Earth Day 2016 – Trees for the Earth

Earth Day has now grown into a global environmental tradition making it the largest civic observance in the world and is widely celebrated event in which over one billion people from over 190 countries will participate by taking suitable actions for saving our mother Earth. The Earth Day was first organized in 1970 to promote respect for life on the planet and to encourage awareness on air, water and soil pollution. Each year a different theme or topic is selected. The theme of Earth Day 2016 is ‘Trees for the Earth’ focusing on planting more trees thereby reducing our climate change … Continue reading

My Little Paper Recycling Project

Paper industry is considered as one of the world’s largest consumers of fossil fuels and biggest industrial polluter. The industry is criticized by environmental groups for being responsible for massive deforestation around the world. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture.  Paper wastes constitute as much as one-fourth of the solid … Continue reading

Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Gaza: Perspectives

There are multiple constraints which limit the development of more sustainable and resilient urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip (and the West Bank). Current urban development policies, land use classification systems and planning have ignored to recognise urban agriculture as a land use category and urban development strategy. Furthermore, there is still a lack of research on participatory urban agricultural development, improved production techniques, urban policies and strategies related to agricultural land use. Policy and institutional reform initiatives will be significant to enhance the potential of urban agriculture for food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable urbanisation. Agricultural Land Availability and … Continue reading

Jordan’s Journey Towards Climate Action

Jordan has the distinction of being the third Arab country to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) prior to Paris COP21, in addition to being the first Arab country to address climate change and its implications on vital sectors through a national policy (2013 – 2020). Moreover, Jordan is taking serious steps to mainstream climate change into development policies and strategies starting with the National Women Strategy (2012) and the National Poverty Reduction strategy (2013), the Jordan Vision 2025 which is considered to be the overall developmental blueprint for the country (2015) to the recently launched National Water Strategy … Continue reading

World Wetlands Day – Celebrating Our Wetlands

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated on 2nd February every year. It marks the date of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February 1971. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997. Every year there is a different theme and the theme for World Wetlands Day 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”. What is a Wetland A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, natural or artificial, static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salty and include areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed … Continue reading

Green Building Trends in the Middle East

The Middle East region faces a unique set of environmental and socio-economic challenges in the form of water scarcity, harsh climatic conditions, ecological degradation and abundance of fossil fuels. Commercial and residential buildings in the Middle East consume more energy than those in other parts of the world, mainly on account of extremely hot weather, rampant use of glass exteriors and heavy reliance on air-conditioning. The Middle East building industry, in recent years, is actively trying to make widespread use of eco-friendly architecture, traditional building methods and sustainable construction practices. Some of the other drivers for the progress of green buildings sector … Continue reading

World Habitat Day – Shelter for All

World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world. It was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202 and was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our urban areas and the basic human right regarding provision of adequate shelter to all human beings. World Habitat Day (or WHD) also aims to remind the planners and government officials of the collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations and a day to encourage grassroots … Continue reading

Sustainability in the Middle East: Complications and Opportunities

The Middle East region is facing a unique set of natural, operational, political, economic and social challenges in efforts to adopt sustainability. The rapid development and increasing population in these countries have led to an increased consumption of fossil fuels, water, and other non-renewable natural resources, taking a toll on the environment. Though the Middle East countries have significantly contributed to the carbon emissions, over the past decade they have taken positive steps towards addressing the core environmental issues and improving sustainability situation in their respective countries. This article aims at sharing the common challenges and opportunities faced by the … Continue reading

Regional Integrated NGO Master Plan for the Jordan Valley

EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv. EcoPeace is a project oriented NGO, using both a “top-down” (advocacy) approach coupled with a “bottom-up” (grass roots / community) strategy that has proven to be a very effective work model. Regional Integrated NGO Master Plan EcoPeace Middle East recently launched … Continue reading

الاقتصاد الأخضر والتمويل

شهد العقد الماضي انتقالاً ملموسا للبلدان العربية نحو الاقتصاد الأخضر. فمن الصفر تقريباً في اعتماد انظمة اقتصاد أخضر أو استراتيجية مستدامة، أصبح هناك أكثر من سبعة بلدان وضعت استراتيجيات من هذا القبيل أو أدرجت عناصر الاقتصاد الأخضر والاستدامة في خططها. وقد ترجمت الاستراتيجيات الخضراء في مجموعة من التدابير التنظيمية والحوافز التي أدخلت في هذه البلدان لتسهيل التحول. وأعطى ذلك إشارة قوية للقطاع الخاص لزيادة الاستثمارات في قطاعات الاقتصاد الأخضر أضعافاً، وخاصة الطاقة المتجددة، وهو أمر واضح في المغرب والأردن والإمارات، حيث تم استثمار البلايين في مزارع الطاقة الشمسية وطاقة الرياح. وينفذ المغرب خطة لتوليد أكثر من نصف كهربائه من الموارد … Continue reading

Microbial Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

Biodiversity is one of the Earth’s greatest treasures. Microbes despite their small size have a huge impact on our lives, therefore understanding their role in the environment as important to the maintenance of our planet as preserving the diversity of plants and animals. Microorganisms have the largest genetics diversity on Earth; billions of species of bacteria are suspected to exist, however only 1-5% or so species are characterized. Microorganisms, being the pioneer colonizers of this planet and the masters of the biosphere as they considered by some, they are ubiquitous, can exist in most inhospitable habitats with extreme temperature, pH, … Continue reading

العدالة الاجتماعية في معادلة السلوك البشري والتنمية المستدامة

الحرمان من الحقوق وتصدع أسس العدالة الاجتماعية من أشد التحديات التي تتسبب في الإخلال بموازين معادلة السلوك البشري في العلاقة مع أهداف التنمية المستدامة، وتجعل الفرد والمجتمع يعيشان حالة من عدم الرضا والشعور بالتهميش والإقصاء وعدم المساواة، ما يؤدي إلى التراجع في إنجاز أهداف التنمية المستدامة، ويتسبب في تفشي حالة المحسوبية والفساد إلى الإخلال بقيم العدالة الاجتماعية. ووفق ما يؤكده تقرير التنمية البشرية للعام 2013 «يمكن أن يؤدي ارتفاع عدم المساواة، خصوصاً بين فئات المجتمع، إلى تقويض الاستقرار الاجتماعي وعرقلة التنمية البشرية على المدى الطويل مؤشرات الحقوق الرئيسة التي تتميز بقدراتها الفعلية في التأثير على معادلة السلوك البشري، يمكن تبينها … Continue reading

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