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

SEA as Sustainability Mainstreaming and Planning Tool in Jordan

Seeking to find its own recipe for sustainability planning, Jordan is piloting Strategic Environmental Assessment as a tool for planning and managing development zones or special economic areas. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of proposed policy, strategy or master plan in order to ensure they are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest appropriate stage of decision-making on par with economic and social consideration. Using a unique model, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has prepared Strategic Environmental Assessment and Strategic Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) for the Dead Sea Development Zone which was … Continue reading

Greening Your Business

With growing awareness among consumers for eco-friendly products, it is becoming highly important for businesses in the Middle East to adopt and implement green strategies. It is not only the requirement of customers but also compliance to regulations and reduction in operating costs that drive the implementation of environment-friendly methods in business. Corporate social responsibility (or CSR) is now driven by pollution prevention, energy efficiency, eco-friendly design, and industrial ecology across all industrial sectors.  Components of a Green Business A green business appears to be an expensive and cumbersome process. On the contrary it is quite easy to have a green … Continue reading

Trends in Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability and carbon footprint occupies an increasingly important position on the corporate agenda around the world. The major ingredients of environmental sustainability are elimination of waste and emissions, maximizing energy efficiency and productivity and minimizing practices that may adversely affect utilization of natural resources by coming generations. More and more companies are realizing the importance of environmental initiatives in business development and brand promotion. Decrease in energy and raw material usage combined with reduced emissions and waste generation can tackle a host environmental challenges facing the world. Leading IT companies, like Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and Google, are investing in renewable sources of … Continue reading

Sustainability in MENA Cement Industry

The population in the MENA countries has doubled during the last 30 years (from ca. 110m in 1980 to almost 220m in 2010). As per conservative estimates, the rate of urbanisation in the MENA countries will exceed 70% five years from today (average for all developing countries: 54%). The proceeding urbanisation and the population increase involve several problems and challenges for the national governments and also for the cement industry. The cement production of countries in the MENA region has almost tripled during the last 15 years up to approximately 500m tons  Since the start of national revolts and demonstrations in … Continue reading

Paper Bag Boy’s Message to the World

Abdul Muqeet, also known as the Paper Bag Boy, has risen from being just another ordinary student to an extra-ordinary environmentalist. Ten-year old Abdul Muqeet has demonstrated remarkable commitment to saving the environment in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, and has been a poster-boy for environmental campaigns in the Middle East. Here he shares his views on environment, recycling and public awareness. It is said that you should break your goals down into small steps which you can accomplish each day. Set a goal, and approach it in a simple and basic manner. When I started my environmental campaign couple of years … Continue reading

The Concept of Environmental Education

Unlike traditional forms of education, Environmental Education is a holistic, lifelong learning process directed at creating responsible individuals who explore and identify environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action effectively to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper awareness and understanding of environmental issues and have effective skills to make informed and responsible decisions that lead to resolute the environmental challenges. Environmental Education is neither environmental advocacy nor environmental information; rather, Environmental Education is a varied and diverse field that focuses on the educational process that has to remain neutral by teaching individuals critical thinking and … Continue reading

Environmental Sustainability in Qatar: Perspectives

In recent years, the concept of environmental sustainability is slowly, but steadily, getting prominence, both in the public and private sectors in Qatar. Mounting environmental pressure has led to the development of new initiatives in several state-owned and private companies. As a major fossil exporter and one of the wealthiest countries, Qatar should do its fair share in reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions and developing strong climate adaptation plans. Many companies are investing heavily in replacing old turbines, boilers, and furnaces, minimizing GHG and non-GHG emissions, and wastewater discharge. The new companies that were set up in last decade are adopting … Continue reading

منهاج النظام التربوي البيئي في المملكة العربية السعودية

تمت مناقشة المادة السادسة ضمن الإتفاقية الإطارية للأمم المتحدة بشأن تغير المناخ, و التي تُعنى بالتعليم البيئي و بالأمور المناخية ,في مؤتمر بون المناخي2013 و التحضيري لمؤتمر الأعضاء في نسخته التاسعة عشر ببولندا. تنص هذه المادة على نشر ثقافة التصدي لآثار التغييرات المناخية بين الشعوب عبر إدراج مواد مخصصة في المناهج التعليمية و إشراك الطلاب في إيجاد خطط و حلول للتعامل مع هذه العوامل المناخية. بالإضافة إلى ذلك يتم عقد ورشات عمل و ندوات لتنمية المعاهد و المدارس المعنية بهذا المفهوم من حيث تبادل الخبرات, و في تسهيل مهمة إيصال المعلومات و نشرها بين شرائح المجتمع. يقتصر دور التوعية البيئية … Continue reading

Linking Supply Chain with Sustainability

The sustainability industry, in recent years, has evolved to include almost all areas of business processes. Due to the dramatic strides sustainability has made and its holistic nature, it is understandable that the two most apparent areas, the environment and society, would receive much of our attention.  There has been a lack of concern for the area of the economy and alignment with business needs.  Moreover, it has not been used enough as a mechanism to enhance the supply chain or product value. Lately, business leaders are learning to see substantial benefits and profitability beyond “green initiatives” by giving back time … Continue reading

Need of Sustainability Communication in the Middle East

Environmental and sustainability awareness has been around in the society for quite some time now; and buzzwords like ‘ecofriendly’, ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ seem to be omnipresent. In spite of the proliferation of these eco-buzzwords, the state of sustainability communications remains poor and lacking in authenticity. This poor state of sustainable communication, aided by insufficient focus on authenticity, further allows unscrupulous organizations to ‘green wash’ their business or products. The ‘greenwashing’, coupled with a lack of environmental knowledge on the consumer side engenders confused consumers who either despise any of the green eco-buzzwords or blindly accept green-washing as true sustainability. Currently, sustainability … Continue reading

An Eco-Model for Wadi Arabah

The Wadi Arabah region is an extremely arid valley in Jordan characterized by hot climate, meager annual rainfall, high evaporation rate and limited water resources. The arid desert creates several challenges to extracting and managing water in this region thus hampering the development of agricultural, domestic, and industrial sectors in the valley. The casual attitude towards water management in the region highlights the need for additional consideration to the hydrological and geographical realities of the area. Agriculture accounts for the largest water consumption, especially in summer. In arid land with high evaporation rates, negative agricultural practices may lead to reduced … Continue reading