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

February 2017 - 227
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Climate change, natural resources and conflicts in Arab countries
NAJIB SAAB
Was the chaos in the Arab region instigated by the early impacts of climate change
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Tom Delay
What happened at COP22 in Marrakech? Four key themes
Tom Delay
COP22 in Marrakech was never going to hit the headlines in the same way that the climate talks in Paris did last year
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MATHIS WACKERNAGEL
How Switzerland made history with green economy vote
MATHIS WACKERNAGEL
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This weekend, Switzerland made world history, even though not as much as we would have liked
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Mey Sayegh
Inspiring stories from the MENA region: Women & Water Integrity
Mey Sayegh
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Refraining from paying water bills pushed Fardous Al Shabbar, the chairperson of the Jordanian Women's Un
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Ashok Khosla
Tolba, a great world leader, transformer and mentor
Ashok Khosla
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Although we had met several times in places like Stockholm, Geneva and Paris, I first properly got to kno
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Meet the
 Editor-in-Chief
Najib Saab
 
 
Selected articles News
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
 
Dubai’s crazy rotating wind-powered skyscraper is actually being built (VIDEO) 22/2/2017
The modern world is full of unique, eye-catching buildings – but an upcoming Dubai skyscraper is about to put a new spin on the field of architecture. ...more
 
Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency rules 22/2/2017
A trade association representing General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and nine other automakers on Tuesday asked new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules through 2025. ...more
 
Abu Dhabi plan to reuse 75% of waste by 2021 21/2/2017
Eight recycling plants in the capital are focusing on recycling more than 60 per cent of waste by 2020 and 75 per cent by 2021. ...more
 
Fish under threat from ocean oxygen depletion, finds study 21/2/2017
The depletion of oxygen in our oceans threatens future fish stocks and risks altering the habitat and behaviour of marine life, scientists have warned, after a new study found oceanic oxygen levels had fallen by 2% in 50 years. ...more
 
Singapore says carbon tax likely to include oil refineries 21/2/2017
A tax proposed by Singapore on emissions of greenhouse gases will likely cover the city-state's oil refineries, a government official said on Tuesday, driving up costs in one of the region's key energy hubs. ...more
 
Elephants on parade in Laos as numbers dwindle 21/2/2017
Dozens of elephants, adorned in bright colors and with garlands of flowers, paraded through a Laotian town on Saturday in a celebration of a species that has become increasingly scarce in the Southeast Asian country. ...more
 
China is building the world’s first migratory ‘Bird Airport’ 21/2/2017
Modern architecture has often been accused of encroaching on wildlife habitats – but McGregor Coxall just unveiled a new project that’s literally for the birds. The world’s first migratory “Bird Airport” is designed to convert a landfill in Lingang, China into a wetland bird sanctuary. ...more
 
Abu Dhabi announces 5-year environment strategy 20/2/2017
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched its new Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020, which defines the strategic initiatives that contribute to the Abu Dhabi Plan and the successful implementation of its priorities. ...more
 
Climate doubter Pruitt takes EPA reins as Trump targets regulations 20/2/2017
The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. ...more
 
London to introduce vehicle pollution tax from October 20/2/2017
London will introduce a charge on the oldest and most polluting vehicles from October in a new effort to improve air quality, Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday. ...more
 
China names and shames cities over smog controls 20/2/2017
China's environment ministry has named and shamed several cities in the north of the country for not doing enough to cope with smog, state news agency Xinhua reported. ...more
 
Scientists claim existence of drowned Pacific Ocean continent 20/2/2017
A continent two-thirds the size of Australia has been found beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean, scientists reported in the journal of the Geological Society of America. ...more
 
Now companies can buy documented green power in the Gulf 17/2/2017
For the first time, companies operating in the Gulf can purchase documented renewable energy. ECOHZ now offers green power documented by the International REC Standard. By buying I-RECs companies can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability rating. ...more
 
Manhattan-sized iceberg shears off Antarctica glacier 17/2/2017
An iceberg the size of Manhattan has sheared off the rapidly melting Pine Island glacier on the West coast of Antarctica, and from the looks of things, there will be more to come says NASA. ...more
 
Tiny plastic pellets found on 73% of UK beaches 17/2/2017
A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets. The lentil-size pellets known as “nurdles” are used as a raw material by industry to make new plastic products. But searches of 279 shorelines from Shetland to Scilly revealed that 205 (73%) contained pellets. ...more
 
Seagrass on decline, jeopardizing human, coral health: study 17/2/2017
Underwater meadows of seagrass offer important protection against pollution to both humans and coral reefs, but are in jeopardy worldwide due to climate change, sewage and agricultural runoff, researchers said Thursday. ...more
 
Seven insect species found in UAE for the first time 16/2/2017
Seven insect species have been reported in the UAE for the first time by a university researcher. ...more
 
Shipping industry calls for exemption from EU carbon market reform 16/2/2017
The global shipping industry has urged the European Union to drop the sector's inclusion in proposals adopted on Wednesday to reform the bloc's carbon market, saying it risks distorting trade and international efforts to cut the sector's emissions. ...more
 
China considers approvals for 207 green energy vehicle models 16/2/2017
China's industry ministry said on Tuesday that 207 green energy vehicles are applying for official approval for road use, amid increased oversight of the country's massive subsidy scheme promoting the segment. ...more
 
Air pollution 'final warning' from European Commission to UK 16/2/2017
The European Commission has sent a "final warning" to the UK over breaches of air pollution limits. ...more
 
Jimmy Carter built a new solar plant on his old peanut farm 16/2/2017
Jimmy Carter is once again pioneering solar energy projects. The former president who almost 40 years ago installed solar panels at the White House just unveiled a solar power project on his Plains, Georgia farm, where he once cultivated soybeans and peanuts. ...more
 
RTA buys 200 electric cars from Tesla 15/2/2017
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has signed an agreement with Tesla to buy 200 electric-powered cars. The vehicles will be Model S sedans and Model X SUVs to be added to Dubai Taxi Corporation’s fleet of limousines. ...more
 
Sea ice around Antarctica hits record low, preliminary U.S. data show 15/2/2017
Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of man-made global warming, preliminary U.S. satellite data showed on Tuesday. ...more
 
G20 urged to ditch fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, go green 15/2/2017
Investors and insurers with more than $2.8 trillion in assets under management on Wednesday called on the Group of 20 economies to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 despite U.S. doubts about climate change. ...more
 
Wind power briefly sets record as source for electricity in U.S. 15/2/2017
Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on Sunday, the 14-state Southwest Power Pool (SPP) said, for the first time on any North American power grid. ...more
 
Act now before entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists 15/2/2017
The impact of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow its effects before entire species are lost for good. ...more
 
 
Poll of the month
Do you prefer the environmental policy adopted by Trump or the one adopted by Obama?

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