التنمية المستدامة .. فاقد الشيء لا يعطيه

sustainable-developmentظهر مفهوم التنمية المستدامة في السبعينات متلازماً مع إدراك العالم لمشكلة الموارد المحدودة ونشوء مشاكل بيئية في العالم المتقدم صناعياً بسبب استنزاف الموارد الطبيعية غير المتجددة. ويتجاوز مفهوم التنمية المستدامة مجرد المحافظة على المكونات البيئية المحيطة بنا، لتشمل أيضاً الجوانب الصحية والاجتماعية والثقافية والاقتصادية وغيرها. فكل البرامج التي تنظر بوعي إلى المستقبل وتراعي الآخرين وتهتم بإيجاد آليات تنمية ذاتية يمكن أن نطلق عليها برامج مستدامة. غير أن تطبيق التنمية المستدامة على البيئة من الأمور الواضحة خاصة حينما يتعلق الموضوع بالأشجار والغابات أو بالهواء أو بالمياه، باعتبارها مكونات ملموسة واضحة.

ويعد العالم الثالث حديث العهد بمصطلح التنمية المستدامة، ولكن ما يدعو للغرابة هو أن العالم المتقدم أمضى عقوداً طويلة قبل أن يتمكن من وضع تصورات حلول المشاكل البيئية وفقاً لمبدأ التنمية المستدامة، إذ بدأت هذه الحركة لوضع الحلول منذ تنبهت الدول المصنعة إلى نتائج الاستخدام المفرط للموارد، حيث تنادت هذه الدول إلى عقد أول اجتماع يختص بحماية البيئة في مدينة بيرن بسويسرا عام 1913، وحينما تبلور مفهوم محدودية الموارد بعد أن نشر نادي روما سنة 1970 تقريره الذي دق جرس الخطر في المجتمع الدولي داعياً إلى اتخاذ خطوات صارمة تتعلق بإدخال تعديلات مهمة على أساليب وخطط التنمية الاقتصادية لهذه الدول، ثم صدور تقرير اللجنة العالمية للبيئة والتنمية عام 1987 الذي أكد على أهمية المحافظة على الموارد والحفاظ على البيئة وفق منظور التنمية المستدامة، وانتهاءً بما كرسه مؤتمر ريو سنة 1992 حيث أوصى بتبني ما اصطلح عليه بالتنمية المستدامة، التي تقضي بإعادة النظر في أساليب التنمية اللا محدودة التي يعتمد عليها الاقتصاد المعاصر والتي تنهك البيئة وتؤثر سلباً على مصادر الحياة فيها.

محلياً تولي دولة قطر اهتماماً كبيراً ببرامج التنمية المستدامة، فقد اعتمد سمو أمير البلاد المفدى الرؤية الوطنية للتنمية الشاملة والتي تهدف إلى تحويل قطر إلى دولة متقدمة قادرة على تحقيق التنمية المستدامة، وذلك بالارتكاز على التنمية البشرية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية والبيئية. ومن الواضح أن هذه الخطوة على رغم أهميتها لا تكفي ما لم يتحمل كل منا مسؤوليته في سبيل تحقيق ذلك، إذ نعتقد أننا أمام مسؤولية كبيرة في تعزيز مفهوم التنمية المستدامة للوطن من خلال ثلاثة مسارات:

الأول: تعميق مفهوم التنمية المستدامة من خلال المناهج التعليمية بدءاً من المراحل المبكرة.

الثاني: وضع تشريعات وضوابط صارمة للحد من التعديات على البيئة.

الثالث: تشجيع البحث العلمي والابتكار في مجال التنمية المستدامة وتبني الدولة لمحفزات مشجعة في هذا الصدد.

ورغم أن موضوع التنمية المستدامة يتجاوز الفهم الديني إلى ما هو أبعد باعتباره قضية إنسانية من الدرجة الأولى، ولكن يمكن الإشارة إلى ما طرحه الإسلام من اهتمام بهذا الموضوع حيث تجلى في إسباغ صفة المشاركة على كل ما يحيط بنا، فحينما يتحدث القرآن عن الأرض يتحدث عنها باعتبارها مكاناً مشتركاً للجميع، فقال عز من قائل {هو الذي خلق لكم ما في الأرض جميعاً}، كما توحي الآيات القرآنية بارتباط مكونات هذه الأرض وتناسقها ضمن نظام بيئي دقيق {والأرضَ مدَدْنَاها وأَلْقَيْنَا فيها َرَواسِي وأنْبَتْنَا فيها من كلِّ شيءٍ موزونٍ } وقال { إن في خلق السمواتِ والأرضِ واختلافِ الليلِ والنهارِ والفلكِ التي تجري في البحر بما ينفعُ الناسَ وما أنزل الله من السماء من ماءٍ فأحْيا به الأرضَ بعد موتِها وبثَّ فيها من كل دابةٍ وتصريفِ الرياحِ والسحابِ المسخَّر بين السماءِ والأرضِ لآيات لقومٍ يعقِلون } ، ودعا الإنسان إلى الاعتدال في التعامل مع الموارد فقال: {كُلُـوا واشـرَبوا مـن رزق اللـه و لا تَعْثَوا في الأرض مُفسِدين}، وجعل الإسلام للحيوان أيضاً نصيباً من الموارد حيث قال { مَتاعًا لكم ولأنعامكم }.

الطموح المتقدم الذي نأمل أن يتحقق يوماً ما هو أن نبحث عن أفكار يمكن معها أن نهيئ لأجيالنا القادمة أسباب الحياة الرغيدة من خلال ابتكار موارد جديدة أو تطوير أفكار لزيادة الموارد الحالية، وهذا لا يمكن أن يتحقق مالم نجتز مرحلة الحفاظ على الموارد القائمة والتقليل من الاستخدامات السلبية لهذه الموارد، وقديما قيل فاقد الشيء لا يعطيه.

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Eco-building a Plastic Bottle Village From Rubbish Removal

plastic-water-bottles-middle-eastThis is an inspiring true story that demonstrates a solution to the rubbish removal problem, especially discarded plastic bottles, plaguing our planet! We hope it will encourage and inspire other visionaries to take similar actions around the world!

Robert Bezeau moved to the tropical paradise of Bocas del Toro, Panama, after he grew tired of the cold weather in his home country of Canada. He loved Panama, but at the same time, he was dismayed by the rubbish removal left behind by more than 100,000 tourists visiting the area every year. While he walked the beaches, he began collecting discarded plastic bottles. Over the course of a year and a half, he collected more than one million of these littered plastic bottles.

While he litter picked, Robert contemplated the enormous scale of the ugly problem. He could see it was only going to get worse without intervention. The plastic bottles were accumulating on land and going out to sea. Some were breaking into smaller bits and being eaten by animals. His heart told him he had to find a way to rid the island of this rubbish removal. Further, he needed to find a solution that would not only work on the island but could be replicated around the world.

Bocas del Toro has only one landfill and the people on the island simply can’t keep up with the rubbish removal left behind by tourists who litter the beaches. They truly can’t afford to build another landfill either. Plus, landfills are toxic places that allow toxins to escape into the air and groundwater. Robert thought deeply about this problem and what solutions might impact the enormous volume of plastic bottles littered on the Panamanian landscape.

Suddenly one day, Robert had an epiphany! He saw in a dream an entire village made out of plastic bottles.

Some people have great ideas but they never act on them. However, Robert is a doer and he began to put his grand idea into action immediately. His dream of building a village from discarded plastic bottles, the primary component to the rubbish removal left behind by tourists, began to become a reality. On an eighty-three acre parcel of land nestled into the Panamanian jungle, and spreading out to the sea, Robert has planned the development of community with twenty plastic bottle houses.

Robert and his team have already built some model homes, including one in the design of a medieval castle! In addition to the twenty houses, Robert is building a community center for yoga classes and a centralized garden for fruits and vegetables. People are coming from all over the world to see this remarkable plastic bottle village in the making! Some of them are going back to their own communities to try to instigate similar projects.

The construction of these rubbish removal houses is a very unique type of constructions. Lightweight wire cages are built. The cages are then filled with PET bottles and attached to steel rebar. They are then assembled to create the outer and inner walls of the houses and buildings. Cement is then applied over the cage and rebar walls. When the construction is all finished, the houses look very much like a traditionally built house. However, the “bones” of the house are anything but traditional!

There are some other unique construction features of these plastic bottle homes that make them perfect for the hot humid climate of the Panamanian tropical jungle. Vents are placed near the floor and also at the top of the walls to create a chimney effect for air circulation and ventilation. This ensures that mold spores do not take hold, a common problem in a tropical humid environment.

It may be hard to imagine at first that houses built from plastic rubbish removal are actually stronger than traditional houses, but it’s true! In fact, these unique houses are far more earthquake resistant than a traditionally built home since the cage and rebar design gives a unique combination of great strength mixed with flexibility. In other words, the ground can rumble during an earthquake and the flexible cage design will rumble right along with it without breaking the structure of the house!

Plastic bottles accumulates on land but culminates its journey in water bodies.

Another amazing attribute of this unique construction is how energy efficient these houses are. It turns out that AIR, as in the air inside the plastic bottles inside the cages used to build the walls, is one of the best insulators in the world! Readings have been taken on hot days where the temperature differential between the inside of these plastic bottle homes and the outside was SEVENTEEN DEGREES CELSIUS!! This is with no air conditioning in a hot tropical climate. Amazing!

Think of all the energy this will save, not to mention that they are using solar panels to capture sunlight for electricity! On a day when the outdoor ambient temperature was an almost unbearable forty-eight degrees Celsius (one hundred eight degrees Fahrenheit), the inside temperature was thirty-one degrees Celsius (eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit).

One of the reasons Robert Bezeau has been so successful is he has a special way of communicating. He can grab people in their heart and soul. He express things in a way that makes people think about things from a totally different perspective than they’ve ever thought about them before. In an interview for a documentary, Robert stated:

“When a bottle of plastic is standing on a shelf in a store, that bottle is not a threat to the planet until someone buys it. When you buy that bottle and you break that seal, YOU are the threat.”

By building his village of plastic bottle houses, and inviting people in to see them, Robert is giving the world a blueprint to what to do about this rubbish removal problem. He is hoping that people copy his methods and he’s even offering workshops to people who want to learn how to build plastic bottle houses. He has found a solution to a rubbish removal problem that has seemed so enormous and so daunting that many experts have felt there would never be a satisfactory solution… as they say, NEVER SAY NEVER!

Robert doesn’t want to stop at building plastic bottle houses from rubbish removal. He wants to build warehouses, business complexes, shelters, barns, and other structures. He basically wants to round up all the plastic waste removal in the world and put it to good use. He’s even advocating for food manufactures to redesign their bottles so they interlock like puzzle pieces to make this type of construction even easier!

If in your travels, you have the opportunity to see a plastic bottle house or building, made out of rubbish removal, please post a picture of that structure to the Clearabee social media pages, Facebook and Twitter. This is the type of story that needs to go viral in a big way! Clearabee is an on demand rubbish removal company based in the UK. They are on a quest to divert as many plastic bottles and other rubbish from landfills as possible. They current divert about ninety percent of the waste removal they collect from landfills! This ranks at the very top of their industry among all countries.

Tackling Litter in Jordan

Garbage_JordanIn the recent past, Amman was among the cleanest cities in the world. These days, like many other countries, Jordan experiences littering of all waste types in its public areas, which has serious impacts on the environment, the economy, the aesthetic appearance of the regions that experience littering, and the public health.

The “Invisible Trash”

Littering which has become a national scourge is omnipresent in Jordan. Drive along any road in Jordan and you will see all types of  litter, including cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags, tissues, sandwich wrappers, and old tyres. To outline the problem, an observational study was carried out by the writer in 2011 in Wakalat Street. The study made manifest the erroneous perception of cleanliness in public areas.  The interviewee reported the area as “clean” and overlooked litter that had accumulated on roadsides and had filled plant pots.

Reasons behind Littering

In the past few years, similar changes in population patterns have led to dramatic changes in all forms of human activities. As expected, this has led to the production of ever-growing quantities of wastes. Among the factors that contribute to increase littering are the nature of the Municipal council, lack of waste management infrastructure, an increase in the poverty rate, influxes of Syrian refugees, and, most importantly, changes in citizens’ behavior have all contributed to increase littering.

The aforementioned study revealed another reason for littering, which was an erroneous perception of what “cleanliness” constituted. Furthermore, a gap between theoretical and practical aspects of environmental knowledge led to Jordanians’ failure to see how environmental problems applied to their daily lives. Thus, they are unlikely act on them appropriately.

Social Perception

Jordanians define littering in terms of ethics or acculturation. They perceive littering as lack of civility, education, or as a result of carelessness, as well as something that is haram (forbidden) in Islam.

Strategy to Combat Littering

Individuals and NGOs are working hard to organize many anti-littering and clean-up campaigns. Encouraging behavioral change is a challenging task due to pressing socioeconomic issues such as poverty and unemployment.

Litter_Jordan

Daily scene of “invisible trash” despite the spreading of trash cans along the Wakalat Street.

Perhaps the most distinctive level of the protection framework is public participation. Therefore, conservation efforts should include the support and participation of citizens, researchers, municipalities, industry, and other sectors. To give practical solutions to prevent littering in Jordan, it is important that they fit our cultural background and come from our pioneer heritage which should be merged with modern knowledge. The following are applicable solutions to the tackle litter problem in Jordan:

  • Adequate Municipal Waste Infrastructure

The municipal waste infrastructure has not been able to keep up with rapid growth and the influx of refugees. Sustainable disposal infrastructure and facilities as well as recycling stations are a prerequisite to solving the grim reality of the litter problem.

  • General Awareness

Fortunately, Jordanians are aware that the issue is increasing. However, volunteers become discouraged when their hard work disappears under a fresh layer of litter. Thus, a comprehensive behavioral change package should be carried out at the national level.

Despite the inclusion of environmental topics in school curricula and conveying it through the media, there is a disconnection between theoretical and practical aspects. Therefore, environmental stewardship must be made relevant to daily life. Moreover, the ideas of cleanliness have to be emphasized in the media as it is rooted in Arab-Islamic culture.

More environmental stewardship programs should be adopted in schools; a leading example is the eco-schools program run by JREDS. Such programs should be extended to universities, with a community service course being integrated into graduation requirements and including a cleaning up theme.

  • Ownership

Jordanians take great care of what that they feel ownership over. The Jordanian sense of ownership of public spaces should be expanded. Nationalism should be presented as being responsible for the country and its environment.

  • Effective Law Enforcement

In 2012, GAM launched an ongoing campaign to discourage littering behavior by charging 20 JD fines for littering. It resulted in a drop in the number of littering violations by 13% within the space of a year (2014-2015), confirming the importance of implementing legislation to tackle the problem of littering. As littering is illegal in Jordan, a campaign for publishing the country litter laws that ban litter should be launched. Moreover, financial incentives for cleaning up should be adopted.

  • Community Recycling Bank 

Empowering local communities to solve their own environmental problems is essential to influence the actions of the public towards the desired goal. Recycling initiatives can be locally sustained by individual actors and should be used as income generators for the families involved.

Recyclable material would be separated at the household level, then stored in a simple community recycling bank to be sold to scrap traders. Such an initiative would eliminate waste by transforming it from a nuisance to a resource.

  • Business Owners’ Responsibility

Businesses that create litter such as fast-food restaurants should play an active role in stopping litter. Their social responsibility to society and their customers’ demands that they encourage the proper disposal of food wrappers through campaigns and incentives.

Litter_Zarqa

Carelessness in discarding the trash in the middle of streets in Zarqa

Furthermore, officials must oblige real estate and factory owners to maintain their land in public view and keep it free of construction and industrial waste.

  • Informal Waste Reclamation

Waste Reclaiming is the collection and reuse or sell the waste materials that would otherwise be sent to landfills by the municipal system. Creation a business model that adopt, organize, and cooperate with informal Waste reclaimers, will help in solving the waste problem and expanding Jordanian employment opportunities.

Conclusion

Today, we are in deep need for modern sustainable techniques derived from our heritage, compatible with our civilization, identity, and the climate of our country, and in consistent with the environmental teachings of Islam, which state to preserve the balanced relationship with the rest of the elements of creation.

References

  1. Abboud, N. (April 2011), Personal interviews.
  2. JT. “Princess Basma Launches Campaign to Combat Littering.” Jordan Times. N.p., 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 21 July 2016.
  3. Namrouqa, Hana. “‘Over 4,000 Littering Violations Recorded on Amman’s Streets in July'” Jordan Times. N.p., 05 Aug. 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.
  4. UNESCO Office in Amman.” UNESCO Campaign to Combat Use of Plastic Bags in Jordan. UNESCO, 30 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 July 2016.
  5. Hardin, Rozilla. “Roadside Litter Is a Local Problem.” Elizabethton. Elizabethton, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.
  6. Water .. “Jordan: Tackling Marine Litter.” Revolve Water. ., 2014. Web. 2016.
  7. Dahshan, Jad. “No to Littering.” Jordan Times, 09 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2016.
  8. Makansi, Elena. “No Time To Waste Can This Littered Country Transform Itself?” Family Flavours Details. Web. 21 July 2016.
  9. Namrouqa , Hana. “‘13% drop registered in littering violations in Amman’ .” Jordan Times. Dec 30,2015. Web. 20 July 2016.
  10. SWEEPNET. “Country Report on the Solid Waste Management in JORDAN.” (2014): 9. Web.

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Water Security in the Arab World

water-arabWater availability in the Arab region is a critical issue as the region has 5 percent of the world’s population having access to merely 1 percent of the world’s total water resources. According to United Nations estimates, around 12 Arab countries suffer from severe water shortages. The per capita availability of renewable water resources is less than 500 m3 per year.

In order to resolve this critical situation, many projects in the Arab Strategy for Water Security (2010-2030) support efficient management and sustainable use of water resources.

Regional Water Scenario

Agriculture accounts for 85 percent of total fresh water consumption in the Middle East, while its share in the total gross domestic product (GDP) roughly exceeds 8 percent.

The major factors responsible for the rise in water consumption and depletion of freshwater resources are

  • High standards of living
  • Increasing urbanization and industrialization
  • High population growth rate
  • Failure to adopt basic water conservation principles
  • Insufficient energy for seawater desalination
  • Regional conflicts resulting in mass flow of internal migrants
  • Lack of public awareness

Perennial rivers contribute around 70 percent of freshwater resources in Lebanon and Jordan. On the other hand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are dependent on surface water and seasonal rivers. For rest of the countries in this region, one third of water demand is met by groundwater resources.

The continuous extraction of groundwater at an unsustainable rate is leading to water scarcity at the national as well as regional levels thus fueling conflicts. Infact, rising demand for water in Yemen, due to population growth and poor water management, is responsible for almost 80 percent of internal conflicts in the country.

Water availability has become a serious issue in West Asia due to population explosion, climate change, droughts, desertification and scarce rainfall. The success of water-related strategies depends on political, financial and human commitments. A UNEP report estimates that water resources area in West Asia is likely to drop to 20 percent over the next fifty years due to multiple factors, such as climate change.

The importance of regional efforts to integrate water issues in national and international policies is indispensable as it will help in finding necessary mechanisms to reduce potential crises generated by water shortages, such as the water stress that hit northern Iraq in 2005, causing the displacement of more than 100,000 people.

Food security is also at stake as the Arab region relies on scarce water resources for irrigation, heavily imports major food resources or invests in agricultural lands in other parts of the world. Therefore, regional cooperation is an urgent need of the hour to ensure water and food security in the Arab world.

UNEP’s Call for Action

To face the critical need for water, UNEP has developed a water policy at the request of governments around the world. This policy provides the guidelines for water policies to achieve the objective of equitable and sustainable water consumption as well as combating climatic and human factors that contribute to drought.

Moreover, United Nations has launched Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme which is endorsed by one hundred countries worldwide, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq. The GEMS program promotes freshwater quality data and information exchange and enhances capacity building of developing countries to monitor and assess water quality at national and regional levels.

At the global level, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has taken action to assist one-third of the world’s population fighting to survival because of water scarcity. Each year, 1.5 million children die because of water scarcity or diseases caused by water pollution and lack of sanitation.

Water-Partnership

Water is essential for our survival

Conventional large-scale desalination is cost-prohibitive and energy-intensive, and not viable for poor countries in the Arab world due to increasing costs of fossil fuels and its depletion. In addition, the environmental impacts of desalination are considered critical on account of emissions from energy consumption and discharge of brine into the sea. Therefore focus should be given to developing desalination mechanisms using alternative energy.

Water is the elixir of life. The fight for water has become a fight for survival in the Middle East. UNEP calls on Arab states to take swift action to implement plans for integrated water resources management, including demand management of available water resources, adoption of new technologies, and promotion of water conservation for domestic, industrial and agricultural uses.

By preserving water, we join the United Nations Environment Programme in the implementation of Future We Want movement, to ensure that no one suffers or dies due to non-availability of water in any part of the world.

Translate: Nadia Ben Sellam

Nadia Ben Sellam is a freelance journalist and translator from Morocco with more than 12 years of experience. She is associated with Al-Hayat International Daily, one of the leading daily pan-Arab newspapers, Nadia covers a wide range of issues including like environment, health, politics, and culture. Holding a BA in English literature, she has also worked for Al-Alam, a leading Moroccan newspaper for about 9 years during which she received 3 journalistic awards.

Note: The original Arabic article can be found at https://www.ecomena.org/environment-unep-ar/

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مستقبل تحلية المياة لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

water-desalination_middle-eastتحلية المياه هي عملية معالجة للمياه يتم فيها فصل الأملاح من المياه المالحة لانتاج مياه صالحة للشرب. عملية التحلية تستهلك كمية كبيرة من الطاقة لانتاج الماء العذب من مصادر المياة المالحة. يتم ضخ الماء المالح في عملية التحلية وتكون المخرجات عبارة عن خط ماء عذب بالاضافة لخط أخر من المياة عالية الملوحه جداً.

يوجد أكثر من 15000 وحدة تنقية مياه على المستوى الصناعي في العالم، بطاقة اجمالية تزيد على 8.5 مليار جالون يومياً. يتفوق أسلوب الترشيح بالأغشية في هذا المجال حيث تبلغ نسبته حوالي 44% من اجمالي الطاقة الاجمالية، يليه التحلية بالتسخين MSF بنسبة حوالي 40 %. وبالنسبة للمصادر، تمثل مياة البحار حوالي 58 % والمياه الجوفية المالحة نسبة 23 % والباقي من مصادر أخرى كالانهار والبحيرات المالحة.

مشاكل المياة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا

الحصول على الماء العذب يعد من أكبر مجالات الاهتمامات الصحية اليوم. فمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا من أكثر مناطق العالم جفافا. وتؤدي معدلات زيادة السكان العالية بالاضافة للتمدن والزيادة الصناعية مع ندرة المصادر الطبيعيه للماء العذب الي عجز حقيقي في الماء العذب في هذه المنطقة. مصادر المياه العذبه في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا يساء استغلالها دائماً مما يؤدي حتما الي زيادة الطلب على المياه المحلاه للحفاظ على مستوى مقبول من امدادات المياه.

ان محطات التحلية التقليديه كبيرة الحجم عالية التكلفة وشديدة الاستهلاك للطاقة، وليست مناسبة للبلدان الفقيرة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا للزيادة في تكاليف الوقود الأحفوري. بالاضافة لذلك، التأثير البيئي لهذه المحطات يعد خطراً على مستوى الانبعاثات الناتجة من استهلاك الطاقة وصرف المحلول الملحي في البحر. المحلول الملحي الناتج له كثافة ملح عالية جدا ويحتوي ايضاً على بقايا لكيماويات ومعادن ناتجه من عملية التحلية مما يهدد الحياة البحرية.

التأثير السلبي لعمليات التحلية يمكن تقليله الي حد ما عن طريق استخدام الطاقة المتجددة لتغذية المحطات بالطاقة. فالمحطات المداره بالطاقة المتجددة تقدم طريقة مستدامة لزيادة توريد المياه العذبة لدول المنطقة، فدول المنطقة لديها امكانيات كبيرة في طاقة الرياح والطاقة الشمسية، والتي يمكن استخدامها بكفاءة في عمليات التحلية مثل التناضح العكسي، والفصل الكهربي وعمليات الفلتره. ان المحطات المداره بالطاقة المتجددة ستزداد جاذبيتها مع تقدم التكنلوجيات وزيادة اسعار الماء العذب والوقود الأحفوري.

محطات التحلية المدارة بالطاقة الشمسية

يمكن استخدام الطاقة الشمسية مباشرة او بشكل غير مباشر في عملية التحلية. أنظمة التجميع التي تستخدم الطاقة الشمسية للتجميع مباشرة في المجمعات الشمسيه تسمى نظم مباشرة، بينما العمليات التي تستخدم مزيج من الطاقة الشمسية مع الطاقة التقليدية  للتحلية تسمى نظم غير مباشرة. العقبة الرئيسية في استخدام الطاقة الحرارية الشمسية على نطاق محطات التحلية الكبيرة هي قلة معدل الانتاجية، وقلة الكفاءة الحرارية واحتياجها لمساحات واسعة. محطات التحلية المعتمدة على الطاقة الحرارية الشمسية تناسب الاحتياجات الصغيره خصوصا في المناطق البعيده والقاحلة والجزر التي تعاني فقرا في مصادر الطاقة التقليدية.

seawater-desalination-qatar

مشاريع المياه تعتبر من المشاريع المكلفة

تقدم الطاقة الشمسية المركزة (CSP) خياراً جذاباً لتزويد مجال التحلية على المستوى الصناعي بالطاقة اللازمة والتي تحتاج الي سوائل عالية الحرارة وطاقة كهربائية. وتوفر الطاقة الشمسية المركزة طاقة مستقرة للاستخدام المستمر لعمليات محطات التحلية المعتمدة على التسخين او الأغشية في عمليتها. في الواقع، بدأت دول كثيرة في المنطقة كالأردن ومصر والمملكة العربية في تطوير مشاريع تحلية ضخمه معتمدة على الطاقة الشمسية المركزة تبشر بعهد جديد في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.

ان منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا لديها امكانيات ضخمة في مجال الطاقة الشمسية والتي تسهل عملية توليد الطاقة اللازمة لتعويض العجز الظاهر في الماء الصالح للشرب. قد تتعرض المنطقة لأزمة مياه شديدة مع عدد السكان الذي من المتوقع ان يتضاعف بحلول عام 2050. يمكن لمحطات التحلية التي تعمل بالطاقة الشمسية مع الاستعمال السليم لمخزون المياه واعادة استعمال مياه الصرف ان تساعد في التقليل من الأزمة المائية في المنطقة. وسوف تقلل ايضاً من الاعباء المادية على حكومات المنطقة من قطاع المياه والكهرباء، ومن ثم توجيه هذه المخصصات المالية في قطاعات أهم كالتعليم والصحة والقطاع الصناعي.

ترجمة: طه واكد – مهندس مدني مهتم بشؤون البيئة – مصر

شريك مؤسس في مشروع دقيقة خضراء  –  معد وكاتب حلقات دقيقة خضراء عاليوتيوب

للتواصل عبر taha.waked@gmail.com   أو admin@green-min.com

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Finance for Green Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and SMEs: Perspectives for Jordan

sustainable-development-jordanJordan is one of the most water scarce countries in the world where resources are far below the water poverty line which is 1000 m3 per capita per year. Adding to water scarcity, energy availability is another challenge where 96% of the demand is imported from outside.  Due to climate change, both water and energy sectors are expected to be negatively impacted. Lack of water and high prices of energy will both hinder the economic growth and employment rates adding further stress on the current high unemployment percentage specially among youth.

Need for Green Economy

To get out of this bottleneck, there is a need to employ youth through green economy and to promote green entrepreneurship, start-ups, and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Even the green innovation culture in Jordan is still new, there are few organizations that work in this field such as Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE), Business Development Center (BDC), Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF), Oasis 500, CEWAS, and Shamal Start.

Shamal Start – Leading the Way

Shamal Start is one of the business accelerators in Jordan which works on green entrepreneurship and start-ups. Students from Irbid and Mafraq submit their green ideas to benefit from the mentoring and financial support. Here are some of the green start-ups that have passed the eligibility criteria for Shamal Start:

  • Petra for Green Community Entrepreneurship which works on solving environmental issues by developing solutions for water, energy, and food related challenges. One of their products is waste-free water filter which could save up to 50% of water.
  • Mattab which developed a speed pump that produce renewable energy from the hydraulic pressure of the vehicles movement.
  • BioJust which developed an automated device that convert organic waste from vegetable oils into biogas.
  • A+ Solar which uses the kinetic motion to improve the thermal comfort and day lighting through the efficient utilization of the sun light.

Business Development Center (BDC) provides the needed training and financial access for entrepreneurs and start-ups including the green ones through different fund programs such as SANAD and Youth Employability. There are many other national and international NGOs that promote entrepreneurship but with less focus on green innovation. Adding to that. Universities in Jordan have been always contributing to the green and sustainability culture.

The German Jordanian University in Amman launched a Green Hackathon in 2016 to raise awareness on water and energy-efficient solutions among students and to encourage the green entrepreneurship culture. The students were asked to come up with solutions for challenges in the industries and society. The topics in that event were renewable energy solutions for the university, waste/ water management in smart cities, energy consumption optimization for courier service, and sustainable shelter/ room for rural areas.

Green Finance in Jordan

Financial support in the early stages and accessibility to fund were reported as the major obstacles for green entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs in Jordan.  SMEs represent 99 % of the private sector and employ 77% of the labor force. However, they receive only 13% of the total value of the commercial loans. Jordan was ranked 185 out of 189 countries in both 2014 and 2015 in terms of access to credit in a report for the World Bank.

This is a real need for early stage financial support and seed funding for green businesses in Jordan

Microfinance in Jordan has been a successful alternative for the commercial loans for start-ups and SMEs because of the flexible requirements and conditions to access credit. There are many private financial institutions that provide microfinance through international grants such as FINCA, The National Microfinance Bank (NMB), The Women Microfund, and Al-Ahli Microfinance Company.

Roadmap for Future

Moving forward, there is a persistent need for early stage financial support and seed funding for green entrepreneurship, start-ups, and SMEs in Jordan. A green fund for youth entrepreneurs and start-ups will promote green business, encourage youth to come up with clean technologies and innovations, and improve the financial accessibility for green start-ups and SMEs.

Government and international organizations should work together on establishing green funding mechanisms by advocating globally, enabling the environment, and setting the rules and regulations that allow for such mechanisms to take place. The lack of accessible green finance for youth entrepreneurs will have negative implications on the employment rates and the willingness to innovate in solving water and energy problems.

Storm Alexa – Positive Aspects for MENA

storm-alexaThe year 2013 saw history being made when Storm Alexa swept across the Middle East and North Africa bringing blizzards, torrential rain and icy winds to a region that hasn’t experienced such a storm in over 100 years. Storm Alexa caused devastating floods in Arab cities, such as Gaza, and power cuts in certain areas of Jordan. Heavy snowfall in Jordan covered the streets, hindering mobility and forcing people into their homes for several days. The storm has also brought hardship and misery upon the Syrian refugees enduring the bitter cold in fragile tents and makeshift shelters.

Positive Aspects

However, with no intention of belittling or undermining the aforementioned difficulties and suffering, such a storm could be beneficial in terms of one aspect: the water it brings to the region. Storm Alexa brought an abundance of water to a region suffering from severe water scarcity. The effects of water scarcity are rapidly being felt across the region, with water shortages affecting countries such as Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan. Therefore, this outpour of water could bring some respite in terms of water availability in these MENA countries, with rainwater runoff and snowfall being large sources fresh water. Sadly these sources have been very poorly managed causing floods, and snow-covered streets.

Flooded rainwater has mixed with wastewater triggering an overflow of wastewater throughout local cities and towns. This has produced adverse health problems among the resident populations, who are calling out for rapid solutions to their strife. One solution that can be utilized is harvesting floodwater and the large amounts of snowfall available. Harvesting such water sources would help reduce the effects of water scarcity, and reduce physical harm to cities and towns.

Once these water sources are collected, they must be treated before they are reused. Once treated, the water can be used for a variety of activities such as irrigation or any type of domestic use.

Case Study – Amman

Over the course of the storm, Amman has seen ample amounts of snow and rainfall that have put the city in what seemed like a standstill. Residents were snowed in unable to go to work and perform their daily routines. The streets were covered with snow that reached up to 3 feet, making it very difficult to move about. Although the snowfall had its detrimental repercussions, it is a source of freshwater.  Harvesting it would have been a fairly simple procedure.

The procedure would require manpower, along with trucks, to set out to the streets and start collecting as much snow as possible. Once collected, it would be transported to the nearest wastewater treatment plant, such as the Samra wastewater treatment plant located in the greater Amman Russeifa-Zarqa area (there are currently 26 wastewater treatment plants that exist in Jordan). Once treated the water produced can be added into the water pipe systems and distributed among households.

Harvesting and treating these water sources eases the effects of water scarcity even if for a short time period. This is beneficial in several ways:

  • It allows over used water aquifers and rivers time to replenish (even if for a short period).
  • It reduces the financial costs spent on water extraction (for a short time period).
  • It reduces the amount of fossil fuels used during water extraction (reducing CO2 release).
  • It removes snow off the streets allowing people to go back to their daily routines, and to their work.

Challenges to Overcome

Needless to say, wastewater treatment has its downsides. First, it is energy intensive and financially demanding. Second, it requires very advanced technological capabilities. Third, it requires a large area in which it is to be implemented. With the exception of Jordan and a handful of other countries in the region, not many have the economic and technological capabilities to undergo this type water management.

wastewater-treatment-uae

The problem is further exacerbated by the political strife the region is currently experiencing. Countries such as Syria and Palestine have more political constraints than others that do not allow them to use this water source to its full potential.

However, there are simpler ways to treat wastewater that are not so economically and technologically reliant. Such techniques require a large area where the excess rainwater is allowed to be stored for a certain period of time, which allows the waste to settle at the bottom of the area (in which the water is stored). The water is then passed through a large filtering screen that removes the remaining waste and bacteria from the water. This method does not treat water as thoroughly as wastewater treatment plants, but it treats it enough for it to be reused for certain water intensive practices (e.g. irrigation, washing machines, showering).

Conclusions

Water scarcity has become the most dangerous threat the world is facing. Water scarcity in MENA is further intensified as it only holds 1% of the usable water resources in the world, while having 5% of the world’s population. With regional population set to increase even further, water scarcity is likely to increase, with predictions indicating that the MENA region will run out of water by the year 2050.

Although harvesting the water provided by Storm Alexa does not provide a long-term solution to water scarcity in the region, it offers a short-term respite from its effects. This gives countries more time to plan ahead and to develop further in their quest to mitigate water scarcity. With scientists indicating that such storms are to become even more rare due to the effects of climate change, there are good opportunities to use these events for the welfare of mankind.

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Role of Internet of Things (IoT) in Sustainable Development

The Internet of Things (IoT) is currently trending with its ever expanding eco-system of digital sensors, appliances and wearable smart devices. Like other sectors, the role of IoT in sustainable development and environment protection will be crucial in the coming years.

Environmental degradation is occurring all over the world. Land degradation, deforestation and desertification pose a growing threat to food security and water availability. Widespread loss of biological diversity is undermining the productive capacity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This reduces access to essential environmental goods and services, including vital ecological processes such as water purification, nutrient cycling, control of pollution and soil erosion. Environmental degradation exacerbates the frequency and impact of droughts, floods, forest fires and other natural hazards.

Water Management

IoT enables understanding of changes in water quality of a particular reservoir. The connection of different sensors and monitoring systems help in providing the water level and flood warnings as well as foresee other disasters such as earthquakes and potential landslides in prone areas, assisting the civilians and authorities to take drastic action on such issues.

Agriculture

Smart and adaptive irrigation and agriculture systems in which the soil water content and nutrients are continuously tracked and appropriate actions are taken on the reported deficiency or damage are also gaining huge popularity among the farming communities.

Wildlife

IoT also allow real time detection of animals. In case of any disease outbreaks, it will be useful for control, survey and prevention of such scenarios.  For this, the livestock would be fitted with special chips (RFID) and readers would for placed in the designated monitoring spots. Applications like eBird helps the scientists in keeping tracks of birds as well as their habits and migration patterns. Systems that triggers alert on uncontrolled deforestation and potential wildfires can also help the respective authorities to protect and maintain the forests and its inhabitants.

Marine Organisms

Overfishing and over- exploitation of aquatic diversity is endangering high-value species like salmon and cod. ThisFish, an internet tracking network in association with local bodies help to trace back the fish to the fisherman who caught it and the location through GPS readings and toll data. In this way bad fishing behaviors can be detected and stopped. FishPal provides reports on the type and quantity of fishes caught on a daily and monthly that can be checked by the fisheries department and also informs suspicious fishing activities.

Buildings

Those who dismissed smart home technology as unrealistic playthings for lazy youngsters are increasingly finding it hard to resist the charms of IoT-powered smart home devices. These devices will become hugely popular in the coming years as they become highly intuitive and innovative, extending to not just home automation comfort but also home security and the safety of your family. That is the kind of home sustainability that will keep the power consumption in check and make optimal use of renewable energy.

Even smart workplaces with Green Design are contributing highly towards energy conservation. With maximum use of daylight, rainwater capture, smart cooling and ventilation systems, solar power etc ensure maximum efficiency in power use and full utilization to renewable sources.

Waste Management

One of the major issues faced in the urban areas is the inefficient waste management. Improper disposal of waste can cause various health hazards and affect the surrounding air and water. The machine-to-machine or machine-to-man (M2M) systems can be established for a much intelligent division and disposal of waste. The trash cans or the dumpsters can have built-in sensors to measure the amount of trash. Once the trash is full, the signal transceiver sends a message to the central command centre via internet or satellite with the GPS location and the IP address.

Use of such Industrial IoT solutions and devices for waste management helps in determining the best time to collect the wastes and figuring out better routes for the collection trucks handling the potential waste build up scenario in cities.

IoT-based waste management systems are getting traction worldwide

Such smart waste management systems can also help in identifying the different types of waste, such as domestic or commercial, and dividing them based on their degrading ability and processes. This would help in proper disposal for all kind of waste causing less environmental issues and keep track of the ever-growing issue of e-waste management.

Wastewater

SeWatch, a wastewater and sewerage wireless monitoring system provides a system-wide reporting solution for combined sewer overflow and sanitary sewer overflow discharge or overflow. Water level sensors for sewer system manholes relay information to an application running on a PC or server which alerts on computer screen or via SMS about manhole overflow and spill-over.

A Shining Example

China has come up with a “Sensing China” strategy. It is an environmental protection and overall industrial pollution control system featuring real-time data perception, resource concentration and sharing, system integration as well as effective supervision and decision-making that established to improve the environment and prevent environmental accidents. The specific tasks include intelligent sensors and automatic monitoring devices, wireless monitoring for pollution treatment, water quality data monitoring, air monitoring system, and regional ecological monitoring.

Conclusion

Connected devices promise to be the major drivers of change within the coming few years. With higher demands for this technology from both public and private sector for better energy distribution, accurate business forecasts ,the fruits of Green IT and an answer to many of the environment challenges faced by the region, the overall production gains is expected to shoot up. Of course, new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, will emerge making IoT more intuitive and user friendly, but largely, manufacturers will have to work harder at securing their connected devices as the risk to data will also increase. Amid all of these trends and predictions, the future ahead is definitely a promising one and certainly worth looking forward to.

The Scourge of E-Waste and Potential Remedies

e-waste-burningDaily life has been made far more efficient, and glamorous, as technology improves at phenomenal rates. We are encouraged to go paperless, and drastically reduce waste from paper materials. However, technology has its own waste issues to deal with. Electronic waste (or e-waste), is the fastest growing waste stream, and its disposal is a major environmental concern in all parts of the world. When new technology does out with the old, our current model of disposing of ‘outdated’ technology is harming people, profits and most importantly, the planet.

More than 50 million of tons of e-waste is generated globally and the quantity is rapidly increasing with each passing year (Zafar, 2015). Less than 5% of which is being recycled, or reused appropriately. The content of this waste includes toxic materials as well as valuable and energy-intensive precious metals (Allam, 2009).

Televisions, toaster ovens, you name it, you will find old models no longer being used, stacking up in landfills around the world. If current consumption rates pattern continue, two planets will be needed by 2050 (Allam, 2009). Effort towards more sophisticated methods of dealing with E-Waste has numerous advantages, including: public health, job creation, money saved by firms in procurement of raw materials, and new uses for public spending that would have otherwise gone towards environmental cleanup.

In developing countries, the capacity for safe recovery methods and disposal are lacking. There is clear evidence that the informal recovery industry exploits women and child labourers who cook circuit boards, burn cables, and submerge equipment in toxic acids to extract precious metals such as gold (Seitz, 2014). A vast majority of the workers involved in e-waste recycling in developing countries are afflicted with severe respiratory problem.

E-Waste workers often work in pathetic conditions

E-Waste workers often work in pathetic conditions

What businesses and governments can do? 

Create an environmentally sound e-waste recycling chain. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the following steps are appropriate:

  • De-manufacturing into sub-assemblies and components – this involves the manual disassembly of a de- vice or component to recover value.
  • Depollution – the removal and separation of certain materials to allow them to be handled separately to minimize impacts, including batteries, fluorescent lamps and cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
  • Materials separation – manually separating and preparing material for further processing
  • Mechanical processing of similar materials – this involves processing compatible plastic resins, metals or glass from CRTs to generate market-grade commodities
  • Mechanical processing of mixed materials – this involves processing whole units followed by a series of separation technologies
  • Metal refining/smelting – after being sorted into components or into shredded streams, metals are sent to refiners or smelters. At this stage, thermal and chemical management processes are used to extract metals.

What You Can Do:

  • Recycle: look for e-waste recycling businesses in your area. There are many organizations who will take your E-waste free of charge! Large corporations like Sony and Samsung have take-back programs.
  • Up-cycle: you can find great art ideas on the internet for making new art out of old materials
  • Start your own E-waste recycling business  

References and Recommended Reading

  1. Allam, H. and Inauen, S. (2009): E-Waste Management Practices in the Arab Region. Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region (CEDARE), Cairo, Egypt. 
  2. Baldé, C.P., Wang, F., Kuehr, R., Huisman, J. (2015), The global e-waste monitor – 2014, United Nations University, IAS – SCYCLE, Bonn, Germany (https://i.unu.edu/media/unu.edu/news/52624/UNU-1stGlobal-E-Waste-Monitor-2014-small.pdf)
  3. Basel Convention, 2012, Lundgren, 2012 
  4. Seitz, J. (2014), Analysis of existing e-waste practices in MENA countries -2014, The Regional Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network in Mashreq and Maghreb Countries, SWEEP-Net, Deutsche Gesellschaft, (http://www.sweep-net.org/sites/default/files/RA%20E-WASTE.pdf).
  5. Zafar, S. (2015), Significance of e-waste management, EcoMENA, Qatar, (https://www.ecomena.org/tag/e-waste-management-in-middle-east/). 

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Significance of Domestic Water Conservation

The Middle East region is plagued by water scarcity and water management issues. Despite heavy investment in the water sector, water management remains a serious economic and environmental issue throughout the region. Overconsumption of water is a serious issue as per capita use of water in most of the Middle Eastern countries is several times more water than the global average. For example, on an average each UAE and Saudi Arabian resident consume 550 liters and 250 liters of water per day respectively. On the other hand, per capita water consumption in United Kingdom and Germany is 150 liters and 127 liters per day respectively. These statistics are a grim reminder that excessive consumption of water must be curbed urgently in order to secure water supplies for the coming generations.

Water scarcity is a reality in almost all Middle East countries, be it arid Kuwait or green Jordan. However, most of the people are either unaware or have ignored this stark fact. High population growth coupled with rapid industrialization calls for a sustainable water use pattern in domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors. Domestic sector is responsible for one of the largest water consumption in the Middle East.

For example, in United Arab Emirates private households account for about one-fourth of total water consumption. Households use water for drinking, washing, air conditioning, gardening, landscaping etc. Due to rising water demand and dwindling freshwater supplies, domestic water conservation is an urgent need of the hour. Water conservation can help not only help in saving water but will also conserve energy required for desalination, wastewater treatment and transport of water.

Domestic water conservation can be used in all types of residential, institutional, and commercial buildings in the Middle East. Installation of technologies and products like faucet aerators, low-flow or sensored faucets, low-flow showerheads, low-flush and composting toilets, water-saving dishwashers and clothes washers can play a significant role in saving water at the domestic level.

Moreover, detecting and fixing leaks in water system, and ensuring operation of valves at the optimum pressure, can save good deal of water. Fixing leaks in pipes, fittings, tanks, and fixtures enhances the effectiveness of water-saving products. Pressure-reducing valves can be used to lessen the force and amount of water flows.

Basis water-saving tips for a common man

To promote conservation, water supply should be metered and monetized. Monitoring and metering can increase efficiency of water distribution network and can provide accurate data of consumption level of a particular consumer. Removal of subsidies and appropriate pricing of water can be a powerful tool to enforce water conservation at household level. Pricing of water will not only help in improvement of water infrastructure but may also a strong message to the public that water has certain monetary value and should be conserved.

Providing subsidies on water-saving devices, like toilet retrofits, can be an attractive inducement. Encouragement of xeriscaping or natural landscaping can significantly reduce outdoor water use in arid climate, like that of the Middle East. Water conservation is often confused with reduction of water consumption. However, it also includes use of improved technologies and practices that deliver equal or better service with less water.  

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حماية البيئة هدف إستراتيجي في رؤية السعودية 2030

لعقود مضت وصمت أنماط الإستهلاك السائدة آنذاك بغير المستدامة (الإستهلاك المفرط في إنتاج وإستهلاك السلع والخدمات على حساب الإستنزاف الجائر للموارد الطبيعية و حقوق الأجيال القادمة)، فقد فرضت التحولات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية و البيئية ضغطا على الدول لإعتماد أنظمة تنموية وإقتصادية حديثة تراعي تحقيق التوازن بين الحفاظ على الموارد الطبيعية و تعزيز النمو الاقتصادي على نحو مستدام.

ولذلك تعمل المملكة العربية السعودية في تشكيل سياساتها على النحو الذي يحمي ثروتها النفطية، ويحسن من كفاءة إستهلاكها للطاقة ويدعم إستخدم المزيج الأمثل للطاقة الذي يشمل الإستفادة من الموارد الطبيعية المتجددة (تذكر الرؤيا إمكانية السعودية في توليد الطاقة من الطاقة الشمسية وطاقة الرياح بحوالي 9.5 جيجاوات بحلول العام 2023م) والبديلة (مثل الطاقة الذرية للمساهمة في مزيج الطاقة الوطنية السعودية) وذلك لتحقيق أمن وإستدامة الطاقة وحماية البيئة في المملكة العربية السعودية. كما وقد تم الإعلان مؤخرا عن الاتفاق مع البنك الإستثماري “سوفت بنك” لبناء مشروع ضخم للطاقة الشمسية بطاقة إنتاجية تصل إلى 200 جيجاوات.

المملكة العربية السعودية دولة نفطية ، ولذلك تعتبر حماية البيئة و المحافظة على إستقرار أسواق الطاقة هي في قلب التنمية المستدامة. ومن المقاصد الرئيسة في رؤية 2030م تبني الخطط الإقتصادية الطموحة لتنويع مصادر الدخل للإقتصاد السعودي المعتمد بشكل أساسي على النفط، ولهذا فإن إدراج سيناريوهات للتنويع الاقتصادي مع تحقيق منافع مشتركة للتخفيف م الآثار المترتبة على تغير المناخ سيحقق إستراتيجية ناجحة لأهداف التنمية المستدامة في الشقين الاقتصادي والبيئي على حد سواء.

حيث ستساهم معايير كفاءة إستهلاك الطاقة، والإستثمار في الطاقة المتجددة وزيادة مساهمتها في مزيج الطاقة الوطني وتكثيف البحث والتطوير في تقنيات إلتقاط وتخزين الكربون أو الإستفادة منه في تطبيقات صناعية و الحد من تسرب غاز الميثان كجزء من برنامج الإستدامة وإدارة الكربون في السعودية، و أيضا، دعم إستخدام الغاز الطبيعي وزيادة حصته في مزيج الطاقة الوطني.

تهتم رؤية السعودية 2030م ، بتعزيز مكانة المملكة العربية السعودية السياسية والتنموية والإقتصادية. وقد وضعت الرؤية البيئة والتنمية المستدامة من الأهداف الرئيسة لها، و نصت على ضرورة الحفاظ علىها، وفي المقام الأول كواجب ديني ووطني وإنساني و مسؤولية أمام الأجيال القادمة، وهو أيضا من المقومات الأساسية لجودة الحياة وضرورة للحد من مستويات التلوث في البيئة.

بالإضافة على الحد من ظاهرة التصحر، و العمل على الإستغلال الأمثل للثروات عبر الترشيد في الإستهلاك و تشجيع الممارسات الصديقة للبيئة كتدوير النفايات. ومن زاوية أخرى تشير الرؤية إلى أهمية البيئة والتنمية المستدامة كركيزة أساسية لرقي الشعوب وشريك في نجاح الخطط التنموية الطموحة. و كل ذلك لخدمة سياسة الطاقة في الممكة العربية السعودية والتأكيد على مكانة المملكة المهمة كشريك عالمي لتزويد الطاقة الموثوقة والمسئولة.

وختاما، لابد من التأكيد على أهمية تضمين السياسات المتعلقة بالتنمية والإقتصاد في المملكة العربية السعودية-بصفة خاصة- لمعاييرالإستدامة البيئية بشكل عام و لسياسات تغير المناخ بشكل خاصع ويشمل ذلك سياسات التكيف والإستجابة والتنفيذ لتخفيف، وكل هذا لتكون التنمية البيئية هي الدرع لحماية وإستدامة متطلبات التنمية الاقتصادية في المملكة العربية السعودية.

Food Waste, Ramadan and the Middle East

With the holy month of Ramadan only a few days away, huge food wastage in the Middle East is again hogging limelight. It is a widely acccepted fact that almost half of the municipal solid waste stream in the Middle East is comprised of food wastes and associated matter. The increasing amount of food waste in the Middle East urgently demands a strong food waste management strategy to ensure its minimization and eco-friendly disposal. 

Food Waste in Ramadan

Middle East nations are acknowleded as being the world’s top food wasters, and during Ramadan the situation takes a turn for the worse. In 2012, the Dubai Municipality estimated that in Ramadan, around 55% of household waste (or approximately 1,850 tons is thrown away every day. In Ramadan, food waste generation in Bahrain exceeds 400 tons per day during the holy month, according to Rehan Ahmad, Head of Waste Disposal Unit (Bahrain). As far as Qatar is concerned, it is expected that almost half of the food prepared during Ramadan will find its way into garbage bins.

The amount of food waste generated in Ramadan is significantly higher than other months. There is a chronic inclination of Muslims towards over-indulgence and lavishness in the holy month, even though the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), asked Muslims to adopt moderation in all walks of life. Socio-cultural attitudes and lavish lifestyles also play a major role in more food waste generation in Ramadan in almost all Muslim countries.

Economic Implications

The greater the economic prosperity and the higher percentage of urban population, the greater the amount of waste produced. A good example is the case of oil‐rich GCC which figures among the world’s most prolific per capita waste generators. High-income groups usually generate more food waste per capita when compared to less-affluent groups. Hotels, cafeterias, restaurants etc are also a big contributor of food wastes in the Middle East.

Food waste generation is expected to steadily with the rapid growth of regional economies boom. The per capita production of solid waste in Arab cities such as Riyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi is more than 1.5 kg per day, placing them among the highest per capita waste producers in the world. These statistics point to loss of billions of dollars each year in the form of food waste throughout the Arab world.

Parting Shot

The foremost steps to reduce food wastage are behavioral change, increased public awareness, strong legislations, recycling facilities (composting and biogas plants) and community participation. Effective laws and mass sensitation campaigns are required to compel the people to adopt waste mimization practices and implement sustainable lifestyles. During Ramadan, religious scholars and prayer-leaders can play a vital role in motivating Muslims to follow Islamic principles of sustainability, as mentioned in the Holy Quran and Ahadith The best way to reduce food waste is to feel solidarity towards millions and millions of people around the world who face enormous hardships in having a single meal each day.

 

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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