fell for fourth year running in 2019: research 31/3/2020
Global coal power plant development declined for the fourth year running in 2019, while a total of 13 gigawatts (GW) of capacity construction has been delayed so far this year due to the coronavirus, research by environmental organizations shows. ...more
 
EU sticks to carbon deadlines despite coronavirus delay calls 31/3/2020
A European Union deadline of April 30 for firms to surrender emissions trading system (ETS) carbon allowances will stand, despite calls for extensions from some industry groups due to the coronavirus pandemic. ...more
 
Scientists find bug that feasts on toxic plastic 31/3/2020
A bacterium that feeds on toxic plastic has been discovered by scientists. The bug not only breaks the plastic down but uses it as food to power the process. ...more
 
Waste management an essential public service in the fight to beat COVID-19 31/3/2020
With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to spread and its impacts upon human health and the economy intensifying day-by-day, governments are urged to treat waste management, including of medical, household and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service in order to minimise possible secondary impacts upon health and the environment. ...more
 
Coronavirus: 'Stay at home' measure improves air quality 30/3/2020
Air quality across the UAE and the wider Middle East is improving after authorities urged people to stay at home to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. ...more
 
Probably the worst year in a century': the environmental toll of 2019 30/3/2020
Record heat and drought across Australia delivered the worst environmental conditions across the country since at least 2000, with river flows, tree cover and wildlife being hit on an “unprecedented scale”, according to a new report. ...more
 
Coronavirus lockdowns give Europe's cities cleaner air 30/3/2020
Air pollution has decreased in urban areas across Europe during lockdowns to combat the coronavirus, new satellite images showed on Monday, but campaigners warned city-dwellers were still more vulnerable to the epidemic. ...more
 
EU leaders agree to consider climate in coronavirus recovery plan 30/3/2020
European Union leaders have agreed that the bloc’s coronavirus economic recovery plan should take heed of its aim to fight climate change. ...more
 
Trump administration allows companies to break pollution laws during coronavirus pandemic 30/3/2020
The US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has suspended its enforcement of environmental laws during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, signaling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans. ...more
 
 
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