Drilling Waste Management and Cement Industry

Drilling_WastesDuring the exploration and production of oil, huge amounts of drilling wastes are produced in the form of mud and cuttings.  As per conservative estimates, around 0.37 kg of drilling wastes is generated for every barrel of oil produced. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated that approximately 1.21 barrels of total drilling wastes are generated for every foot drilled.

The Middle East oil and gas industry has made a lot of effort in order to reduce the environmental impact of their activities; modern drilling methods such as horizontal drilling, navigating the drill bits three dimensionally through the earth, contacting and economically producing resources while minimizing surface disruption. Drilling wastes must be properly managed to prevent negative impact on human health as well as on the environment.

Drilling Waste Management

Drilling waste management technologies and practices can be grouped into three major categories: minimization, recycle/reuse, and disposal. The first step in managing drilling wastes is to separate the solid cuttings from the liquid drilling mud. Once solid and liquid drilling wastes have been separated, companies can use a variety of technologies and practices to manage the wastes. For some applications, drilling wastes are solidified or stabilized prior to their ultimate management practice.

Drilling wastes, such as cuttings, are indifferent and not of specified quality. The cuttings separated from the mud at the shale shakers may be coated with so much mud that they are unsuitable for the next reuse or disposal step or are difficult to handle or transport. Constituents of the cuttings or the mud coating them (e.g., oil, metals) may leach from the waste, making them unsuitable for land application or burial approaches.

Various materials can be added to cuttings to solidify and stabilize them. Still this can be an opportunity for cement plants to use uncontaminated cuttings as substitute raw material, even in a lower substitution. The use of such raw materials will be more environmental friendly then the common practice of oil companies to spread such cuttings on the land.

Several different approaches are used for injecting drilling wastes into underground formations for permanent disposal. Slurry injection technology, which involves grinding or processing solids into small particles, mixing them with water or some other liquid to make slurry, and injecting the slurry into an underground formation at pressures high enough to fracture the rock. As these muds could be used as fuel resource and substitute other fossil fuels, it is preferred to process the muds and use them.

Use of Drilling Wastes in Cement Industry

Thermal technologies use high temperatures to reclaim or destroy hydrocarbon-contaminated material. Thermal treatment is the most efficient treatment for destroying organics, and it also reduces the volume and mobility of inorganic such as metals and salts. Additional treatment may be necessary for metals and salts, depending on the final fate of the wastes. Waste streams high in hydrocarbons (typically 10 to 40%), like oil-based mud, are good candidates for thermal treatment technology.

The use of drilling wastes and muds is most preferable in cement kilns, as a cement kiln can be an attractive, less expensive alternative to a rotary kiln. In cement kilns, drilling wastes with oily components can be used in a fuel-blending program to substitute for fuel that would otherwise be needed to fire the kiln.

Drilling muds can be used in cement industry as a source of energy

Cement kiln temperatures (1,400 to 1,500 degrees C) and residence times are sufficient to achieve thermal destruction of organics. Cement kilns may also have pollution control devices to minimize emissions. The ash resulting from waste combustion becomes incorporated into the cement matrix, providing aluminum, silica, clay, and other minerals typically added in the cement raw material feed stream.

Recent studies have shown that it is feasible to use such drilling waste as substitute fuel in a cement plant. The drilling mud can be processed by a centrifuge to separate remaining water, compressed by a screw into a solid pump and conveyed.

The cement industry can play a significant role in the sustainable development in the Arab countries, e.g. by reducing fossil fuel emissions with the use of refused derived fuels (RDF) made from municipal solid waste (MSW) or hazardous waste such as oil spilling.

The cement companies in the Middle East can contribute to sustainability also by improving their own internal practices such as improving energy efficiency and implementing recycling programs. Businesses can show commitments to sustainability through voluntary adopting the concepts of social and environmental responsibilities, implementing cleaner production practices, and accepting extended responsibilities for their products.

8 Top Tips to Support Women Leaders

Despite the headway made toward gender parity over the years, progress is still slow. Holding a leadership position as a woman doesn’t come without its challenges. We speak to eight inspirational women from around the world to get their top tips on how to survive and thrive at work.

At Nexford, we’re fortunate enough to have an incredible team including fierce 🔥 women leaders. So, to support women across the globe, we asked eight of them for their tips on succeeding in your career.

1. Network with other women

“Networking in any industry is important especially in today’s job market. However, for women, networking is sometimes the only way to gain admission or acceptance into specific industries. Networking among women has grown exponentially over the past decade and has given rise to forming female only networking groups.

Not only do these groups offer advice on “moving up the corporate ladder” but also offer support on topics such as asking for flexible hours to care for young children or aging parents, and how to discuss salary increases. They also often include motivational and uplifting stories from others who have faced similar challenges or roadblocks. My advice would be that when deciding which networks to join, do a little research and make sure the network offers open communication while also maintaining professionalism.” 

2. Use compassion to deliver results

“It is a bit of a generalization to say that women are more compassionate by nature than men, but research shows this to be true. The University of Cambridge carried out a study and found that, on average, women have a greater ability to recognize what another person is thinking or feeling. However, being compassionate can be a double-edged sword in the workplace. Some may take advantage of you for your compassion, while others may be inspired by it and support you in your actions.

What really matters is that you are always genuine when expressing compassion. Take the time to understand where your team members are coming from, care for them and show them genuine concern. You should also look at their circumstances and do your best to take that into consideration when deciding on an action plan for your team. Show them that you are not just concerned about your personal or company goals, but also about theirs. Let your actions show that success is not just about your leadership, but about the team’s overall success in the company.”

3. Give praise and recognition in the workplace

“Praising others does not diminish your own value and competency or make you any less of a leader or signal weakness. Regular recognition of skills and achievements builds moral and dedication in your team members while also reinforcing the actions you want continued. Employees who feel valued through recognition are willing to go the extra mile, help out in a pinch, and are less likely to leave.”

According to KPMG Women’s Leadership Study more than half (53%) of working women say that receiving praise influences the perceptions of themselves the most. In other words, support and feedback is important for women’s self-esteem and confidence.

4. Practice gender-neutral recruitment

“Hire people based on skills and competencies, never gender. Recruiters need to be aware of unconscious bias – subconscious processes that affect our decision-making.” There are four areas in recruitment you can practice gender-neutral recruitment, according to Beth.

“Write job ads in an unbiased way. For jobs where we offer flexible work arrangements, we need this to be really clear so that women who have young families are more likely to apply.”

“Practice ‘blind recruitment’ where we mask a candidate’s name, age, and gender when assessing their applications and hire based on the candidate’s skills and competencies.”

“Use objective-type assessments and score cards to determine whether a candidate is qualified or not.”

“Conduct a job evaluation by looking at the rankings and hierarchy of jobs within your organization.”

When it comes to de-biasing language in job ads, a report from Recruit Smarter highlights studies that show how the language used to recruit can influence whether the role will appeal to men or women, affecting the gender split of applicants. Certain language can even deter women from applying for certain roles by inferring that the job is male dominated, and vice-versa.

5. Adjust your mindset and believe in your purpose

“As women, we need to believe in ourselves and nurture self-care. The biggest challenge with this is mindset. Adjusting our mindset means getting over the fear and doubts that we may have been conditioned to. These are the same fears and doubts that told us not to dream about becoming a successful career woman, business leader or politician.

To succeed, we need to learn to truly let go of this mindset and fully believe in ourselves, and even more importantly, our purpose. When women leaders anchor their development of self in purpose, rather than position or perception, this often increases their motivation.”

This is reiterated in a 2013 cover story for the Harvard Business Review, “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers,” where authors Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely and Deborah M. Kolb argue that “effective leaders develop a sense of purpose by pursuing goals that align with their personal values and advance the collective good.”

6. Your network is your net worth

“I’ve learned from experience that for female leaders, your network of peers is the real treasure as you progress in your career. Be it through men, women or seniors, essentially, it’s all about leaning on your network when you need key advice or want to get something done. Arguably, it’s relationships that open doors.

“Yes, people at the top are great but never underestimate the power of your peers. Your classmates, colleagues, and friends are all part of an ecosystem to help you grow and are the strongest relationships in your network. Reach out to peers from different industries with contrasting skills, talents, and walks of life. This will support you throughout your upward career journey.”

“We are what we tell ourselves, and we appear to others in the ways we present ourselves.”

7. Perception is Empowering

“Why is self-confidence at the pinnacle of self-destruction? Is it because women try to reach the summit of perfection with everything they do? If yes, they cannot succumb to the idealistic notion of knowing that what they do is good enough. If so, why are women so hard on themselves and feel the need to strive for perfection, even with the most ordinary things in their lives?

I believe it all has to do with how women perceive themselves. Perception is empowering. We are what we tell ourselves, and we appear to others in the ways we present ourselves. It is time to put the self-empowering mantras on repeat until we no longer need to hear it because we truly believe it.”

A recent study from psychological scientists Natalia Karelaia of INSEAD and Laura Guillén of the European School of Management and Technology found that female leaders could benefit from holding positive perceptions of themselves with the study stating that it “resulted in favorable psychological and motivational consequences.”

8. Embrace subjective feedback

“During your career, you’ll get a lot of subjective feedback – your voice is not loud enough, you are too bossy or bitchy, you are too nice and not authoritative enough, you have unpopular opinions. What I always try to remember is that feedback is a subjective interpretation based on the views of the person who gives feedback. Therefore, feedback allows you to learn how other people think and how you project yourself. So, work on the feedback that hurts you the most and make small adjustments while maintaining your authenticity. It is all about developing your toolkit rather than changing who you are.”

In fact, subjective feedback in the workplace is very common as Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio writes on gender bias in Harvard Business Review. She writes: “One of my findings, using content analysis of individual annual performance reviews, shows that women were 1.4 times more likely to receive critical subjective feedback (as opposed to either positive feedback or critical objective feedback). That’s because annual evaluations are often subjective, which opens the door to gender bias (“Tom is more comfortable and independent than Carolyn in handling the client’s concerns”) and confirmation bias (“I knew she’d struggle with that project”), among other things.”

At Nexford, we want everyone to succeed and unlock their full potential women leaders included. For more information on equal pay, you can check out our Women in Business Equal Pay Scholarship.

The Promise of Equitable EdTech: Debunking Common EdTech Myths

Equitable EdTech or education supported by technology has become a debate topic for the entire world. Moreover, the pandemic has fueled talking about the pros and cons of incorporating education with technology.

But if you really pay attention to the talks of the correct and learned people, you will realize that equitable EdTech is the future. It exists for a better future. It gains its name equitable EdTech because you need equal amounts of education and technology for a brighter future.

If you ask ib extended essay writer or experts in journalism, they will give you a great perspective of equitable EdTech that will lead us to a future that we all dream of.

But there have been some myths circulating about EdTech which are misleading people especially parents. They are confused about whether they should support EdTech or continue relying on the traditional methods of education.

So here are some common myths related to EdTech which we are going to bust for you.

Debunking Common EdTech Myths

1. EdTech will replace teachers

How in the world is it possible to replace teachers? It is practically impossible. In fact, teachers are synonyms for learning.

EdTech will not replace teachers but it will provide them with materials and ways for an enhanced teaching experience. EdTech ensures that teachers have their upper hand at teaching. In fact, without teachers, even EdTech will have no meaning.

The interactive classrooms already have eased the teacher’s tasks and improved students’ learning. For example, a simple Pythagoras theorem could be taught while the triangle moves along in 3d and builds itself. These visuals will help the students to grasp the teachings early and remember them as well.

Thus, no teachers will extinguish if equitable EdTech is practiced.

2. Students will suffer from increased screen time

First of all who are we comparing students’ screen time to? Because adults spend more than half of the day in front of the screens. And if you compare them with the past generations, well internet and stuff were not easy to access then.

But yeah it is important to limit screen time but it is also important to educate. And if education gets entertaining, interactive, and engaging through screens, then it is better to give a break than completely stop it. Here is where EdTech comes to play.

Equity EdTech demands students to balance screen time and do on-ground research. It pushes students to read books, discover learning materials practically, and physically explore the environment.

Thus, EdTech does not mean only screen and technology for the students. It is actually providing the best of both worlds.

3. EdTech will replace physical classrooms

Again this is a big no-no.

How can students learn the importance of staying in a community unless they go out and explore the world? And a child’s first community learning experience apart from home is school.

online education

So no matter how much the world advances, the physical classroom can never be replaced.

Yes, virtual classrooms have taken over but teachers and students are cringing to go back to school. In fact, EdTech has ensured that even in the pandemic education does not come to a standstill.

So no matter how advanced the technology gets, the love and need for physical classrooms will always exist.


Implementing equitable EdTech is the need of the hour. Every educational institute must weigh its pros against the cons. In fact, EdTech has a proven record of students learning and grasping better than the traditional education system. It has known to make the children sharper and sensible, but with the help of teachers!

Environmental NGOs as a Trigger for Social Good – a Jordanian Perspective

While growing in number and scope with each passing year, environmental NGOs in Jordan are striving to become a model in civil society participation, collaborative governance and social impact. They are demonstrating how green advocates can lead by example and become a role model for other development leaders. Those non-for-profits are challenged to not only be the watchdogs and outreach arms but also act as community organizers and change agents that our country and region aspire for.


In harmony with the overall awakening of social entrepreneurship and youth movement within MENA region, green startups and community-based initiatives are climbing to the top as platforms for youth to express their views and take action. Jordan might be an exception in that it specifically enjoys the presence of a large educated young population coupled with a huge pressure on infrastructure and resources magnified by the influx of refugees from neighboring countries.  Such circumstances while being a tremendous challenge also form an opportunity to advance innovation and entrepreneurship especially for urban water, energy and environmental solutions.

Recent statistics show that an average of 48 Jordanian NGOs is established each month mounting up to around 3800 in 2014. Out of those, ninety-two are already registered as environmental societies with over half of them located outside the capital Amman. Eight NGOs sharing common environmental goals formed together the first Federation for Environmental NGOs and hope to be more impactful when united.

Whether all of this is enabled by the supportive legal and regulatory framework or powered by increased awareness among the population of the role of civil society in sustainable development; it is an evolution that calls for some reflection! Does this figure reflect a real grass-roots movement towards a sustainable way of living? Are these green NGOs a representation of a stronger public-private-community dialogue on environmental issues? And can we – as Jordanians and environmentalists – sense/measure the impact of real change on the ground?

While no one might have the evidence-based answer to all of those questions, there is no doubt that the green civil society experience in Jordan forms a unique model across the country and the MENA region. It is led mostly by Jordanian professionals and activists with shared inclination to making a difference. Younger generations are more conscious and action oriented when it comes to sustainable development.

In and outside Amman, volunteerism and community-based activities are becoming more innovative and inclusive providing hope for a better future. Nevertheless, NGOs still struggle with their institutional and financial sustainability and mostly fall behind in finding innovative ways to survive the increased competition.

The Beginning and The Evolution

Back in the 60s, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) was established as the first entity focusing on wildlife protection and nature management in Jordan, prior to the existence of any environmental authority. RSCN continues to perform its functions via a legal mandate and delegation from the Government of Jordan in the areas of hunting regulation and protected areas management forming an excellent partnership model with the public sector.

Today, RSCN deploys sustainable development principles in the protected areas demonstrating job creation and community development in their good standards. Dana natural reserve is an international eco-tourism destination because of those successful partnerships. Nature protection is no longer a hurdle to development but rather a pillar to ensure its sustainability. Aiming to bridge the skill and knowledge gap in nature protection and eco-tourism, RSCN established the international-standard “Royal Academy for Nature Conservation”.

With the first environmental protection law that was issued in 1995 and the further institutional development through the establishment of the Ministry of Environment in 2003; it became inevitable for civil society organizations to be part of the evolution. Introducing environmental management tools such as environmental impact assessment (EIA) required public participation and consultation. Several NGOs were established and trained to take part in those consultations and ensure new projects take both the environment and society into consideration from as early as the planning stage.

Triggered by its scarce natural resources and commitment to international environmental treaties, Jordan went as far as integrating environment into its trade agreements. The US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement was the first to include an environmental chapter. Further bilateral and multilateral agreements such as the EU-Jordan Association Agreement included sustainability and environment as a pillar and as a cross-cutting issue that should safeguard cooperation in various development sectors. NGOs needed to cope with all of that and raise the bar for more synergy between environment, community and economic development.

The New Language

For a long time, the core focus of the environmental community has been on protection and conservation. Jordanians still recall the advocacy breakthrough of 2006 when the environmental NGOs exerted exceptional pressure on the legislative and executive bodies to prevent the approval of the Agriculture Law amendments that was foreseen to jeopardize the important forest areas by opening them for purchase by investors.

Today, Jordan is aggressively pursuing green economy targets as the first country in the Region to conduct a scoping study and prepare a strategy for green growth. The ninety-two environmental NGOs would need to be well prepared for a completely different argument. Away from green, the socio-economic dimension will be the winner with more demand for jobs, local economic development and innovation. Environmental mainstreaming into development sectors would be the new strategic planning tool to ensure sustainability. Concepts of smart cities and green infrastructure should start to show on pilot and large scales how quality investment is attracted and high paying jobs are created.


For the first time, green businesses are coming together to establish business associations that advocate for better enabling environment and fuel green economy. Such private sector led organizations work to provide needed platforms and tools to equip green labor force and organize dialogue with the public sector and international community. The progress made by the private sector to become more organized through business association should be leveraged and further expanded to incorporate more companies especially startups and SMEs.

The Leap

In May 2014 and as a marked step towards a stronger impact, eight environmental NGOs decided to formalize their partnership through establishing the “Jordanian Federation for Environmental NGOs”, commencing a new era of green social impact, policy advocacy and good governance. The eight founding NGOs are: Jordan Environment Society (JES), Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN), Jordan Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS), Energy Conservation and Environmental Sustainability Society, Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Jordan Society for Combating Desertification, Organic Farming Society, and the Jordan Green Building Council. They bring a mix of the old and new united by their shared concerns, passion and vision.

The federation’s internal bylaw stipulates the goals of the “Jordanian Federation for Environmental NGOs” to cover the following areas: policy and legal advocacy, awareness raising and capacity building, coordination and collaboration among members and across the sector, data and information dissemination, and members support. While many are unaware of the existence of the federation, it is only by action that it will prove vital for Jordan and sustainable development as a whole.

A Meaningful Impact

Throughout the years, the relationship between the green sector players had its ups and downs especially in how the public sector managed the engagement with the private sector and civil society. It is evident that this relationship has grown in the past few years triggered mainly by the need for stronger positions towards the huge challenges facing environment in Jordan and the realization of the important role that each party can play in achieving sustainable development goals. NGOs were the main advocate to stop a government decision to merge the Ministries of Environment and Municipal Affairs in 2012.

As mature as it would prove to be, the Federation for Environmental NGOs bears the responsibility of the whole sector’s maturity especially when it comes to improved dialogue and coordination. The visionary leaders who realized the value of uniting for a cause are those who need to cascade such vision to the other sectors. Shifting from reactive to proactive, NGOs are obliged to change mindset of their boards and staff to be able to change communities. The world is more convinced that the private sector holds the promise for green economy, green jobs and better future.

However, very little synergy is found with the educational, research and innovation institutions which are crucial to develop the brains and change the mindset. Innovation in green is not kicking off as it should be in MENA. Research, science and technology continue to be disconnected from market needs. The NGOs and business associations need to step up as drivers for a well integrated change process that assures people as well as the green enterprises of their safe and flourishing future.

Let’s not wait and see but let’s join the movement and make it happen!

السواك : فرشاة الأسنان العربية العضوية

منذ القدم, استخدم الإنسان العديد من التقنيات الطبيعية للحفاظ على صحة الفم والأسنان, ومن هذه الأدوات استخدم أغضان وجذور الأشجار المتواجدة طبيعياً في المناطق التي قطنها, ومن هذه الأشجار شجرة الآراك أو Salvadora persica  المنتشرة في المنطقة العربية. تسمى الأعواد المشتقة من شجرة الآراك بالمسواك أو السواك, يرجع إستخدام السواك في المنطقة العربية إلى عصر ما قبل الإسلام,  لكن كان للإسلام عظيم الأثر في إنتشار وإستمرارية إستخدام السواك في العالم, فكما ورد في الأحاديث الشريفة عن الرسول محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم يعتبر إستخدام السواك جزءاً مهماً من الطقوس الدينية الإسلامية للحفاظ على نظافة الفم وصحة الأسنان واللسان, كما نسبت الأحاديث  النبوية العديد من الفوائد الصحية الأخرى للسواك بما في ذلك تعزيز الذاكرة والبصر، والمساعدة على الهضم، وتخفيف الصداع، وتخفيف ألم الطواحين وتقوية مخارج نطق الكلام وتصفية الصوت والتخلص من بحة الصوت.

شجرة الآراك  

تنتمي شجرة الآراك إلى الفصيلة الآراكية, وهي شجرة دائمة الخضرة تعيش في المناطق الحارّة والإستوائيّة والصحراويّة, أزهارها صفراء تميل إلى الخضرة، أما ثمارها والتي تسمى بالكباث فهي صغيرة الحجم بطعم ٍ حلوٍ يكون لونها في البداية أخضراً ومن  ثم يتحول إلى الأحمر وعند النضج  تصبح سوداء اللون, وتتميز شجرة الآراك – أو كما تسمّى أحياناً شجرة السواك- بمقاومتها للجفاف وملوحة التربة.

فوائد الآراك الصحية والإقتصادية

من الناحية الصحية, فإن القيمة العلاجية والطبية الفريدة للسواك مثبتة وبالأدلة العلمية, حيث يمزج السواك بين عنصريين أساسيين للحفاظ على صحة الفم والأسنان وهما: المواد الكيميائية الفعالة ذات الخواص المضادة للجراثيم الضارة, والتقنيات الميكانيكية المرنة التي تساعد على الوصول إلى جميع المناطق في الفم دون القيام بحت الأسنان وبالتالي عدم التسبّب بحساسيتها ودون التسبب بأي أذى للثة. ولقد أظهرت الأبحاث أن السواك إذا ما استخدم بالطريقة الصحيحة فإنه يحافظ على صحة الفم بفعالية عالية ويعمل كمضاد للمايكروبات المسببة لإصفرار الأسنان وتشكل طبقة البلاكplaque ، كما أنه يمتلك خصائص طبية تجعل منه علاجاً فعالاً لإلتهاب اللثة وأداة ممتازة لتبييض وتطهير الأسنان ووسيلة للقضاء على رائحة الفم الكريهة مع توفير رائحة فم لطيفة. كما ولقد ثبت علمياً أن تركيب السواك يحوي مكونات طبيعية مفيدة تعمل كمواد مضادة للإلتهاب والإحتقان وعلاج تسوس الأسنان والتي لا توجد عادة في معاجين الأسنان التجارية .

وهذا ولقد حصل السواك على قبول عالمي حيث شجعت منظمة الصحة العالمية على إستخدام عصي المضغ كأداة فعالة للحفاظ على النظافة الفموية. أما تجارياً، فلقد أنتجت بعض البلدان مثل السعودية ومصر وسويسرا والهند والباكستان وماليزيا معاجين أسنان تحوي العناصر الفعالة الموجودة في شجرة الآراك.

يعد الآراك أو S.persica    من الناحية الإقتصادية نباتاً متعدد التطبيقات, إذ يستفاد من ثماره كفاكهة تمتاز بحلاوة الطعم ذات قيمة غذائية عالية للإنسان والطير, كما وترعى النوق والأغنام على أوراقه وثماره وأغضانه حيث أنها غنية بالدهون وتساعد على زيادة وزن المواشي وكمية إنتاجها من الحليب, كما وتحوي أوراق وثمار الآراك مواد غذائيّة مهمّة تعمل على تقوّية أجسام الأغنام والإبل, أيضاً يستخرج من الآراك الصمغ والراتنجات (Resin). بالإضافة إلى ذلك، فإنه يستخدم كنبات في تربية النحل والناتج في هذه الحالة عسلٌ غني بالمركبات الطبية الطبيعية. ليس هذا فحسب,  بل وتحتوي بذور الآراك على نسبةٍ عاليةٍ جداً من الزيت تصل إلى 40% من محتوى هذه البذور, هذا الزيت ذو قيمةٍ اقتصاديةٍ مرتفعة حيث يستخدم في صناعة الصابون والمنظفات ويعتبر هذا الزيت بديلاً جيداً لزيت جوز الهند, ويستخدم زيت الآراك موضعياً على الجلد لعلاج الروماتيزم وتمسح به أجساد الأطفال الحديثي الولادة نظراً لخواصه المطهرة .

مما لا شك فيه أن السواك أداة إقتصادية للحفاظ على نظافة الفم نظرًا لوفرتها ولسهولة إنتاجها،  ولكن ومن المدهش أنه وبالرغم من الإستخدام التاريخي والواسع النطاق للسواك في المنطقة العربية, إلا أنه لم يتم بحث إستخدامه سابقاً من الناحية البيئية كأداة للحفاظ على الصحة الفموية ومقارنة ذلك مع تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة, إذ يمكن إستغلال الإستخدام الواسع للسواك في البلاد الإسلامية بيئياً وذلك بتقديم السواك كأداة صديقة للبيئة وفريدة من نوعها  لتنظيف الفم والأسنان كما سيوضح لاحقا.

فوائد الآراك البيئية

أولاً من الناحية الزراعية

تنتشر زراعة الآراك أو S.persica على نطاق واسع في عدة مناطق في شبه الجزيرة العربية وذلك ليس فقط لإستخدام فروعها كفراشي أسنان طبيعية، إنما أيضاً لتوظيف النبات نفسه كمصداتٍ للرياحِ ولتشكيل أحزمةٍ طبيعيةٍ لحماية محاصيل البستنة والزراعة, كما وتُزرع أشجار الآراك في الأودية الصحراويّة لتثبيت التربة ومنع إنجرافها, هذا وتساعد زراعتها في إستصلاح موائل الكثبان الرملية وإستغلال التربة المالحة في الزراعة.

ثانياً من ناحية الحفاظ على المصادر الطبيعية

تعتبر عمليتي إنتاج السواك وإستهلاكه عمليتان مستدامتان وتحافظان على عناصر البيئة من ماء وهواء وتربة,  فمن حيث التركيب فهو يتركب من مادة عضوية بحتة متوفرة طبيعياً,  أما من ناحية الإنتاج فلا تحتاج عملية إنتاجه إلى خبرة أو أية موارد أو مواد إضافية أو مصانع أومعدات ضخمة, كما أنه على عكس عملية تصنيع فراشي الأسنان ومعاجين الأسنان الصناعية, فإن إنتاج السواك لا يولد نفايات صناعية نهائياً ولا يلوث الهواء كما تفعل الصناعات الحديثة, أضف إلى ذلك أن إنتاجه  يعتمد بشكل كامل على الطاقة الشمسية الطبيعية فقط فهو بذلك موفر للطاقة ولا يعتمد على طاقة الوقود الأحفوري الملوثة للبيئة,  أما من ناحية إستهلاك المياه  فإن نبتة S.persica تتمتع بقدرة عالية على تحمل ملوحة التربة حيث يمكن لبذور هذا النبات أن تنمو في ماءٍ مالحٍ معدل ملوحته dsm 15,
كما تتميز هذه النبتة بإستهلاكها الضئيل للماء حيث أن شجرة الأراك قادرة على تحمل بيئة قاحلة للغاية مع متوسط ​​هطول أمطار أقل من 200 ملم سنوياً.  وحتى بعد الإستخدام, فإن السواك صديق للبيئة حيث أن التخلص من بقاياه سهل جداً نظراً لطبيعته العضوية.

السواك وأهداف التنمية المستدامة للأمم المتحدة

وعند الرجوع إلى أهداف التنمية المستدامة للأمم المتحدة (SDG), نجد أن إستخدام السواك كبديل مستدام لفرشاة الأسنان الصناعية يحقق بصورة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة الأهداف التالية :

  • الهدف الثالث المتمثل بتمتع الجميع بأنماط عيش صحية.
  • الهدف السادس المتمثل بتوافر المياه للجميع وإدارتها إدارة مستدامة.
  • الهدف السابع المتمثل بالطاقة نظيفة والمستدامة.
  • الهدف الحادي عشر المتمثل بمدن ومجتمعات محلية مستدامة.
  • الهدف الثاني عشر المتمثل بوجود أنماط إستهلاك وإنتاج مستدامة.


مما سبق يستنتج أنه يمكن تبني السواك بسهولة كفرشاة أسنان صديقة للبيئة وكبديل أخضر لفرشاة الأسنان البلاستيكية التقليدية للحفاظ على نظافة الفم وصحة الأسنان, حيث أنه فرشاة أسنان عضوية طبيعية تتميز بوفرتها وبسهولة إستخدامها وبإنخفاض تكلفتها وتكلفة إنتاجها وتوفيرها للماء والطاقة مع عدم إنتاجها للنفايات الصناعية أو تسببها بالتلوث سواء في أثناء عملية التصنيع أو بعد الإنتهاء من الإستخدام, هذا وإن زراعتها تعتبر إستصلاحاً للتربة المالحة  وذات قيمة إقتصادية وبيئية مهمة.

How to Convert Scrap Tires into Biofuel

Waste disposal is a serious concern these days, especially with the increasing public awareness of the need to protect the environment. Solid wastes like old tires present complicated disposal problems. Large, hollow, durable, and non-biodegradable, old tires can take up substantial space in landfills. Leaving tires to nature can also be problematic as mosquitoes and other pests may thrive on them.


In the United States, an estimated 300 million scrap tires are produced every year. Around the world, the number jumps to about 2 billion. Fortunately, there are several ways to recycle scrap tires including conversion into biofuels.

What is Tire-Derived Fuel?

Tire or rubber recycling can take on several forms. Tires can be reused in railway lines to reduce vibration. It can also be used as construction materials in playgrounds, running tracks, and other facilities.

One of the best ways to reuse scrap tires is to convert these to biofuel. Generally referred to as tire-derived fuel (TDF), it is a cleaner, more sustainable, and cheaper alternative to fuel. TDF provides an advanced and practical approach to tire recycling, and widely used in industrial facilities worldwide including pulp and paper kilns, cement kilns, and electric utilities.

As a supplemental fuel, it helps companies generate savings in energy costs while increasing boiler efficiency and lowering air emissions. It is estimated that more than half of the scrap tires generated yearly are used as TDF.

With its high heat value, scrap tires are an excellent fuel source. Consider that the heating value of an average passenger tire can go up to 15,000 British thermal units (Btu) per pound, which is even better than the 12,000Btu per pound of coal.

On a grander scale, scrap tires represent a viable energy source. Based on the average discard rate of 300 million tires a year, it is estimated that old tires can produce energy equivalent to around 17 million barrels of oil. This is roughly less than 1% of the energy needs in the United States.

Conversion of old tires into biofuel

There are two physical actions involved in the conversion of tires into biofuel: shredding and pyrolysis, or the decomposition of the tires by exposing it at high temperatures and the use of a special catalyst.

TDF processing may involve whole tires or tires cut down into uniform species. The size of the tire for fuel conversion would largely depend on the kind of combustion unit to be utilized.

In shredding rubber, scrap tires can be entirely placed into the shredder. There is also the option to have the beads extracted before shredding. Shredders are high-shear and low-torque in nature capable of reducing truck tires with an outside diameter of 48 inches to 1 to 4-inch pieces.

After the tires have been cut into smaller pieces, these are then fed into a pyrolysis reactor. In this machine, the rubber is softened by exposing it to high temperatures that can exceed 700 degrees Celsius. At high-temperature heating, rubber polymers would break down into smaller molecules. These would then vaporize and exit from the pyrolysis reactor.

The vapor can be condensed into bio-oil or pyrolysis oil, an oily type of liquid. It can also be burned directly for power production. Some molecules too tiny to condense remain as gas and burned as fuel.

Critical to this process is the heating rate of a tire as it can affect reaction time, product quality and yield, and energy requirement. In instances when the heating temperature is at around 450 degrees Celsius, the product is liquid which is often a mix of hydrocarbon. At heating temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius, the primary product is synthetic gas or syngas primarily because of cracking of the liquids.

Aside from being used as biofuels, the derived byproducts of bio-oil and syngas can be used as feedstock for refining chemical products. Bio-oil is coveted for its low sulfur and residual carbon content aside from having a high calorific value. It is used in paper mills, cement kilns, power plants, foundries, industrial furnaces, and other industries.

The solid residue from scrap tires called char contains inorganic matter and carbon black. It is commonly used as activated carbon or smokeless fuel in the rubber industry.

In Australia, however, a tire recycling process does not require the shredding of scrap tires in order to convert it into biofuel. The Victoria-based Green Distillation Technologies processes all kinds of tires including the super singles with a diameter of 1.2 meters. The tires are loaded into an airtight process chamber. Shredding, crumbling, or chopping of the tires are not required.

The tires are then subjected to high-temperature heating which serves as a catalyst for a chemical reaction. The tires are destructed into various compounds, one of which is gathered and condensed into the oil. This is the same as the bio-oil produced by a pyrolysis reactor.

Application of Tire-Derived Fuel

As mentioned earlier, biofuel from scrap tires is useful in various industries such as cement manufacturing. TDF is used by cement makers to augment their fuel for firing cement kilns. The use of tires as fuel has also been proven to help in reducing the emission of harmful chemicals into the air.

TDF is also tapped by pulp and paper companies to supplement wood waste, the main fuel used in powering pump mill boilers. TDF has a higher heat value than wood waste while helping overcome operating problems such as low heat content and high moisture content. The use of TDF likewise helps pulp and paper mills lower their fuel costs and improve their combustion efficiency. It can also help improve the public image of paper mill boilers.

To conclude, converting scrap tires into biofuels present a practical energy source for many industries around the world. Thermal conversion of tires into an alternative and clean fuel is considered an environment-friendly and practical approach to disposing of a difficult solid waste.

Are Wooden Gates Worth It?

Gates are important – if situated at the entrance to any property they provide the first impression for visitors – so what impression do you want them to have? Is security and deterrence the key issue, is it aesthetics or is it simply functionality – a convenient way to access fields for livestock – or a combination of these? Whatever your requirement you can be assured that there’s a wooden gate option that will work for you. Here’s why:

why wood might be the best choice for your next gate

Wood gates are generally cheaper than metal

Metal gates tend to come in steel or aluminum and in a number of different sizes and designs, the same as wood, however there are many different types of both soft and hard wood that wooden gates can be made from. The more common softwood varieties include the common Redwood, or ‘Scots Pine’, and the remarkably sturdy Red Cedar, whilst hard woods include Iroko and European Oak.

Softwood gates are more cost-effective than their hardwood counterparts, and cheaper than metal gates with a typical lifespan of between 7 and 8 years, subject to regular maintenance and the application of preservative (some gates come with a level of protection added but check carefully prior to purchase).

Depending on the type of more durable hardwood you select the price will be more compatible with metal gates but still generally cheaper. Iroko is a long lasting, stable and attractive wood that offers a fantastic lifespan, and European Oak is a denser wood that is very resistant to fungal and insect attacks, thanks to its high tannin content.

Wooden gates are an affordable option for first-time farmers, or householders and landowners on a budget.

Wooden gates are strong

As well as being cost-effective, wooden gates, when properly treated and maintained, can be more than strong enough for most applications, whilst obviously not being as strong and durable as metal alternatives. Wood gates need to be protected from pests, heavy wind and rain, and harsh UV light. Regular coats of protective sealant or preservative can safeguard a wooden gate and prolong its lifespan for many years.

Wooden gates are easy to repair

Unlike metal gates, wooden gates can be repaired relatively quickly and cheaply, often by someone with competent DIY skills and standard maintenance tools. Metal however requires specialist repair such as welding which can be expensive and inconvenient to arrange. The trick with wood is to ensure against the need for major repairs by undertaking regular checks against small damage that might deteriorate and cause the need for major repairs at a later stage.

You need to ensure wood is properly and appropriately protected. Metal gates might not need such regular maintenance as wood but when metal gates do need repair it is more of a complex and costly undertaking.

Wooden gates are aesthetically pleasing

As well as offering a number of physical benefits, wooden gates are commonly chosen for their classic appearance, especially in a rural or countryside setting where the organic appeal of wood is compelling. After all, wooden gates have been used for centuries, and their aesthetic is something we tend to appreciate as wooden gates create a classic country look to improve the appearance of any outdoor space.

Metal gates on the other hand have a more austere, functional aesthetic. Treated carefully, wooden gates can last many years whilst creating that desired ageing effect that many people, especially homeowners, find aesthetically pleasing.

Wooden gates are versatile

Wooden gates are extremely versatile. They can be installed as a means of entrance or exit for both agricultural and residential properties. There is a huge range of wooden gates to choose from. Make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of each type of wooden gate before you make an informed decision and start the installation process.

When it comes to installing a new gate at your property remember that wooden gates have many advantages over metal alternatives and with such a wide range of options to choose from, you are guaranteed to find a wooden gate to suit you and your individual budget and requirements.

All About Building a Net Zero Home

It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, the time has come to realize the importance of building homes that use zero energy. You don’t even have to believe in catastrophic global warming to realize the financial, comfort, and environmental benefits of net-zero homes.

But first, you need to have an understanding of net-zero and zero-carbon buildings and their implications for us all, as well as the elements and features that need to be incorporated into a net-zero home.

Net-Zero Homes and Energy Efficiency

You could say that a net-zero or zero-energy home represents the best in energy efficiency. Essentially, the energy they consume each year is equivalent to the renewable energy they produce, resulting in a carbon-free environment with a net-zero bill. Additionally, zero-energy homes are sustainable, healthy, very comfortable, and, believe it or not, affordable. Often they are smaller in size which adds to affordability.

As the picture above illustrates, a net-zero home will be energy-efficient from top to bottom. It will have:

  • Insulation in the roof and walls that helps to create a thermal envelope that will keep the building airtight. Good insulation will reduce heating needs as well as cooling demands.
  • Good ventilation and air filtration that maintains air quality for those living in the house.
  • High-performance windows that filter light and minimize penetration of solar heat. Windows must also seal against drafts, adding to the performance of the thermal envelope. Windows should also be designed for cross-ventilation in summer to make use of natural ventilation and reduce the cooling load.
  • High-performance doors that also help to reduce heat loss.
  • A heat pump and/or solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for water and space heating. Heat pumps also offer an energy-efficient alternative option to air conditioners and furnaces and can reduce electricity used for heating by as much as 50%. A heat pump water heater provides very efficient electric water heating.
  • Low-flow water fixtures in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries. These operate with high-pressure, producing a consistently strong flow of water that reduces water flow by more than 30% ultimately using less water and reducing the use of hot water specifically.
  • Energy-efficient lighting that uses about 75% less energy than old-fashioned incandescent lighting. The key is to use light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (or light) CFL light bulbs.
  • Energy-efficient appliances, including induction stovetops, that use renewable sources of energy and are designed to function with minimum energy.
  • Excellent energy management that optimizes energy use throughout the house.

While net-zero homes are generally new buildings, some upgrades can be done to make older homes more energy efficient, particularly by:

  • Improving wall framing if the house is timber frame
  • Adding insulation
  • Installing solar PV energy systems

In the U.S. and some other parts of the world, it is possible to get energy-efficient mortgages and even loans to cover upgrades to make your home net-zero or at very least more energy efficient.

In terms of cost, a specialist (MEP) engineering firm in Chicago, New York, or whichever city you live in or near to will be able to advise.

International Differences

Different countries, and even different states and areas within countries are moving at a very varied rate towards the World Green Building Council’s goal to have all new buildings net-zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050. Some will make it, clearly, others won’t. Similarly, some want to and others don’t seem to care.

In the U.S. for instance, California initially took the lead in terms of net-zero buildings although Massachusetts was recently ranked the most energy-efficient state in the U.S. by advocacy group the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). According to their 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Massachusetts scored 44/50 while California sored 43.5. At the other end of the scale, Wyoming had an abysmal score of only 4.5/50.

On the other side of the world, the UAE has pledged to be a global leader in sustainability, aiming for new “nearly zero energy buildings” by the end of next year (2020). This means that all new buildings, including homes, will have low energy consumption and they will use renewable energy for most needs. It is also part of a plan to develop a low energy, low carbon economy that will set an example for all the other countries in the Middle East region.

DEWA Headquarters in Dubai is the world’s largest LEED-certified building

Having said that it doesn’t matter where in the world you live when it comes to net zero, climatic, economic, and other differences do impact on viability. Even traditional design practices and building methods in some regions have a significant influence. For instance, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as a whole, energy prices and the costs of trying to implement energy efficiency measures are very real factors.

Researcher Moncef Krarti did a relatively recent study that evaluated net-zero energy residential buildings in the MENA region focusing specifically on the cost-effectiveness of designing residential buildings that would minimize lifecycle energy costs. He concluded that it was vital to reduce energy subsidies in the MENA region, and ultimately eliminate them.

The ACEEE suggests other strategies including more stringent building energy codes and an improvement in code compliance in some states, and to find innovative financing mechanisms to lower up-front costs in others.

International Agreement

While the challenges and success rates vary, it is generally agreed that net-zero homes cost about 10% more to build than those that don’t comply with energy-efficiency requirements.

But with an acknowledgment that buildings are responsible for a very big percentage of the total energy used (40% in the U.S.), it is a fact that zero-energy homes are one of the cornerstones of a globally reduced carbon future that isn’t going to rely on harmful fossil fuels.

Certainly, net-zero is the way to go.

COP21 Paris: Powered by 200 Megatonnes of Coal-fired CO2

As negotiators around the world gather for what many expect to be a groundbreaking UN climate negotiating session at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) which will seek a legally binding agreement on climate action, few may know that their meeting is being funded by the Coal industry. The corporate sponsorship of COP21 creates a dangerous conflict of interest in three key respects. Many of the sponsors are highly invested in oil, gas, coal, and other carbon-polluting sectors, and have a vested interest in obstructing or weakening any real action on climate change. However, with major industrial polluters using their deep pockets to influence climate policy at every level, how will a meaningful agreement be secured?

Corporate Interest at COP21

A new report released by Corporate Accountability International highlights that 4 of the leading sponsors of this year’s UN climate negotiations are collectively responsible for more than 200 megatonnes of CO2 emissions worldwide. The report titled, ‘Fueling the Fire – The corporate sponsors bankrolling COP21’ reveals how European energy giants Engie, Électricité de France (EDF), Suez Environment and BNP Paribas collectively own more than 46 coal-fired power plants around the world, including investments in oil sands exploration in Canada and fracking for shale gas in the UK. This has raised serious concerns ahead of the UN conference as to the role that corporate lobby groups should have, as many feel that this direct financial interest goes against the moral focus of the negotiations.

Patti Lynn, Executive director of Corporate Accountability International noted that the decision to allow these large polluters to sponsor the conference is “akin to hiring a fox to guard a hen house". She also argued that the UN climate negotiation was at risk of becoming a “corporate tradeshows for false market-based solutions.”

The report not only highlights the public behaviour of many of these companies, but also what they do behind the scenes. Earlier this year, ExxonMobil was famously outed for having suppressed knowledge of their role on contributing to Climate Change for the past 30 years.  However, it appears that many of the new conference sponsors have similarly questionable records on direct policy interference. While EDF claims to be “committed to a decarbonized world,” it is an active member alongside ExxonMobil and Shell of Business Europe.  This group has been linked to; openly oppose the “market deployment of energy produced from renewable sources” across Europe.

But it is perhaps their public actions that speak the loudest. In 2014, the sponsoring energy giant Engie directly profited from more than 131 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is equivalent to the pollution emitted from driving a car around the globe 12 million times. "Despite recent announcements to stop new coal projects, Engie still owns 30 dirty coal power plants worldwide." Célia Gautier, policy advisor at Climate Action Network France. The report finally calls for future climate policy-making to be free of corporate interests through directly disallowing large contributors to climate change from the policy-making process, in a similar way that big tobacco was kicked out of health talks a decade ago.

UNFCCC – Twenty Years of Inaction

After two decades of negotiations, the UNFCCC has been unable to achieve meaningful action on climate change. The failure of 20 climate summits to date has corresponded with a dramatic speed up of greenhouse gas emission rates. In fact, since 1988, more than half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released, raising the prospect of irreversible climate change.

Global inaction on climate change is also the consequence of political and economic interference by the fossil fuel industry. For decades, corporations, like ExxonMobil and Shell, have run sophisticated and effective campaigns of denial and deception about climate change. To undermine progress on climate policy and to secure their own profits, they have utilized a range of interference tactics, including financial contributions, corruption and lobbying, PR campaigns, litigation and legal threats, funding junk science, issuing contradictory statements, and sponsoring front groups, think tanks, and trade associations to do their dirty work.

The association of such corporations with the UNFCCC has not simply blocked or impeded meaningful climate action. It also has shifted the focus of negotiations onto market-based solutions, such as carbon prices and trading, as well as onto techno-fixes, such as carbon sequestration, fracking, and nuclear energy none of which have reduced overall emissions globally or spurred wide-spread low-carbon investments in national economies that meet the the deadlines for averting climate chaos. These same corporations have also interfered with the proceedings and operations of the UNFCCC. From the earliest COP meetings to today, transnational corporations and their associated business lobbies have positioned themselves to undermine or influence any potential climate treaty.

Time for Action

The time for action is now. With the world watching, governments must agree to remove the influence of fossil fuel corporations and other polluting industries from climate change negotiations. With precedent established in international law specifically, in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control it is possible to exclude the big carbon polluters from U.N. summits on climate change. Indeed, it is the only way to secure bold, effective policy at COP21 that will curb the effects of climate change and move us to a more just, equitable future for all.

Preserving Biodiversity in Jordan

Jordan is situated at the center of unique biota, representing the biodiversity of dry lands. The natural ecosystems in Jordan support human activities in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, tourism, traditional and pharmaceutical health products, traditional medicine and many others. These ecosystems are also important for their intrinsic value, and for protection of overall environmental quality.

The Levant states in general, and Jordan in particular, went through changes during the past two centuries from various anthropogenic activities. These changes are threatening the natural ecosystems, which have been destroyed to make way for agricultural, industrial, or housing developments. Species biodiversity have been severely affected, with many facing extinction. Rare and endemic plant and animals are endangered.

biodiversity in jordan

Biodiversity in Jordan

Despite its relatively small size, Jordan is highly rich in biodiversity. The country is divided into four different bio-geographical zones – the Mediterranean, Irano -Turanian, saharo-Arabian and Sudania. These zones are key elements in supporting biodiversity, containing three major ecosystems – terrestrial, marine, and wetland.

Biodiversity in Jordan has been seriously threatened in recent years. Natural areas and wildlife has been severely affected due to rapid urban growth resulting from population growth, large-scale migration and rapid industrial expansion has led to depletion of natural ecosystems. Agriculture, animal-grazing, construction and other human activities has led to soil erosion, desertification and fragmentation of the land and reduction or extinction of wildlife. Furthermore, the increasing stress on limited water supplies has led to overexploitation of water resources and a decline in its quality and general decline in biological systems.

The agricultural expansion has led to ecological changes in two ways: decrease in population of some species due to alteration of their natural habitat, and over-exploitation of water resources. For some species, the lack of water has forced the animals to move or die, although for others it has increased their population. Rampant use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers has contaminated soil and water resources while reckless use of heavy agricultural machinery on marginal arid lands has encouraged soil erosion.

Overgrazing is widely recognized as harmful to ecosystems as it may lead to desertification, which increases atmospheric dust; such dust creates a health problem for both humans and wildlife. Furthermore, overgrazing is harmful for soil microorganisms on which the health of the entire ecosystem depends upon. Desertification and deforestation causes the land to deteriorate rapidly. Although Jordan is committed to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), illegal hunting and trapping is still common which is threatening a host of wildlife species. Traffic and vehicular movement is increasing rapidly in Jordan which is also reading to soil erosion and death of animals.

Roadmap for Biodiversity Conservation

Jordan is working toward more profound strategic policies and actions to meet the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the national level, the goal is to raise public awareness about nature as related to the conservation of biodiversity, and to direct national concern in different sectors about the conservation and management of Jordan’s natural habitat in a sustainable way. Decision makers in Jordan should be more aware of the threats facing biological diversity and the degree of its deterioration.

An important development is a multidisciplinary approach that uses geographic information system (GIS) analysis. The plan should involve many stakeholders, including the government, specialized nongovernmental organizations, local communities, and representatives research initiations and universities. As a response to the urgent need for conservation of biodiversity in Jordan, I suggest the following solutions:

  • Rehabilitation of damaged ecosystems in order to promote biodiversity and solving causes of poverty and unemployment – Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of biodiversity degradation: poor people are forced to put urgent needs before the long-term quality of the biodiversity.
  • Designing water supply models and monitoring water quantity and quality for plant and animal biodiversity. To reduce pressure from the growing urban demand, a long-term water solution will require fundamental changes in national water policy and adoption of a large-scale management by the Jordanian government.
  • Coordinating implementation of the plan between the local communities, government agencies and the private sector. It is important to involve local communities in decision making regarding hunting, water use and grazing.
  • Implementation of comprehensive plan, guidelines and national and international policies for sustainable development of arid areas, preservation of biodiversity, and adoption of strategies to prevent harmful practices such as overgrazing or over extraction of water.
  • Establishment of separated areas for biodiversity conservation, off-limits to grazing and other activities, and the monitoring of biodiversity in those areas.
  • Addressing the problems faced by farmers, such as crop selection. There is currently a lack of information on alternative crops that are tolerant to water stress and water-saving irrigation techniques. Livestock owners need services such as grazing reserves and infrastructure for marketing milk and other products.
  • Land use plans are essential for conservation of biodiversity of Jordan, there is an urgent need to encourage shifting the rural pressure to none fertile land, also new trends should be adopted to minimize reduction in forested land and reforest cleared areas.
  • Establishment of more natural reserves to give Jordanians beautiful places to visit and preserve Jordan’s beauty for future generations. A network of protected areas for ecosystems species and genetic resources preservation must also be established.
  • Introduction of sustainable systems for farming, include disease control and crops that help to regenerate soils. Appropriate support and encouragement to farmers to adopt new policies and new practices, such as water-saving irrigation techniques and plantings of sustainable crops such as date palms or honey production.

Jordan is committed to study its biodiversity to conserve its natural resources and ensure the sustainable use of its resources. It is also hoped that Jordan Biodiversity study will be the basis for cross-cultural cooperation and exchange, resulting in scientific integration between Jordan and the rest of the World. The result of applying there principle across several areas will be a visible recovery and improvement of Jordan’s ecosystem. Additionally, new jobs will be created as part of the conservation efforts.

biodiversity in jordan

A biological survey is necessary to monitor changes in the Jordanian ecosystems.  National guidance is required, as well as national and international funding for these activities. Appropriate development organizations should encourage research in ethno-biology to identify plant and animal species used by local people, which will prevent species from being irretrievably lost.

As human induced environmental change continues, society is facing an increasing array of pressing environmental challenges. Answers to these complex challenges must be informed by coordinated, long-term interdisciplinary research. The LTER sites (Long term ecological research sites) are poised to address a set of new initiatives to be pursued in response to these environmental challenges.

Considering that one third of the land mass surface of the earth is classified as arid land, knowledge of the composition of their bio-communities and of how these communities are affected by landscape sustainability measures will find wider application in landscape sustainability programs and contribute to future global policies. Government and specialized environmental NGO involvement is essential for the success of these measures.

On Recycling of Fluorescent Bulbs

All fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. In fact, the standard fluorescent bulb has about 20 milligrams of mercury. It is clear that these lamps must be managed properly to protect human health and the environment. The risk of leaving mercury deposits in landfill is high; therefore, recycling seems the most conscientious and environmentally safe recourse. A comprehensive fluorescent bulb recycling strategy will not only help in environment protection but can also promote new business growth and job opportunities.

An analysis of the lighting industry shows a trend shifting from the usage of incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs and LEDs. Incandescent bulbs use more energy, are more costly and are less effective than fluorescent bulbs in the amount of artificial light they produce as fluorescents produce more lumens than incandescents.

Usage of fluorescent bulbs, however, is not entirely without risk because they contain mercury, a chemical compound that can have debilitating effects on humans upon prolonged exposure. Because of its unique properties, the most effective way to dispose of mercury-bearing wastes is through recycling.

Continued illegal disposal of mercury wastes continues, resulting in unnecessary exposure to people and the planet; however, a grassroot movement to protect the environment has created momentum to generate a national law prohibiting the disposal of fluorescent bulbs in landfills.

en.lighten Initiative and Middle East

The UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative was launched in September 2009 as a globally coordinated effort to accelerate the transition to efficient lighting and mitigate climate change, The objective of the initiative is to calculate the potential electricity savings, CO2 emission reductions and the economic benefits that could be realized from phasing out inefficient lighting and replacing them with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Around 100 countries were analyzed globally, with 19 hailing from the MENA region.

Several countries in the Middle East are already taking measures to promote efficient lighting. Six countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, and UAE) have already distributed tens of millions of CFLs in total.

Countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Lebanon have announced ban on the sale of all incandescent bulbs by specific target years. Likewise Qatar has already announced plans to phase out use of incandescent bulbs. However, the promotion of CFLs demands a viable strategy to counter broken and disused fluorescent bulbs in order to prevent its harmful effect on the environment and public health.

Recycling Strategy

Proper disposal of mercury-contained fluorescent lamps is essential to prevent release of toxic materials into the environment. The manufacturers of fluorescent tubes are responsible for the proper labeling of mercury-containing lamps to alert customers to their hazards.

With the labeling of the symbol “Hg” on each lamp, individuals should recognize these products contain mercury. In United States, fluorescent bulbs and other types of energy-efficient lighting as well as nickel-cadmium batteries, pesticides and thermostats are regulated under the Universal Waste Rule (UWR).

Proper disposal of mercury-contained fluorescent lamps is essential

The UWR allows businesses, government agencies and other generators an opportunity to recycle bulbs and other types of universal waste at the end of life rather than manifesting and disposing of them as a hazardous waste. This can result in significant savings for the business or property owner. Recycling also helps protect our environment from potentially toxic materials.

Many governments and retailers are offering CFL recycling schemes that safely handle the mercury. Private industry has to partner with government to develop a plan to eliminate fluorescent bulbs in landfills.

To further encourage recycling, the cost of recycling should be initially absorbed by the manufacturers, who in turn, may pass the costs to the consumers. The consumer can then return the spent bulbs to their purchase point of origin. This has worked in other recycling sectors, and it can also work with mercury-containing devices such as fluorescent lamps.

African Development Bank and Renewable Energy

Africa has huge renewable energy potential with some of the world’s largest concentration of alternative energy resources in the form of solar, wind, hydro, and energy. Overall, 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are in the top-33 countries worldwide with combined reserves of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy far exceeding annual consumption. Most of the sub-Saharan countries receive solar radiation in the range of 6-8 kWh/m2/day, which counts among the highest amounts of solar radiation in the world. Until now, only a small fraction of Africa’s vast renewable energy potential has been tapped.  The renewable energy resources have the potential to cover the energy requirements of the entire continent.

The African Development Bank has supported its member countries in their energy development initiatives for more than four decades. With growing concerns about climate change, AfDB has compiled a strong project pipeline comprised of small- to large-scale wind-power projects, mini, small and large hydro-power projects, cogeneration power projects, geothermal power projects and biodiesel projects. The major priorities for the Bank include broadening the supply of low-cost environmentally clean energy and developing renewable forms of energy to diversify power generation sources in Africa. The AfDB’s interventions to support climate change mitigation in Africa are driven by sound policies and strategies and through its financing initiatives the Bank endeavors to become a major force in clean energy development in Africa.

Energy projects are an important area of the AfDB’s infrastructure work, keeping in view the lack of access to energy services across Africa and continued high oil prices affecting oil-importing countries. AfDB’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and other programmes, are in the process of identifying priority investment projects in renewable energy, which also include small and medium scale hydro and biomass co-generation.  The Bank supports its member countries towards developing renewable energy projects in three ways:

  • By encouraging countries to mainstream clean energy options into national development plans and energy planning.
  • By promoting investment in clean energy and energy efficiency ventures
  • By supporting the sustainable exploitation of the huge energy potential of the continent, while supporting the growth of a low-carbon economy.

FINESSE Africa Program

The FINESSE Africa Program, financed by the Dutch Government, has been the mainstay of AfDB’s support of renewable energy and energy efficiency since 2004. The Private Sector department of AfDB, in collaboration with the Danish Renewable Energy Agency (DANIDA), has developed a robust project pipeline of solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy projects for upcoming five years. 

The FINESSE program has helped in project preparation/development for Lesotho (rural electrification by means of different sources of renewable energy), Madagascar (rural water supply using solar water pumps), Ghana (energy sector review) and Uganda (solar PV for schools and boarding facilities), as well as on the development of the energy component of the Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Program in Uganda (solar PV, hydropower and grid extension), the Bank’s initiative on bio-ethanol in Mozambique (including co-funding a recent bio fuels workshop in Maputo) and the AfDB Country Strategy Paper revision in Madagascar.

Clean Energy Investment Framework

The AfDB’s Clean Energy Investment Framework aims at promoting sustainable development and contributing to global emissions reduction efforts by using a three-pronged approach: maximize clean energy options, emphasize energy efficiency and enable African countries to participate effectively in CDM sector. The AfDB’s interventions to support climate change mitigation in Africa are driven by sound policies and strategies and through its financing initiatives the Bank endeavors to become a major force in clean energy development in Africa.

In order to finance energy access and clean energy development operations, the Bank Group will draw on resources from its AfDB non-concessional window to finance public-sponsored projects and programs in countries across Africa. According to the Framework, AfDB will work with a range of stakeholders (national governments, regional organizations, sub-sovereign entities, energy and power utilities, independent power producers and distributors, sector regulators, and civil society organizations) on key issues in clean energy access and climate adaptation in all regional member countries. 

Climate Investment Funds

Part of the AfDB’s commitment to supporting Africa’s move toward climate resilience and low carbon development is expanding access to international climate change financing. The African Development Bank is implementing the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), a pair of funds designed to help developing countries pilot transformations in clean technology, sustainable management of forests, increased energy access through renewable energy, and climate-resilient development. The AfDB has been involved with the CIF since their inception in 2008. 

World’s largest CSP Plant is being built in Ouarzazate (Morocco) with large-scale funding from AfDB

The Bank is actively supporting African nations and regions as they develop CIF investment plans and then channeling CIF funds, as well as its own co-financing, to turn those plans into action. One of the Climate Investment Funds, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) provides developing countries with positive incentives to scale up the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of technologies with a high potential for long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings. 

In the Middle East and North Africa region, US$750 million in CTF funding is supporting deployment of 1GW of solar power generation capacity, reducing about 1.7 million tons of CO2 per year from the energy sectors of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In Morocco, US$197 million in CTF funding is cofinancing the world’s largest concentrated solar power initiative. Another US$125 million is helping scale up investments in its wind energy program targeting 2GW by 2020.