Reuse and Recycling of Textbooks

For every academic term or semester, thousands of new textbooks are being printed, bought and used. On the other hand, almost the same number of textbooks and course material are being discarded after its use and find its way to the garbage bins ultimately landing at the landfill site where they are being buried, compacted and disposed occupying precious land area. Usually these textbooks are not being reused or recycled generating huge quantities of paper waste. In many of the private schools, the textbooks have to be bought in every term due to change in edition or minor revisions putting … Continue reading

Deleterious Impact of Tire-Burning Kilns

Decorative arts such as woodworking, weaving as well as ceramics and other pottery have a long and honored tradition.  In fact, some of the earliest examples of pottery originate from the Middle East from the time of 6500 BC. In order to meet the ceramic industry’s high energy demand, much of the developing world, MENA in particular, is resorting to cheaper alternatives such as fueling kilns by burning tires and other harmful materials. Though modern technology has led to clean and efficient kiln usage in the developed world, these options come with a high price tag when referring to industrial … Continue reading

Islamic Discourse on Climate Change

Global ecological trends show that we face the risk of tipping points and irreversible changes in the environment and in its capacity to support and sustain human life in all its dimensions.  This state of imbalance and pollution is referred to as “fassad” in Islam which is attributed to human-made actions. Transforming society and the world’s economy to a sustainable basis presents the most significant challenge to the 21st century. It is inspiring to harness local knowledge and culture to inform sustainability. Islam as a worldview and a way of life can provide a fresh outlook to human-environmental in a … Continue reading

The Rapid Degradation of Wadi Gaza

In recent years, environmental crisis has worsened in the Palestine, Gaza Strip in particular, with solid waste, sewage and air pollution being the major issues. The key reason for environmental degradation in the Gaza Strip has been the difficult economic situation and an unending Israeli blockade. Wadi Gaza (or the Gaza Valley) which is located in the middle of Gaza Strip has been transformed from being the most substantial natural ecosystems in Palestine to the most deteriorated regions. Wadi Gaza can be described as one of the largest natural wetlands in Palestine with a length of 105 km. This area has … 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

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

Why We Need to Stop Using Fossil Fuels? Understanding the True Impact

Fossil fuels have a wide range of applications including generation of electricity, transport fuels, making products like plastics, cosmetics, and even certain medicines. But why scientists and environmentalist are fighting to end the use of fossil fuels and promoting solar and wind energy instead? The damage that fossil fuel cause to the environment is affecting the entire ecosystem. The impact is disastrous and haunting for the health of our planet. These damages are in some cases easy to see and evaluate such as pollution and land degradation. However, the damage can take various forms and be hidden and difficult to measure such … Continue reading

A Primer on Landfill Gas Recovery

Landfill gas (or LFG) is generated during the natural process of bacterial decomposition of organic material contained in municipal solid waste landfills or garbage dumps. The waste is covered and compressed mechanically as well as by the weight of the material that is deposited above. This material prevents oxygen from accessing the waste thus producing ideal conditions for anaerobic microorganism to flourish. This gas builds up and is slowly released into the atmosphere if the landfill site has not been engineered to capture the gas. The rate of production is affected by waste composition and landfill geometry, which in turn influence the … Continue reading

Egypt’s Water Crisis and Degeneration of Nile

Egypt is struggling to cope with water shortages and food production. It is expected that Egypt’s per capita annual water supply will drop from 600 cubic meters today to 500 cubic meters by 2025, which is the UN threshold for absolute water scarcity. Egypt has only 20 cubic meters per person of internal renewable freshwater resources, and as a result the country relies heavily on the Nile for its main source of water. Water scarcity has become so severe that it has been recorded that certain areas in the country could go days without water, with pressure sometimes returning only … Continue reading

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

Environmental Impacts of Industrialization

Everything we do, from the food we eat to the electricity we use, affects the world around us — but it wasn’t always that way. The Industrial Revolution changed the way that we created everything, from food and energy to sanitation and manufacturing technologies. How has industrialization impacted the environment, and what can we do in the future to reduce these environmental impacts? The Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution started sometime in the middle of the 1700s, when the world’s population had finally started recovering from the deaths of the Black Plague in the 1300s that wiped out more than … Continue reading

Environmental Legislations in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain has been responding to the massive industrial and commercial development taking place in the country and understood that economic development and sound environmental management are complimentary aspects of the same agenda and without adequate environmental protection, development will be undermined. With this aim, the Legislative Decree-law No.21 of 1996 was enacted to establish the Environmental Affairs Agency under the Ministry of Housing, Municipalities and Environment in 1996. The process of making and enforcing environmental legislation in Bahrain started when the Government formed the Environmental Protection Committee (EPC) in 1983 which was later upgraded to a full-fledged … Continue reading

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