Catastrophic Impacts of Biological Warfare on Biodiversity

Biological weapons are considered the most dangerous of all known weapons of mass destruction. They are used to deliberately cause epidemics among humans; destroy the environmental components, including water, air, and soil; and target crops and livestock. Examples of diseases used in biological warfare include anthrax, smallpox, plague, cholera, and avian flu. In addition to the catastrophic effects of biological warfare on the biodiversity and the environment, their danger lies in their low cost and rapid spread, as well as their easy preparation, transport, and use. Unlike nuclear and chemical bombs, biological bombs are without odor or color and therefore … Continue reading

Protecting Iraq’s Southern Marshlands

In mid-January 2021, Iraqi President Barham Salih approved the country’s decision to join the Paris Climate agreement. Iraq signed on to the international climate accords in 2016 but has spent the past few years negotiating its ratification through its parliament. The Paris Climate agreement encourages signatory countries to cut their carbon emissions and invest in the sustainable energy sector. Such a move might prove difficult for Iraq, a country in which oil provides 90% of government revenue and amounts to 99% of national exports. Despite these challenges, Iraq has now committed to modernizing and decarbonizing its energy sector for its … Continue reading

Post-Coronavirus World: Human Development Re-defined

Like many of you around the globe, I have been adjusting with the exigencies of the spread of COVID-19, both personally and professionally. The crisis is rejuvenating human traits and values from various angles. Self-care, life balance, personal development, helping others, and considering the environment are just a few of many values and principles that are boiling down these days. Let’s take environmental values as an example with the several statements issued lately about the potential impact of Coronavirus on some of the hot green issues of today, Climate Change and Biodiversity. A few questions come to mind – though … Continue reading

Climate Change Impacts in Kuwait

Kuwait is facing a wide range of climate change challenges including sea level rise, water scarcity, desertification and loss of diversity. Kuwait is characterized by high temperature, high humidity and arid lands resulting in seriously degraded soil and land damage in addition to salt intrusion in the aquifers affecting the small scale agricultural lands thus enhancing the food security threat in the region. Since 1975, Kuwait has experienced 1.50C to 20C increase in temperature, which is significantly higher than the global average. In recent years, there has been a sharp change in rainfall pattern in Kuwait which may be attributed to … Continue reading

التنوع الحيوي الغابي في الأردن

تعاني الغابات في العالم من ضغوطات هائلة, حيث أن تقلص الغطاء الحرجي في العالم آخذ في التسارع بمعدل ينذر بالخطر وبسرعة تتجاوز قدرة الطبيعة على تعويض الخسارة, إن لإزالة الغابات أثرسلبي مباشر وغير مباشر على الأنظمة البيئية مما يهدد الفائدة الإقتصادية والروحية والترفيهية والثقافية التي تقدمها الطبيعة للإنسان, ومن أكثر الآثار المدمرة هي التغير السلبي وغير الرجعي في التنوع البيولوجي بسبب تدمير الموائل الطبيعية لكثير من أصناف الحياه البرية التي تثري النظام البيئي على كوكب الأرض. إن غياب الأشجار سيؤدي إلى تدمير التنوع الجيني مما يؤثر وينتج خسارة دائمة في أنواع نادرة ومختلفة من النباتات والحيوانات والحشرات والمايكروبات. كما تعتبر … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline: Economy Development or Environmental Disaster

An ambitious project concerning energy industry in Africa between Morocco and Nigeria was set to be constructed to enhance the acceleration of electrification projects across the West African region. The objective of Morocco-Nigeria pipeline project is aimed at creation of a competitive regional market of electricity, and to connect gas resources from Nigeria to West African countries including Morocco. The pipeline project will be approximately 5,660-km long and its construction works will be in phases covering 25 years. After feasibility studies in 2017, the two countries opted for a combined onshore-offshore route to build the pipeline. The two countries are … Continue reading

The Promise of Bioremediation

Ecosystems are permanently challenged with the abundant release of toxic compounds into the environment due to a wide range of anthropogenic activities. Apparently, contamination with oil spills and oily waste disposal are a major global concern since it’s extensively damaging the biodiversity, threatening the public health and has severe ecological and socioeconomic consequences. For example, in 1989, thousands metric tons spell of crude oil in Alaska, led to a massive loss in the marine life as well as several long-term environmental impact. Minor oil spills and non-point oil contamination are no less threats to public health, biodiversity and environment. Awareness of … 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

Environmental Conservation and International Solidarity

Environment is a global public good and a prerequisite for the enjoyment of human rights. Environment has no respect for international boundaries and borders, and belongs to all countries and peoples. However the capacity of environment is limited and a common issue for the entire mankind is to conserve this limited global environment so that all people on earth (and coming generations) can enjoy a healthy life. Right to Healthy Environment The right to a healthy and sustainable environment is getting increasing importance in the light of climate change concerns. With fast-changing geo-political situations and ever-increasing conflicts, conservation of the … Continue reading

Understanding Qatar’s Ecological Footprint

Qatar’s environmental impact remains worryingly high. The country’s per capita ecological footprint is now the second highest in the world, as another Gulf state, Kuwait, has overtaken it to become the worst offender of the 152 countries that were measured, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report 2014. The third country in the list is the UAE, with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, in 33rd position. By comparing the total footprint with the planet’s biocapacity – its capacity to generate an ongoing supply of renewable resources and to absorb waste -the report, based on 2010 … Continue reading

Deep Oceans and Biodiversity

Seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. Its coral reefs are its rainforests and they teem with life, from minute plankton at the bottom of the food chain to giant whales, the largest animals that have ever lived. The biodiversity of the oceans is greater than that found on land and estimated to be between 50–80 per cent of the total. This rich marine biodiversity is suffering the same fate as its land-based cousins. Oceans play a major part in maintaining the CO2 balance, but like terrestrial ecosystems they suffer when this balance is disrupted. … Continue reading