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

May 2018
Editorial
Forum
NAJIB SAAB
The Alternative Investment
NAJIB SAAB
According to a report recently released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Frankfurt School of Finance and Bloomberg
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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
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
 
U.S. conservationists sue Trump administration over migratory bird policy 25/5/2018
A coalition of conservation groups sued the Trump administration on Thursday, accusing the government of slashing protections for migratory birds. ...more
 
China aims to boost solid waste recycling, halt illegal dumping 25/5/2018
Beijing outlined new measures on Friday to improve the way it recycles and disposes of solid waste like bricks and concrete and prevent illegal dumping, in a bid to tackle one of China’s biggest pollution problems. ...more
 
Financial firms face new EU disclosure requirements on green investment 25/5/2018
The European Commission proposed on Thursday new rules to force asset managers, insurers and pension funds to disclose how they take into account environmental risks in their investments and abide by clearer criteria when they claim “green” credentials. ...more
 
Higher CO2 levels may lead to decreased nutrients in rice 25/5/2018
According to new research from an international team of scientists, the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may cause a decrease in the nutritional value of rice. ...more
 
500-mile-long shark highway could become a protected wildlife corridor 25/5/2018
For the very first time, scientists filmed sharks traveling along a 500-mile-long shark highway in the Pacific Ocean that stretches between the Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island. ...more
 
Hilton hotels vow to ban plastic by end of 2018 24/5/2018
Hotels run by the Hilton group in the UAE will ban all use of plastic straws by the end of the year to join the growing campaign against plastic pollution. ...more
 
China could meet emissions pledge early; carbon market on track: officials 24/5/2018
China’s top climate envoy on Wednesday said the country could meet its pledge to cap carbon emissions ahead of its target of around 2030, while a senior environmental official said plans for a carbon market were on track despite ministerial restructuring. ...more
 
Exxon to cut methane emissions in bid to tackle climate change 24/5/2018
Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday it was targeting a 15 percent cut in methane emissions by 2020, the latest effort by an oil major to reduce its carbon footprint and address climate change concerns. ...more
 
Hitting toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows 24/5/2018
Achieving the toughest climate change target set in the global Paris agreement will save the world about $30tn in damages, far more than the costs of cutting carbon emissions, according to a new economic analysis. ...more
 
A 30-year drought may be coming: here’s how you can save water 24/5/2018
The sun is shining and we are due a hot bank holiday Monday, so it must be time for a drought story. And not just any old drought, but one stretching into the 2050s and beyond, according to the Environment Agency, which warns that our use of water is unsustainable. ...more
 
German city of Hamburg to ban old diesel vehicles in some areas from May 31 23/5/2018
The northern German city of Hamburg will introduce a ban on old diesel vehicles on two streets on May 31, the city’s government said on Wednesday, raising pressure on Volkswagen and other carmakers to provide fixes for polluting models. ...more
 
UK government launches plan to curb air pollution 23/5/2018
The British government announced on Tuesday it was launching a new plan which aims to reduce air pollution and its costs on society by 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) a year by 2020. ...more
 
Mappers look to chart world's ocean floor by 2030 23/5/2018
Using data collected from underwater drones, merchant ships, fishing boats and even explorers, a new scientific project aims to map the ocean floor by 2030 and solve one of the world’s enduring mysteries. ...more
 
Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study 23/5/2018
Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet. ...more
 
USDA releases controversial GMO food label prototypes 23/5/2018
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently unveiled label prototypes for food with genetically modified ingredients. ...more
 
Is there enough water and land on Earth to meet global food demands? 22/5/2018
According to the United Nations, there are 7.6 billion people living on Earth today. Of those 7.6 billion, 815 million people are already going hungry. ...more
 
Nine African cities commit to reaching zero carbon by 2050 22/5/2018
Nine cities across Africa, a continent vulnerable to climate change, are taking action. Recently, these cities pledged to deliver their share of carbon emissions reductions to hit Paris Agreement goals. ...more
 
Pollution turns India's white marble Taj Mahal yellow and green 22/5/2018
India’s white-marble Taj Mahal is turning yellow and green as the 17th century mausoleum weathers filthy air in the world’s eighth-most polluted city. ...more
 
London considering car-free days in bid to tackle air pollution 22/5/2018
London is considering introducing car-free days in an attempt to tackle the city’s air pollution crisis that experts say is responsible for thousands of early deaths each year. ...more
 
Adidas unveils a Manchester United jersey created with ocean plastic 22/5/2018
Ocean plastic just got a flashy new awareness effort—in Manchester United Football Club jerseys. ...more
 
Seeds of hope: The gardens springing up in refugee camps 21/5/2018
"Syria is green," says Aveen Ismail. "But here it was like a desert until we started growing plants and trees." ...more
 
China's Xi urges end to waste and irrational consumption in eco push - Xinhua 21/5/2018
China’s President Xi Jinping said the country must fight against waste and irrational consumption as it bids to reverse the damage done to its environment after decades of breakneck growth, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday. ...more
 
Oil & Gas industry needs to do more on climate change: investors 21/5/2018
Sixty global investors on Friday called on the oil and gas industry to do more to tackle climate change, ratcheting up pressure on company boards ahead of several high profile annual shareholder meetings. ...more
 
Netherlands to ban coal-fired power plants in blow to RWE 21/5/2018
The Netherlands will ban the use of coal in electricity generation in the coming decade and shut down two of its five coal-fired plants at the end of 2024 unless they switch fuels. ...more
 
NASA study shows water shortages could worsen without action 21/5/2018
In a recent “first-of-its-kind” study led by NASA, scientists found major changes to freshwater availability — changes that could impact water shortages over the course of the century. ...more
 
 
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