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

Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline: Smart Move for Economy or an 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

Climate Change Impacts in GCC

The GCC countries face multitude of climate change challenges including desertification, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and sea level rise. The region 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. All of the above geographical threats have therefore increased and activated the participation of GCC states in global negotiations recently as evidence are uncovered and impacts being felt across the region. If a couple of days of rain … 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

Microbial Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

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

Arab Perspectives on Wildlife Conservation

The conservation of natural resources has historical depth. Archaeological findings from ancient civilizations, such as the Incas, Indians and Egyptian, show that some animals had special religious significance in their cultures and ideologies. In modern times, vested interests have made sure to increase the animal population for the pleasure of hunting although can’t be considered conservation nevertheless it did affect the number of these animals. The human activities in the past century have jeopardized the population of many animals, making the establishment of conservation crucial to the continuity of wildlife species, thus maintaining the fine balance between biodiversity and wildlife. … Continue reading

Anthropogenic Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems

Anthropogenic climate change is hindering a wide variety of organisms, their genetics and species’ habitats – in short, biodiversity. The accelerated pace of human development and its impacts on biodiversity which sustain it, is both massive and significant. Biodiversity is inextricably linked to climate; climate change is both a cause and an effect of biodiversity change. Climate change jeopardizes the services offered by the global ecosystems that have been taken for granted. Let us examine how climate change is affecting specific ecosystems. Agricultural Ecosystem Agricultural ecosystems are spread around the globe; hence, the impacts of climate change on agricultural biodiversity will be diverse and extensive. … Continue reading

Making a Switch to Circular Economy

All forms of wealth and security, including climate stability, biodiversity, resource availability, soil fertility, air and water purity and health, are depleted by the systemic error of running a linear economy. Linear economics consumes the basis for future growth so what is now growing fastest is unproductive activity, inactivity and instabilities. The credit crunch marks the withdrawal of faith in growth-as-usual and any reliable revival of growth and prosperity requires a switch of vision. Circular Economics The future for growth is circular economics where more economic activity would mean a faster pace of change away from waste-making and towards looking … Continue reading

Environment as a Peace-Building Tool

The world is changing demographically, economically, politically and environmentally. The acquisition of natural resources, such as water, can be viewed as a threat to the international security. Severe environmental degradation can deepen regional divisions and trigger social conflicts for communities that depend on these resources for their livelihoods and fulfillment of basic needs. Moreover, the environment itself can be dramatically affected by such conflicts. The unprecedented demand for natural resources is fuelling ethnic conflicts, causing large-scale displacement and is a severe threat to the lands, livelihoods and the way of life of indigenous people. Infact, many of the bloodiest conflicts … 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

Green Roofs in MENA – Prospects and Challenges

Green roofs are emerging technologies that can provide a wide range of benefits to communities interested in enhancement and protection of their environment. The major benefits of green roofs are reducing energy use as well as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing stormwater management and water quality, decreasing heat island effect by regulating temperature for the roof and the surrounding areas and providing aesthetic value and habitats for many species.   According to a 2013 MENA renewable energy status report, the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) in Middle East and North Africa has reached about 800 million tons of oil.  This … 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

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