Big Data and Environmental Sustainability

Over the past few years, big data has gained significantly in popularity. Big data is being used for a wide array of applications. Businesses rely on big data to gain more insight into their customers. In return, this allowed them to market more effectively. Nowadays, it is possible to use big data, alongwith IoT and AI, for many other purposes, including achieving and maintaining optimum environmental sustainability. What is big data all about? How can it help achieve environmental sustainability? You’ll find out in the guide below. What is Big Data First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the … Continue reading

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

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

Environmental Outlook for the Arab Region

The overall environmental outlook in the Arab region is bleak, despite progress on some fronts, according to the latest report of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). Entitled Arab Environment in 10 Years, the report crowns a decade of annual reports on the state of the environment in the Arab world. The AFED reports have become major references for highlighting progress, identifying problems facing the Arab world, and recommending alternative solutions.  Key Issues at Stake Having an environmental organization focused solely on the Middle East is essential when considering the characteristics specific to the region. As outlined in … Continue reading

Urgent Call to Reduce Food Wastage in Ramadan

The month of Ramadan witnesses a great rush of frantic buyers who are buying and storing food items and allied commodities. Unfortunately, Muslims countries, especially Gulf nations, generate huge quantities of food waste which increases many folds during the month of Ramadan and festivals like Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha whereby the consumption and wastage of food increase at an alarming level. Firstly, the food habits change in the month of Ramadan whereby Sahoor or breakfast/ meal is taken early in the morning. Later after sunset Iftar/ Fatoor (opening of the fast) is taken usually with specially cooked … Continue reading

Ramadan: A Catalyst for Green Living

The true meaning of Ramadan is to take care of our body, soul, people, surrounding and ecosystems. The month of Ramadan is a golden opportunity to make a real shift towards ‘green living’ that is environmental friendly, non-polluting, non-wasteful and aim toward saving of natural resources. During Ramadan, let us create awareness on use of resources, think and act positively towards our environment and change our unfriendly habits which are impacting our ecosystem. Let us seize this opportunity to adopt a model for a green and responsible behavior that addresses urgent environmental issues. Ramadan witnesses an over-consumption of meat, vegetables and fruits … Continue reading

Egypt’s Water Crisis – Recipe for Disaster

Egypt has been suffering from severe water scarcity in recent years. Uneven water distribution, misuse of water resources and inefficient irrigation techniques are some of the major factors playing havoc with water security in the country. Egypt has only 20 cubic meters per person of internal renewable freshwater resources, and as a result the country relies heavily on the Nile River for its main source of water. The River Nile is the backbone of Egypt’s industrial and agricultural sector and is the primary source of drinking water for the population. Rising populations and rapid economic development in the countries of … Continue reading

Green Roof Potential in Arab Cities

Urban green roofs have long been promoted as an easy and effective strategy for beautifying the built environment and increasing investment opportunity. The building roof is very important because it has a direct impact on thermal comfort and energy conservation in and around buildings. Urban green roofs can help to address the lack of green space in many urban areas. Urban green roofs provides the city with open spaces that helps reduce urban heat island effect and provides the human population on the site with a connection to the outdoors. However, we must differentiate between two types of urban green … Continue reading

Food Security in the Middle East

Despite the fact that the Middle East is blessed with a rich geological inheritance of hydrocarbons and mineral resources, it is a water-scarce and arid region that has its share of demographic and socio-economic problems. It is difficult to grow food crops in the Middle East due to scarcity of water supply and limited availability of arable land. The region is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in international commodity markets because of heavy dependence on imported grains and food items. According to a report issued in 2009 by the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the … Continue reading

Guidelines for Eco-Friendly Eidul Fitr

The culmination of the holy month of Ramadan is with the festival of Eidul Fitr or Feast of Breaking the Fast. Eid is considered as a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide and to show a common goal of unity. The main aspects of Eid are congregational prayers in masjids, open areas and parks, get to gather of families and friends at home or restaurants, making and eating special dishes and wearing ceremonial dresses. Eidul Fitr, like other local, national and religious festivals often have a major impact on the environmental resources. Extra food, drinks and clothings are made, used … Continue reading

Food Security in Lebanon

Lebanon is clubbed with middle range countries in food security. According to an ESCWA report, 49 percent of Lebanese are reportedly worried about their ability to access enough food, and 31 percent of them stating that they were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food over the course of a year. There is scary statistics related to food security in Lebanon especially after the flow of Syrian refugees. Syria used to be an important route for agriculture activities in Lebanon.  There was an agriculture trade through Syria and with Syria. The bilateral agreement has declined from 2011-2012, which led to the increase … Continue reading

Water-Food Linkage in Arab World

The water-food linkage represents an important and vital nexus in the Arab countries. Under the current unstable food security situation (fluctuating energy prices, poor harvests, rising demand from a growing population, the use of bio-fuels and export bans have all increased prices), the ability for the Arab countries to feed their growing population is severely challenged by competition over increasingly limited water resources. Agriculture is currently challenged by competition among sectors on available water resources. While the majority of water in the Arab region is used inefficiently in the agricultural sector (about 85% with less than 40% efficiency), which is … Continue reading