Energy and the Climate: Perspectives for Middle East

Since energy is an absolute necessity for life on Earth, we have utilized many sources of energy to maintain and improve the lives of people around the globe. The ultimate source of energy is the Sun of course, since all living things on Earth such as plants, trees, animals and humans need the Sun’s energy. In addition to the Sun, we have utilized other sources of energy such as oil, coal and nuclear fission.  However, energy has many different forms and we use different forms of energy for different applications. For example, nuclear energy is mostly used to generate electricity, … 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

How Small Companies Can Influence Environment Protection

A business can have a tremendous impact on the environment despite its size. As a small business, you have a key role to play on how to decrease pollution and green your business. Depending on the size of your business you can change how goods are procured or manufactured. Moreover, technology can decrease the use of non-renewable sources of energy. Every effort, no matter how small can have a positive impact on the environment. Nowadays, there are many sustainable ways of manufacturing goods. If this is incorporated into business ideas, it could have an immense impact on the environment. Pollution … Continue reading

Sustainable Water Management and River Rehabilitation in Jordan Valley

In the context of EcoPeace Middle East's recently released Regional Integrated NGO Master Plan, the key challenge in sustainable water management is to overcome the water scarcity related problems  in the Jordan Valley. This means creating a sustainable water supply system that meets the current and future domestic and agricultural water demands; and at the same time preserves the water resources for future generations and for the environment. This requires an Integrated Water Resources Management regime for the whole (Lower) Jordan River, based on international co-operation among Israel, Jordan and Palestine, supported with adequate water management tools (like WEAP) to ensure sustainable … Continue reading

Habitat Loss in MENA

Habitat loss of native species in MENA region is increasing at a sensational rate as a consequence of natural and human causes. MENA has diverse ecosystems, including aquatic and terrestrial, with different climate patterns. The region have three globally recognized hotspots; the Irano-Anatolian region, the Mediterranean forest region and the Horn of Africa region. According to 2015 IUCN Red List, approximately 2476 species in MENA are under threat comprising of mammals, fishes, birds, molluscus, amphibians, reptiles, and other species.  28% of threatened species comprises of fishes, 18% plants, 12% birds, 9% mammals and rest others. IUCN data show highest threatened species in Turkey (379), … Continue reading

Islamic Principles on Sustainable Development

A huge number of verses in Qura’n and several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad indicate the great importance that has been given to environmental concerns and the responsibility of man to the environment. The concept of sustainable development in Islam can be defined as “The balanced and simultaneous realization of consumer welfare, economic efficiency, attainment of social justice, and ecological balance in the framework of a evolutionary knowledge-based, socially interactive model defining the Shuratic process”. The Shuratic process is the consultation or participatory ruling principle of Islam. The over arching principle in the use of nature is derived from the prophetic … Continue reading

World Wetlands Day – Celebrating Our Wetlands

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated on 2nd February every year. It marks the date of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February 1971. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997. Every year there is a different theme and the theme for World Wetlands Day 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”. What is a Wetland A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, natural or artificial, static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salty and include areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed … Continue reading

Bioremediation: Fighting Pollution with Bacterial Assistance

Bioremediation is an engineering process which uses microorganisms to degrade a material. It can be used to treat contaminated media such as water, air and soil, by altering the environmental conditions to stimulate growth of microorganisms and degrade the target pollutant and enhance the quality of the media. In this age of rapid industrialization and depleting natural resources, there is an alarming need for a much effective sustainable development model and new ways to decontaminate and re-energize our surrounding land, water and air. Bioremediation provides an efficient and environment-friendly treatment compared to various other remediation technologies involving chemicals and radiation. … Continue reading

Hazardous Waste Management in Qatar: Progress and Challenges

A country with an abundance of raw materials, cheap labor, and a rising demand for energy, Qatar needed to diversify its industrial sector in the 1970s. From then onwards, the use of fertilizers, petrochemicals, and gas liquefaction plants have grown exponentially. The magnitude of hazardous waste and the pollution to be produced from different streams have not been thoroughly considered, but Qatar has taken serious steps to implement commitments for sustainable development by passing laws and treaties, such as law No.4 in 1981 issuing safeguards and providing requirements for the protection of the environment, and by signing onto treaties such … Continue reading

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in Middle East: Benefits and Opportunities

With changing weather patterns of frequent and intense rainfall, regions in the Middle East are struggling to cope with the influx of rain and stormwater runoff that often flood roads and residential areas. While a good network of surface drainage systems enforced with concrete, pipes and manholes may alleviate the situation, city planners can now adopt the use of more sustainable and environmentally beneficial methods to decrease urban flooding in the Middle East. This technique of utilising natural drainage systems to improve water management is also referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). Different types of SuDS: Detention ponds, green … Continue reading

VeryNile – Keeping the Nile Alive

Over the last decade we have become increasingly alarmed at the amount of plastic in our oceans. More than 8 Million tons of it ends up out oceans every year and if we continue to pollute at this rate, there will be more trash than fish by the year 2050. By the way, there are 3.5 Trillion fishes in the ocean now. Where does all this waste come from? After analyzing waste in rivers and surrounding landscape, researchers found that most plastic waste comes from rivers; and 90% of this waste comes from only 10 river systems. One of them, … Continue reading

Nile – The Lifeline of Egypt

The Nile always played a key role in the lives of Egyptians. It made living in the desert possible, provided drinking water; it was a source of irrigation and most importantly created fertile soil that allowed for growing crops to feed the masses. The Nile also offered an ideal means of transport for goods and people thus causing development of boats and other water traveling methods. During the course of history, using the Nile for trading with other countries proved easier and safer than land. The trip from northern to southern Egypt would have been very strenuous if it wasn’t … Continue reading