Trends in Sustainable Housing

There has been large-scale proliferation in construction of buildings worldwide due to population growth, economic development, urbanization and migration. According to UN Habitat, there has been a migration of the world’s population from rural areas to cities or smaller urban areas. In fact, this trend is expected to continue and cities within the developed as well as developing nations are expected to grow in terms of population. As a result all forms of construction activities are expected to become more intense than ever in the years to come. Usually the development of urban areas suffers from weak process of planning … Continue reading

Renewable Energy in Jordan

Renewable energy systems have been used in Jordan since early 1970s. Infact, Jordan has been a pioneer in renewable energy promotion in the Middle East with its first wind power pilot project in Al-Ibrahemiya as early as 1988. In the recent past, Jordan has witnessed a surge in initiatives to generate power from renewable resources with financial and technical backing from the government, international agencies and foreign donors. However, renewable energy remains largely untapped due to high cost associated with non-conventional energy resources and relatively cheap availability of oil and natural gas.  Wind energy is feasible mainly in areas overlooking … 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

Water Scarcity in MENA

The Middle East and North Africa region is the most water scarce region of the world. The region is home to 6.3 percent of world’s population but has access to measly 1.4 percent of the world’s renewable fresh water. The average water availability per person in other geographical regions is about 7,000 m3/year, whereas water availability is merely 1,200 m3/person/year in the MENA region. The region has the highest per capita rates of freshwater extraction in the world (804 m3/year) and currently exploits over 75 percent of its renewable water resources. Due to burgeoning population and rapid economic growth, the … Continue reading

Combating Desertification in MENA

Desertification is a worldwide phenomenon afflicting countries all over the world. The desert is making a comeback in the Middle East, with fertile lands turning into barren wastes. According to United Nation’s Development Program’s 2009 Arab Human Development Report, desertification is threatening around one-fifth of the MENA region. China is experiencing desertification at an alarming rate – as much as 1,300 square miles each year. Sub-Saharan Africa is drying up, as are regions of Turkey that were once rich agricultural lands. During the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the world’s leaders adopted the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and agreed on the desertification definition … Continue reading

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

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

Women and the Environment in Arabia

Women and the environment are closely interlinked, throughout history, different nations glorified women as powerful symbols of nature, and nature has always been given the female characteristics: care, reproduction and life-giving. Nevertheless, women’s involvement in the preservation of the environment has seldom been recognized and documented in the histories of several nations. One of the most significant phenomena in the last decades is recognition of women rights to achieve sustainable development; many international agreements reflected this recognition, including Rio Declaration in 1992, which stresses the point of the centrality of the full women participation to achieve environmental sustainability. The UN … Continue reading