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

EcoMENA – Vision and Mission

The MENA region is plagued by a host of issues including water scarcity, waste disposal, food security, industrial pollution and desertification. Providing free access to quality information and knowledge-based resources motivates youngsters in a big way. EcoMENA provides encouragement to masses in tackling major environmental challenges by empowering them with knowledge and by providing them a solid platform to share their views with the outside world. Salman Zafar, Founder of EcoMENA, talks to the Florentine Association of International Relations (FAIR) about the vision, aims, objectives and rationale behind the creation of EcoMENA.  FAIR: What is EcoMENA and what is its primary … Continue reading

Tips for Minimizing Food Waste

Food waste has environmental, economic as well as social impacts. The rising per capita income and expenditure, living standards, affordability and our careless behavior towards food is taking a significant toll on our finite resources. In shopping malls, restaurants and eateries, it is common to see plates piled up with uneaten or partially eaten food. Unfortunately, affordability is leading to rampant increase in food waste generation all over the Middle East, especially GCC. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that over 300 tons per day of food waste is being generated in Bahrain which constitutes around 11% … Continue reading

Energy Efficiency in MENA – A Tool to Reduce GHG Emissions

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the largest oil-exporting region in the world. Around 85 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions come from energy production, electricity generation, industrial sector and domestic energy consumption. Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia figure among the world’s top-10 per capita carbon emitters. Without a change in energy policies and energy consumption behavior, MENA‘s energy-related GHG emissions will continue to grow. Presently, MENA countries are heavily dependent on fossil fuels to meet their energy requirement which is a major challenge in climate change mitigation efforts. However it also encourages local governments to … Continue reading

Production and Applications of Crumb Rubber

Tens of millions of tires are discarded across the Middle East every year. Disposal of  waste tires is a challenging task because tires have a long life and are non-biodegradable. The traditional method of waste tires management have been stockpiling or illegally dumping or landfilling, all of which are short-term solution.  Crumb rubber is a term usually applied to recycled rubber from automotive and truck scrap tires. There are two major technologies for producing crumb rubber – ambient mechanical grinding and cryogenic grinding. Of the two processes, cryogenic process is more expensive but it produces smoother and smaller crumbs. Ambient Mechanical Grinding In ambient mechanical grinding process, … Continue reading

Water Conservation Strategies for Middle East

To deal with freshwater management challenges in the Middle East, it is important to bring a balance between both water supply and demand side. This can be done by employing strategies to increase water efficiency and conservation. Water conservation strategies for the Middle East include reducing the use of potable water where possible, find alternative source of water for various water usage and increase the water efficiency of fixtures and equipments.  Efficient strategies along with water monitoring that tracks water consumption and identifies problems can significantly reduce both indoor and outdoor water consumption in water-scarce GCC countries like UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and … Continue reading

Green Career Tips by Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar, Founder of EcoMENA, talks to Bhavani Prakash of Green Collar Asia about cleantech industry trends, and offers tips for professionals trying to enter renewable energy and waste management sectors. This interview was originally published on www.greencollarasia.com .  Green Collar Asia: How did you become so interested in renewable energy and waste management technologies? Salman Zafar: I am a chemical engineer by education. After completing my Master’s degree program in 2004, I got the opportunity to work as a Research Fellow on large-scale biogas power projects which initiated me into waste management/bioenergy sector. During the course of my fellowship, I was involved in the design, operation and … 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 Sand and Dust Storms

Sand and dust storms are regular occurrences around the world and more common in arid and semi-arid regions, such as the Middle East. Dust storms play an important role in global dust cycle, and can alter the radiative balance. It can damage agricultural crops and retard plant growth and alter the life cycle of the marine benthic organisms due to less sun light penetration into the sea floor. Dust storms can cause social disruption, economic loss and adverse impact on human health. When the visibility is below 1000 meters on a dusty day, it is considered that dust storm is occurring. … Continue reading

Food Wastes Disposal Methods

Food waste is one of the most prominent waste streams across Middle East, especially in GCC region.  The mushrooming of hotels, restaurants, fast-food joints and cafeterias in the Middle East region has resulted in the generation of huge quantities of food wastes. The proportion of food waste in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal in the Middle East.  Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food waste includes organic … Continue reading

Organic Industrial Wastes in the Middle East

Organic industrial waste includes a wide range of organic materials obtained from industrial and commercial operation. Industries in Middle East countries produces a large number of organic residues and by-products whose disposal is a major problem for stake-holders. In recent decades, the fast-growing food and beverage processing industry has remarkably increased in importance in major countries of the Middle East. Since the early 1990s, the increased agricultural output stimulated an increase in fruit and vegetable canning as well as juice, beverage, and oil processing in countries like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. There are many technologically-advanced dairy products, bakery … Continue reading

نظم تقييم المباني الخضراء في الشرق الأوسط

الأبنية الخضراء لا تساهم فقط في بيئة أفضل وطرق بناء مستدامه، ولكنها تجلب ايضا الكثير من المنافع والفوائد لمالكي المباني ومستخدميها. فتكلفة الانشاء أقل، وتكلفة التشغيل أقل، وسبل الراحه أكثر، والبيئة الداخلية أكثر صحة، والعمر الأفتراضي أطول وتكاليف الصيانة أقل في المبنى الأخضر. توجد العديد من النظم لتقدير وتقييم المباني الخضراء حول العالم، مثل LEED  و BREEAM . فالاستدامة الان تعد هامة جدا في منطقة الشرق الأوسط ودول مثل قطر والامارات لديهم انظمتهم الخاصة بهم لتقييم المباني لتشمل السمات الاجتماعية والبيئية والاقتصادية والثقافية في العمارة الحديثة نظام تقييم الاستدامة الشامل (قطر) ان نظام تقييم الاستدامة الشامل (GSAS) المعروف رسميا باسم … Continue reading

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