Green Buildings Certification in MENA – Issues and Challenges

Green building rating systems are increasingly gaining attention in the building industry in the MENA region. During the last 15 years, there has been a regional trend in developing and applying green building ratings systems. In several countries such systems have been developed in an attempt to follow the international green movement. For example, the Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS) was founded in UAE in 2007, the Green Pyramid (GPRS) and ARZ Building Rating System in Egypt and Lebanon respectively were founded in 2008, the Edama was proposed in Jordan in 2009 and Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) was founded in 2010.  … Continue reading

Energy Efficiency in Arab World: Key Findings of Arab Future Energy Index 2017

Energy efficiency is the most cost effective means of reducing the energy intensity of the economy and promoting a low-carbon future in the Arab world. Energy efficiency further helps Arab states meet their SDGs on combating climate change and its impacts (SDG13), as it cuts down on GHG emissions resulting from excessive and inefficient consumption of energy. Energy efficiency improvements can save governments, companies, and citizens billions of dollars in the Arab region from reduced energy bills, while at the same time quickly reducing carbon footprints – a win-win solution. Many countries in the region are now moving ahead with … Continue reading

Talking Green in Jordan

The global financial recession triggered serious debate among many countries in revealing the causes behind failures and in innovating affordable solutions. Seeking “transformational” economic growth is very fashionable nowadays bringing to the front-line clean energy and green investments as keys for a better future. And for those countries at the heart of change in the Arab World, the famous “Spring” is bringing a different flavor to the aspired change and reform. In Jordan, attention to sustainability (whether environmental or social) is a need as well as a strategic choice. For a country with very limited natural resources and increasingly growing … 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

Unlocking Climate Finance and Investments in Jordan

In November 2022, Egypt will host the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 27). One of the most important messages to convey is the need for developed countries to fulfill their commitment made in the 2015 Paris Agreement to provide USD 100 billion in climate finance and investments to developing countries impacted by climate change, despite their small contribution to global emissions. The Paris Agreement calls for parties with greater financial resources to provide financial assistance to those with fewer and more vulnerable resources. Because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions or adapt … Continue reading

التقييم البيئي الاستراتيجي كأداة للتخطيط ودمج مفهوم الاستدامة في التنمية في الأردن

يسعى الأردن لإيجاد وصفة خاصة به للتخطيط المستدام، حيث يتم حاليا تطبيق ريادي لمفهوم التقييم البيئي الاستراتيجي (Strategic Environmental Assessment)  كأداة للتخطيط وإدارة المناطق التنموية والمناطق الاقتصادية الخاصة. التقييم البيئي الاستراتيجي هي عملية منهجية لتقييم الآثار البيئية للسياسات والاستراتيجيات المقترحة أو للمخططات الشمولية للتأكد من تضمين وادراج كافة الاعتبارات  البيئية بالتوازي مع الاعتبارات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية خلال المراحل المبكرة من التخطيط من قبل صناع القرار. باستخدام نموذج فريد من نوعه، أعدت المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية دراسة التقييم البيئي الاستراتيجي (SEA) وخطة الإدارة البيئية الإستراتيجية (SEMP) لمنطقة البحر الميت التنموية والتي تم اعلانها كمنطقة تنموية في عام 2009 لجذب الاستثمارات  النوعية ذات القيمة … Continue reading

An Adaptive Refugee Camp Model for the Middle East

Natural disasters and wars are two main reasons that force populations to leave their homes, which consequently push for an urgent need to provide temporary shelters or settlements as a disaster management plan. For many years, governments and aid agencies have worked on offering emergency relief camps. Solutions have ranged from short term to long-term shelters. Tents are the most common shelter structure used. However, studies show that the majority of current tent shelters do not satisfy comfort conditions for occupants and hardly satisfy privacy, hygiene and other social needs. They are also expensive to fabricate and deteriorate quickly. Several … Continue reading

Energy Perspectives for Jordan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an emerging and stable economy in the Middle East. Jordan has almost no indigenous energy resources as domestic natural gas covers merely 3% of the Kingdom’s energy needs. The country is dependent on oil imports from neighbouring countries to meet its energy requirements. Energy import costs create a financial burden on the national economy and Jordan had to spend almost 20% of its GDP on the purchase of energy in 2008. In Jordan, electricity is mainly generated by burning imported natural gas and oil. The price of electricity for Jordanians is dependent on price … Continue reading

Waste-to-Energy Outlook for Jordan

A “waste crisis” is looming in Jordan with more than 2 million tons of municipal waste and 18,000 tons of industrial wastes being generated each year at an annual growth rate of 3 percent. Alarmingly, less than 5 per cent of solid waste is currently recycled in Jordan. These statistics call for a national master plan in order to reduce, manage and control waste management in the country. The main points to be considered are decentralized waste management, recycling strategy and use of modern waste management technologies. Currently there is no specific legal framework or national strategy for solid waste … Continue reading

Syria’s Crisis and Jordan’s Water Struggle: Lessons Learned

Jordan has had to accept being labeled a Refugee Country since its independence, as the country has absorbed several waves of refugees from neighboring countries in a region of uncertainty.  It began with the Arab-Israeli Wars in 1948 and 1967, followed by the Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2004, and ended with the most recent conflict in Syria, which added 1.4 million refugees to the country’s population. This posed extraordinary challenges to Jordan’s water sector, which lacked the necessary resources to meet the increased demand. Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees and current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres summed up Jordan’s … Continue reading

Ways to Counter Water Scarcity in Jordan

Water scarcity is a reality in Jordan, as the country is counted among the world’s most arid countries. The situation has been exacerbated by the large-scale influx of refugees due to the Syrian crisis. The current per capita water supply in Jordan is 200m3 per year which is almost one-third of the global average. To make matters worse, it is projected that per capita water availability will decline to measly 90m3 by the year 2025. Thus, it is of paramount importance to augment water supply in addition to sustainable use of available water resources. How to Augment Water Supply in … Continue reading

Solid Waste Management in Jordan

Jordan is an emerging and stable economy in the Middle East. The growing industrialization and high population growth rate has led to rapid increase in solid waste generation in the country which has, in turn, put increasing pressure in waste management infrastructure. Around 2 million tons of municipal waste is generated in Jordan each year with most of it diverted to unsanitary landfills and dumpsites. Improper solid waste disposal is leading to public health risks, adverse environmental impacts as well as socio-economic problems.  Solid Waste Generation The predominant fraction in Jordanian MSW is organic matter which makes up as much as … Continue reading