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

November-December 2016
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
Development in a changing Arab climate
NAJIB SAAB
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Even if all conflicts and wars were to stop immediately, the Arab region cannot meet the target of achiev
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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
 
Phase 3 of world’s largest solar park slated to begin this month 23/1/2017
Work on the world’s largest solar park is set to move forward this month. Phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will add 800 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to the enormous solar park. ...more
 
China approves first list of green car models for subsidies this year 23/1/2017
China released on Monday this year's first list of "recommended" green energy vehicles, paving the way for 185 car models to receive government subsidies. ...more
 
G20 farm ministers seek to protect precious water supplies 23/1/2017
Greater global efforts should be taken to safeguard precious world water supplies to secure food production, the agriculture ministers of the group of 20 leading economies (G20) said on Sunday. ...more
 
British village gets solar battery boost in green energy trial 23/1/2017
Villagers in northern England may soon see their electricity bills slashed by as much as 50 percent in a pilot project allowing them to use solar power around the clock. ...more
 
China bans more than 100 golf courses to safeguard resources 23/1/2017
China has ordered the closure of more than 100 golf courses, the powerful state planner said on Sunday, after a multi-year campaign to tackle illegal development in the sector. ...more
 
100 houbara bustards released in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region 20/1/2017
One hundred houbara bustards were released at the Western Region Al Oshoosh Reserve in Al Ajban last week, to help them adapt to the natural environment. ...more
 
Ancient warm period hints at bigger-than-expected sea level rise 20/1/2017
Sea levels could rise by a greater-than-expected six meters (20 ft) over many centuries even if governments cap global warming around current levels, scientists said on Thursday, based on clues from an ancient warm period. ...more
 
Argentine scientists in Antarctica tally toll of climate change 20/1/2017
On King George Island in Antarctica, the thunderous sound of ice sliding off the Fourcade Glacier and crashing into the icy water bordering Argentina's Carlini research base serves as a daily reminder of a warming climate. ...more
 
Densifying cities could cut emissions 20/1/2017
Densifying cities could cut emissions more than doing energy retrofits on buildings. That’s according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ...more
 
Recycling plant for electronics to be built in Sharjah 19/1/2017
A recycling centre for discarded electronics will be built in Sharjah, and its operator hopes to open more around the country. ...more
 
London toxic air alert issued as Mayor Sadiq Khan warns of ‘public health emergency’ 19/1/2017
A toxic air alert has been issued for London over the next three days, as Mayor Sadiq Khan warned of a "public health emergency". ...more
 
World temperatures hit new high in 2016 for third year in a row 19/1/2017
World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, creeping closer to a ceiling set for global warming with extremes including unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday. ...more
 
Primates facing 'extinction crisis' 19/1/2017
The world's primates face an "extinction crisis" with 60% of species now threatened with extinction, according to research. ...more
 
Green Sahara's ancient rainfall regime revealed by scientists 19/1/2017
Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year "Green Sahara" period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist. ...more
 
First bike sharing station launched in Beirut 18/1/2017
Beirut finally has a bike sharing system, thanks to efforts from Jawad Sbeity,in collaboration with Beirut’s governor Ziad Chebib and Beirut’s municipality. ...more
 
Bee’ah offers chance to win by recycling 18/1/2017
Sharjah’s environmental management company Bee’ah has launched Bee’ah Rewards to reward UAE residents for their recycling efforts. ...more
 
US contributes $500 million to UN Green Climate Fund 18/1/2017
The outgoing Barack Obama administration announced Tuesday a contribution of half a billion dollars to the UN Green Climate Fund, just three days before Donald Trump takes over the White House. ...more
 
Chinese authorities tell local weather forecasters to stop issuing smog alerts 18/1/2017
Chinese authorities have asked an unnamed Chinese province to turn off its early warning alert system for smog to avoid mismatches between environment and meteorological authority forecasts, state media reported late on Tuesday. ...more
 
Greenpeace slams HSBC for funding destructive Indonesian palm oil firms 18/1/2017
Environmental group Greenpeace International on Tuesday slammed HSBC Holdings Plc for allegedly funding palm oil companies in Indonesia that it says have destroyed tropical rainforests. ...more
 
Oslo temporarily bans diesel cars to combat pollution 18/1/2017
Oslo will ban diesel cars from the road for at least two days this week to combat rising air pollution, angering some motorists after they were urged to buy diesel cars a few years ago. ...more
 
Saudi to launch $30-50 billion renewable energy program soon: minister 17/1/2017
Saudi Arabia will launch in coming weeks a renewable energy program that is expected to involve investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday. ...more
 
Businesses can unlock $12 trillion via key development goals: Davos study 17/1/2017
Companies could unlock at least $12 trillion in market opportunities by 2030 and create up to 380 million jobs by implementing a few key development goals, according to a study by a group including global business and finance leaders. ...more
 
China halts over 100 coal-fired power projects: Caixin 17/1/2017
China's energy regulator has ordered 11 provinces to stop more than 100 coal-fired power projects, some of which are under construction, with a combined installed capacity of more than 100 gigawatts, Caixin reported on Tuesday. ...more
 
UK's Prince Charles co-authors 'Ladybird' guide to climate change 17/1/2017
Britain's Prince Charles, a vocal environmental campaigner, has co-authored a basic guide to the problems posed by climate change. ...more
 
Paris vehicle pollution sticker scheme comes into force 17/1/2017
Drivers in Paris must display an anti-pollution sticker in their vehicles or face fines in the latest attempt by the French authorities to improve air quality. ...more
 
 
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Arab Environment 9: sustainable Development in a Changing Arab Climate
 
 
 
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