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

November 2020 - 272
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Biden Resets Climate Policy
NAJIB SAAB
When President Donald Trump leaves the White House in two months, some executive orders that he issued will depart with him
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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
 
Temperature analysis shows UN goals 'within reach' 1/12/2020
A new analysis, seen by the BBC, suggests the goals of the UN Paris climate agreement are getting "within reach." ...more
 
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon skyrockets to 12-year high under Bolsonaro 1/12/2020
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest surged to a 12-year high in 2020, official government data showed on Monday, with destruction soaring since President Jair Bolsonaro took office and weakened environmental enforcement. ...more
 
Global CCS capacity grew by a third, but much more needed: report 1/12/2020
Global carbon capture and storage capacity grew by a third in the past year, but it was far too slow to meet global climate targets, the Global CCS Institute said on Tuesday. ...more
 
Biden, U.N. chief discuss 'strengthened partnership' on COVID-19, climate 1/12/2020
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden spoke with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Biden’s transition team said, discussing the need for a “strengthened partnership” to combat COVID-19 pandemic and climate change - two areas where President Donald Trump shunned a multilateral approach. ...more
 
China to force firms to report use of plastic in new recycling push 1/12/2020
Restaurants, e-commerce platforms and delivery firms will be forced to report their utilisation of single-use plastics to the authorities and also submit formal recycling plans, China’s commerce ministry said in proposals published on Monday. ...more
 
UAE cabinet approves climate change envoy 30/11/2020
The cabinet of the UAE government on Sunday appointed Industry and Advanced Technology Minister and head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan al-Jaber as a special envoy for climate change. ...more
 
Trump administration moves to weaken migratory bird protections 30/11/2020
The Trump administration took a step on Friday toward rolling back protections for migratory birds and reducing penalties for companies that inadvertently kill them, the latest effort to finalize regulatory rollbacks before President Donald Trump leaves office in January. ...more
 
Japan, South Korea, industry oppose EU plan to cut shipping emissions 30/11/2020
Japan, South Korea and a fleet of international shipping groups have warned the European Union against its plan to add greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector to Europe’s carbon market. ...more
 
Orsted says largest Dutch offshore wind farm ready to deliver 30/11/2020
Danish energy firm Orsted said on Friday it had finished building the largest offshore wind farm of the Netherlands, the first in a range that should boost the country’s share of sustainable energy in the coming decade. ...more
 
Elite runners brave Delhi race despite COVID-19 surge, pollution concerns 30/11/2020
Some of the world’s leading long-distance runners participated in a half-marathon in New Delhi on Sunday, even as India’s capital grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases and air pollution that has recently been among the world’s worst. ...more
 
Japan's ruling party to propose big spending on green investment: draft 27/11/2020
Japan’s ruling party will urge the government to lay out a big, decade-long spending programme to promote green investment, a draft proposal obtained by Reuters showed on Friday, a nod to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s carbon emission goals. ...more
 
Spending review 'undermines UK green vision' 27/11/2020
The UK chancellor's Spending Review has been accused of undermining the prime minister’s “green” vision by pushing ahead with a £27bn roads programme. ...more
 
Auditors raise 'red flag' over EU efforts to protect seas 27/11/2020
Efforts to protect the European Union seas are failing to slow biodiversity loss or prevent overfishing, with the Mediterranean under particular threat, a report by auditors said on Thursday. ...more
 
Mobile hospital for injured Australian wildlife hits the road 27/11/2020
A mobile hospital for injured wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos began a journey on Thursday to its new base in Byron Bay, on Australia’s east coast. ...more
 
New eco-friendly, decomposing construction foam unveiled 27/11/2020
Researchers have come up with a new, more eco-friendly and effective form of building insulation material. The new material was developed due to the shortcomings of the traditional polyurethane-based foam insulators. These traditional insulators harm the environment via the release of volatile compounds into the atmosphere. ...more
 
New Zealand's Ardern set to declare climate emergency 26/11/2020
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government is to declare a climate emergency in a symbolic step to increase pressure for action to combat global warming.H ...more
 
EU drafts deal to upgrade 2030 climate change target next month 26/11/2020
The European Union has drafted a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, against 1990 levels, a target it hopes its 27 members will endorse at a summit next month, the document showed. ...more
 
China's CO2 emissions will be higher in 2020 than in 2019, says IEA's Birol 26/11/2020
China’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase in 2020 compared to 2019 as they have rebounded after the COVID-19 outbreak, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. ...more
 
Climate-driven surge in scrap use could slash primary metal demand - Woodmac 26/11/2020
A surge in the use of scrap metal due to strict environmental policies could slash global demand for primary aluminium by almost half and cut demand for primary copper and iron by more than a third by 2040, Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. ...more
 
EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025 26/11/2020
The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday. ...more
 
Factbox: Global schemes put a price on carbon emissions 25/11/2020
Faced with the challenge of converting pledges to slash planet-warming emissions into policies, some of the world’s biggest economies are turning to the same tool: a carbon price. ...more
 
Europe climate group calls for end to subsidies for plug-in hybrid cars 25/11/2020
Plug-in hybrid cars emit far more CO2 than advertised, according to tests commissioned by European campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E), which on Monday called on governments to end subsidies and tax breaks for such models. ...more
 
EU, UN-led pact commits oil and gas firms to tackle methane emissions 25/11/2020
Dozens of oil and gas companies on Monday committed to report more accurately on and, ultimately, reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane which is liable to leak from oilfields and pipelines. ...more
 
New global bee map gives scientists a conservation baseline 25/11/2020
Bees are crucial pollinators for crops that humans consume, but their populations are on the decline. Now, a new, global bee map is tracking more than 20,000 bee species on Earth to help aid in their conservation. ...more
 
1% of global population causes 50% of all carbon pollution emitted by the aviation industry 25/11/2020
Recent research published in Global Environmental Change has revealed that only 1% of people cause half of all aviation pollution globally. According to the study, regular “super emitters” are polluting the environment at the expense of millions of people who do not fly. ...more
 
 
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