Waste-to-Energy Potential in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been grappling with the problem of solid waste in recent years. Around 15 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated in the country each year with per capita average of 1.4 kg per day. Depending on the population density and urban activities of that area, the major ingredients of Saudi Arabian MSW are food waste (40-51 %), paper (12-28 %), cardboard (7 %), plastics (5-17 %), glass (3-5 %), wood (2-8 %), textile (2-6 %), metals (2-8 %) etc. Due to high population growth rate, (3.4% per annum), rapid urbanization (1.5% per annum) … Continue reading

التصدي لأثار التغيرات المناخية بالمغرب

يبدو أن الرجوع إلى فترة ما قبل الثورة الصناعية سيصبح شيئا حتميا لا مناص منه ان نحن أردنا أن ننقذ أنفسنا و أرضنا من عواقب الأزمات البيئية بسبب ما يسمى بالتغيرات المناخية. و لقد فطنت و تيقنت العديد من الدول إلى هذا الخطر الداهم و من بينهم المغرب الذي انخرط في مساعي الحد من التأثيرات المناخية بشكل ملحوظ رسميا و فعليا من خلال عدة مشاريع وطنية كمخططات المغرب الأخضر للنهوض بالقطاع ألفلاحي و سياسات النجاعة الطاقية كمشاريع إنتاج الطاقات المتجددة. و قد أصبح البلد بهذا رائدا في هذا المجال عربيا و إفريقيا. و تتجسد هذه الريادة كذلك من خلال استضافة … Continue reading

Hazardous Waste Management in Qatar: Progress and Challenges

A country with an abundance of raw materials, cheap labor, and a rising demand for energy, Qatar needed to diversify its industrial sector in the 1970s. From then onwards, the use of fertilizers, petrochemicals, and gas liquefaction plants have grown exponentially. The magnitude of hazardous waste and the pollution to be produced from different streams have not been thoroughly considered, but Qatar has taken serious steps to implement commitments for sustainable development by passing laws and treaties, such as law No.4 in 1981 issuing safeguards and providing requirements for the protection of the environment, and by signing onto treaties such … Continue reading

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: Benefits and Opportunities

With changing weather patterns of frequent and intense rainfall, regions in the Middle East are struggling to cope with the influx of rain and stormwater runoff that often flood roads and residential areas. While a good network of surface drainage systems enforced with concrete, pipes and manholes may alleviate the situation, city planners can now adopt the use of more sustainable and environmentally beneficial methods to decrease urban flooding in the Middle East. This technique of utilising natural drainage systems to improve water management is also referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). Different types of SuDS: Detention ponds, green … Continue reading

Irrigation Systems in the United Arab Emirates

Driving down the streets of Dubai, one cannot ignore the large puddles of water that cover the side of the streets and sidewalks. These puddles, which are the result of attempted irrigation of green patches and plants, are a big waste. As a result, a very important question comes to mind: Does the UAE have that much water to spare? Water in the UAE is in very short supply. The United Arab Emirates is one of the top 10 most water-scarce countries in the world, and has one of the highest per capita water usages globally. With 550 liters per … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Solar Energy in Oman: Potential and Progress

Solar energy is a vital and strategic solution for the provision of electric power in the Sultanate of Oman. Given the vast unused land and available solar energy resources, Oman has an excellent potential for solar energy development and deployment. Solar energy is a viable option in Oman and could not only cater to the growing need for energy diversification but also would help in economic diversification. With a total dependence on fossil fuels and increasing population combined with rapid industrialization in cities such as Duqm, Sohar and Salalah, Oman’s power infrastructure and hydrocarbon reserves pose a challenge on the economic … Continue reading

Community Engagement in Recycling Initiatives in Qatar

The current state of environmental custodianship in Qatar leaves much to be desired from the national government and other institutions that publicly endorse initiatives with much fan-fare but do not commit to sustained action. My previous piece titled “Environmental Initiatives in Middle East – Challenges and Remedies” illuminated some of these gaps, but did not provide a detailed description of what underpins this trend and possible solutions might look like. Thus, this article seeks to delve deeper into how state institutions and civil society in Qatar may be able to work cooperatively in staving off further environmental degradation, especially with … Continue reading

Green Spaces in Middle East – Perspectives

Often dubbed as “pockets of green in a grey landscape”, green spaces such as urban parks, vertical gardens and street trees, are increasingly being incorporated into city plans and designs for their multi-functional benefits of ecological, physical and social nature. An obvious benefit from increasing green space within cities is the increase in biodiversity. Often serving as refuges and habitat corridors for wildlife, studies have shown increases in both native and endemic flora and fauna with the expansion of green spaces in cities. Infact it has been observed that city planners choose to incorporate green spaces, such as urban parks … Continue reading

الشرق الأوسط يستعد لمواجهة الاحتباس الحراري وسوق الكربون

تعد منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا من أكثر المناطق عرضة للتغير المناخي، بسبب ندرة المياه، والاعتماد الكبير على الزراعة الحساسة للمناخ، وتركيز السكان والنشاط الاقتصادي في المناطق الساحلية الحضرية، ووجود المناطق المتضررة من النزاع. وعلاوة على ذلك، فإن المنطقة هي واحدة من أكبر المساهمين في انبعاثات الغازات المسببة للاحتباس الحراري وذلك بسبب ازدهار اقتصاد النفط والغاز فيها. وقد تسبب اعتماد العالم على موارد الطاقة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط في الحصول على أكبر معدلات آثار الكربون للفرد الواحد في جميع أنحاء العالم. وليس من المفاجىء أن تكون انبعاثات الكربون في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة ما يقرب من 55 طن للفرد الواحد، أكثر من … Continue reading

معوقات التنمية الزراعية وطرق التغلب عليها

أقر الله سبحانه في كثير من الآيات في كتابه العزيز حول أهمية الزراعة وأنه هو الذي يحي الأرض وهو الذي يخرج الحب ويجعل الجنات ويفجّر الأنهار. يقول الله تعالى في سورة يس: (وَآيَةٌ لَهُمُ الْأَرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَاهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبّاً فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا جَنَّاتٍ مِنْ نَخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ وَفَجَّرْنَا فِيهَا مِنَ الْعُيُونِ) (يّـس32،34) كما ورد التأكيد على شرف العمل الزراعي وديموميته إلى يوم القيامة في كثير من الاحاديث النبوية الشريفة ومنها في الحديث الشريف عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم: “إذا قامت الساعة وفي يد أحدكم فسيلة فليغرسها”. يعتبر القطاع الزراعي من أهم القطاعات الحيوية ومن ركائز التنمية الاقتصادية التي … Continue reading

Nile – The Lifeline of Egypt

The Nile always played a key role in the lives of Egyptians. It made living in the desert possible, provided drinking water; it was a source of irrigation and most importantly created fertile soil that allowed for growing crops to feed the masses. The Nile also offered an ideal means of transport for goods and people thus causing development of boats and other water traveling methods. During the course of history, using the Nile for trading with other countries proved easier and safer than land. The trip from northern to southern Egypt would have been very strenuous if it wasn’t … Continue reading